Has this happened to you before?
They’re sending an important email and expecting to hear it again quickly. But … time goes by and nothing. After a while you wonder if your recipient ever read the email. There is no way to tell if an email has been read or is there?
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Fortunately, there are two ways to tell if an email has been opened and read:
- Request a confirmation of receipt
- Use an email tracking tool
Has someone opened and read your important email? Do you know how to check this? (graphic source)
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This article describes both methods of tracking email. We list some advantages and disadvantages of using receipts or an email tracking tool. You will also learn how to check whether someone has read your email using standard email services. Finally, we’ll give you a quick look at seven popular email tracking tools.
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Before you dive into this tutorial, check out our free e- book for the best killer email tips and strategies: The Ultimate Guide to Inbox Zero Mastery . Take control of your inbox and increase your productivity.
So let’s get to today’s tutorial and learn about different ways you can know when someone has opened your important emails. First, let’s look at the use of email receipts:
Pros and cons of receipts and email tracking
When you find out if someone has opened and read your email, it can seem like something you want to use all the time. Are not you curious? Email tracking tools are also popular with sales reps.
Whether you’re using your email system’s receipt feature or an add-on tool, there are a few downsides. First, let’s look at some of the drawbacks of using the email receipt feature:
- Most email platforms allow a recipient to refuse to send an acknowledgment of receipt. So there is no guarantee that you will receive a confirmation even though you have requested one.
- Not all email clients support acknowledgment of receipt. If you’re using an email service that doesn’t provide a receipt, you’ll need to use an app instead.
The following disadvantages apply to using a native email receipt feature or email tracking tool:
- If the receipt message is sent to the spam folder, your recipient will never have the option to let you know that they have received it.
- Some recipients can also be offended by an email confirmation of receipt. You can view email tracking as an invasion of privacy.
Acknowledgments of receipt and email tracking don’t work in every situation. However, there are a few circumstances in which an email reply request may be appropriate. It’s especially good for urgent messages or messages when you need to know if your message has been received. For example:
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- You just emailed someone a time sensitive proposal. You probably want to make sure the message was received before the offer expires.
- You are a hiring manager trying to fill an open position. You have just offered the spot to your lead candidate and you want to make sure they get your offer.
- You need to schedule an emergency meeting at short notice. You need to know who opened the meeting invitation and who to call so you can let them know about the meeting.
In such cases, receipts and email tracking can be a valuable tool for your business. You can probably think of your own examples when figuring out if someone has opened an email you sent. Just remember the cons. If you do decide to send an acknowledgment of receipt or use an email tracking tool, make sure the situation warrants it.
Request a receipt via your email (In Outlook and Gmail)
The first way to find out if someone has opened your email is by requesting a receipt through your email service. In this section, we’ll examine how the delivery receipt works in Microsoft Outlook, and then how it works in GSuite Gmail. First, let’s take a look at Outlook:
How to find out if someone has read your email in Outlook
Outlook offers two different options for requesting a receipt:
- Received on delivery
- Reception while reading
The first option gives you a notification when an email has been sent to the recipient. Of course, just because the message is being delivered doesn’t mean it has been read. The message might be in someone’s email inbox, unopened, and you don’t know.
That brings us to the next receipt in Outlook. The second option will ask your recipient to send a notification when they open the email.
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If you choose to use delivery receipt in Outlook, click Options on the main menu while composing your message. A submenu is displayed with various options:
How to check if an email was read in Outlook.
To request a receipt when your message is sent, click the check box to the left of Request a delivery receipt . To request a receipt when you open your message, click the check box to the left of the Request a Read Receipt option. You can choose both options if you want.
Now send your message as usual. If you selected Request a read receipt , the recipient will be prompted to send a notification when they open your message. If they answer yes to the prompt, you will receive a read receipt – a short message letting you know that your original message has been read.
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You can also use tracking options to automate the way Outlook processes message confirmations for outgoing and incoming messages. This tutorial will show you how to better manage your Outlook inbox.
Now let’s see how GSuite handles email receipts:
Here’s how to find out if someone read your email in Gmail
The free version of Gmail does not include the “Receipt” feature. However, the function is available through GSuite. To use the delivery confirmation feature in GSuite Gmail, you must first enable it.
To enable the receipt, go to your GSuite Admin Console . Choose Apps> GSuite> Gmail Settings> Advanced Settings . The Advanced Settings screen displays. Use the scroll bar on the right side of the screen to scroll down the Email Read Receipts option:
Enable read receipt in GSuite Gmial.
Click the toggle button to the left of Allow email read receipts to be sent to all addresses in my organization, as well as to the following email addresses . When enabled, users in your organization can request and return email receipts.
