How to use the activity feed and sales notifications

Last updated: September 25, 2018


HubSpot Sales is able to track emails by embedding a 1x1 pixel invisible image into a message once it is sent. When the user views the email and the image loads, you'll receive an open notification. 

You can receive real-time notifications if you are using the HubSpot Sales extension for Google Chrome or the HubSpot Sales Outlook tray app. You can also view your notifications at any time in your activity feed under Contacts > Activity Feed in HubSpot. 

Each notification will have a time and date attached to it. The time and date will be set to the time zone that you're currently in, not the recipient's time zone. 

HubSpot Sales will not send email notifications when you open your own emails. To test the email open notification feature with HubSpot Sales, send a tracked email to or try sending a test email to a colleague or friend.

Please note: your email tracking activity feed will always remain private to you. No one else can view this information, even account administrators. 

Real-time notifications

You must have Google Chrome running on your computer with the HubSpot Sales extension enabled or the HubSpot Sales for Windows Outlook tray app in order to receive real-time notifications. Here is an example of each type of real-time notification that is sent by HubSpot Sales: 

An opened email


A clicked link

A HubSpot website visit


Viewing your activity feed

All of your notifications can also be found in your activity feed. In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Activity Feed. Your activity is categorized into the following feeds: 

  • All activities: see all recent engagement.
  • Highlights (Sales Professional Hub only): see recent engagement by your hottest leads.
  • Email activity: see all recent email opens or clicks.
  • Lead activity: see your new lead assignments, form submissions, documents viewed, prospect website visits, and meetings booked.

Please note: at this time, it is not possible to restore deleted notifications in your activity feed.

Determining open locations

Open locations are based on the IP address associated with the open. The location given for a particular open can vary due to the nature of internet service providers (ISP) and IP addresses.

Network and security software

Each ISP can result in varying levels of IP location accuracy, whether on your

  • Company network
  • Home network 
  • VPN
  • Mobile network

The recipient's email security software can also have an impact on open locations. When an email is scanned for malicious material, the message content is loaded by a server which may be located in various cities around the world. 

Please note: if HubSpot detects multiple IP address locations for one email tracker event (this can happen since HubSpot gets these events from a couple different sources) and they all don't match, HubSpot opts to show no location in your activity feed for an "email open" event instead of an erroneous one.

Why does the open location seem inaccurate?

The location your email was opened in that's displayed in your activity feed is based on the IP address of the person opening it. There are a number of reasons that the location might seem strange, primarily related to the nature of IP addresses.

For example, if you send an email to someone in New York and it's listed as opened in California, it might be that:
  • The person is temporarily in California.
  • The person has forwarded the email to someone in California.
  • The person is using technology that changes their IP address to a different location (e.g., VPN, dial up internet, internet proxy).
  • Their internet provider makes the request look like it's from California even though it's from New York.

The information used to show the location might be incorrect (IP addresses and the geographic information associated with them are constantly changing). Our database updates regularly to make sure you receive the most up-to-date information.

Receiving multiple open notifications

If you get a large number of email opens (more than you may expect) on a specific email, it may indicate that the email was forwarded or that you copied and pasted a previously sent email. These notifications may also be shown in vastly different locations in your activity feed.

This can happen when an email is forwarded. There are a lot of privacy and security issues around tracking who exactly an email is forwarded to, so HubSpot Sales defaults to telling you that the original sender opened the email again.

Additionally, multiple notifications could happen if you copied and pasted an email that you previously had sent. This would inadvertently copy the old tracking pixel which would in turn cause the same behavior as an email forward. In the future, ensure you are sending new emails from scratch instead of copying and pasting or forwarding. 

Sometimes, the tracking image will be loaded multiple times from a single email open due to how the recipient views their emails. In particular, a user could be on a server which may dynamically change that user's IP address. If the image is loaded from multiple IP addresses then a notifications may indicate that your emails were being opened by multiple people.  Also, some email clients like (Outlook or Apple Mail) have a preview pane as part of the inbox view, and if recipients scroll over your email in their inbox (even passively), this can trigger an email open notification.

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