Note: If you are not the administrator of your GSuite, you will not be able to enable this feature for yourself. Ask your GSuite administrator to enable it for you.
Once the read receipt function is activated, simply enter your email as usual. When you’re done, click the down arrow in the lower right corner to display a pop-up menu:
Here’s how to tell if an email was read in Gmail.
Hit the Request Read Receipts option from the pop-up menu. When you’re done, click the Send button to send your email as you normally would. Your recipient will be asked to send a receipt when opening the message.
If you are not familiar with GSuite, here’s how to get started with this tutorial:
Request confirmation of receipt via an email tracking add-on or extension
As you just learned, using a native email receipt may not be the most reliable way to tell if your message was received. However, if you only need to find out if your email has been read occasionally, this is likely enough.
But maybe you need a more reliable way to find out if your email recipients are reading the messages you’re sending to them. Or you may be concerned about how your receipt will be handled.
There is a way around these worries. There are a number of extensions that provide reliable email tracking. Tracking often works without the recipient noticing that your messages are being tracked.
This section introduces seven popular email tracking tools:
Note: A free version was available for some tools. Note that some (but not all) free versions have automatically added a phrase “sent with [company name]” to emails sent using this tool. Also note that some of these tools go beyond just email tracking. Since the focus of this article is on email tracking, that is the focus of these overviews.
Tool 1. ContactMonkey
Use ContactMonkey to find out who is opening your email messages.
Not only can you find out who opens your email messages, but you can also find out who clicks links in the messages. Use ContactMonkey with your Outlook or Gmail email system. This tool can be integrated into the popular CRM tool SalesForce.
A notification will appear on your desktop when a message is opened or a link is clicked. ContactMonkey also includes a dashboard with email statistics and analytics.
Tool 2. HubSpot Sale
Choose how to receive notifications of read emails with HubSpot Sales.
HubSpot Sales includes an email tracker. The email tracking aspect of the tool lets you know immediately when an email is opened, when the email recipient clicks a link, or when they open an attachment. You can also see if the email has been viewed (reopened).
Choose how you will receive notifications about read emails. View them in HubSpot Sales, your browser, your desktop, or your CRM. HubSpot Sales works with Gmail, GSuite, Outlook or Office 365 for Windows.
Tool 3. MailTrack
See at a glance whether your message has been opened.
MailTrack is an extension for Chrome, Firefox and Opera that works with Google and Gmail inboxes to keep track of sent messages.
You can see at a glance if an email message has been received and if it has been opened. Open email messages are scanned again in your Sent folder. Click the check boxes to see when and how your message was opened.
Tool 4. MixMax
When a message has been sent to a group, you can see which group members have opened it.
MixMax lets you see if your email was opened, when it was opened, and how often an email was opened. If the message was sent to a group, you can see which group members have opened the message.
The app includes a variety of sales tools, such as: B. the ability to schedule meetings and the ability to follow emails. This tool works with Gmail and Google Inbox. The tool can also be integrated with CRM, Salesforce.
Tool 5. Strips
Use the table to learn more about the messages you are viewing.
Streak works as a CRM in Gmail. The email tracking functions are part of the email tools. This tool provides you with a diagram of your message views.
The user interface contains a list of each time the message was read and what type of device the recipient used to read the message. You can also use Streak to get to know the email recipient’s neighborhood.
Tool 6. ToutApp
ToutApp works with your telephone system.
ToutApp was developed as a sales tool that includes email tracking capabilities. The tool works with both Gmail and Outlook. The tool also integrates your telephone system. The user interface shows where, when and how often recipients deal with sent emails. ToutApp even informs you whether an email has been forwarded.
This app can be used by a team and therefore also contains many team functions.
Tool7: Yesware tool
You will receive a notification every time an email is opened.
Yesware works with a wide variety of email systems including: Gmail, GSuite and Office 365.
You will receive a notification when any of your sent emails is opened. You can see where, when and with which device the e-mail was opened. You can also tell if your recipient saw email attachments or if they replied to a message. You can even find out what IP address the recipient used to open the email.
In this article, you learned how to know if someone opened your email. We’ve discussed the pros and cons of using delivery receipt features or email tracking to see if your email has been read.
You also learned how to tell if your email was read in GSuite Gmail and how to check that your email was also read in Outlook. Finally, we’ve given you a quick look at seven of the most popular email tracking applications and tools.
If you need to know if your email has been read, then you know how to find out.
More great email tutorials and resources
If your company has a lot of reliance on email, you might want to read our series on writing effective business email, such as:
Also, download our free e-book for tips on how to better manage your email inbox: The Ultimate Guide to Inbox Zero Mastery . Keep track of your most important messages and increase your email productivity.