We’ve all had that feeling – you’ve sent a super-important message and are waiting eagerly for a response. You don’t know if the email has landed safely; you can’t tell if it’s been seen or read, so you sit in limbo while you second-guess your next move. But thankfully, Gmail lets you set up Read Receipts so you can get notified when your recipient reads your email.

Here’s how you do it, so you can eliminate that email anxiety.

How to set up read receipts

The first thing you need to know is that you can’t access read receipts on your personal

Gmail account (an account ending in @gmail.com). Crucially, you can only set up read receipts if you have a G-Suite account, but to do this, you need to be a business or an organization.

Furthermore, to enable read receipts you need the Administrator (the person who initially set up G-Suite) to go into Settings and enable read receipts for all other users.

To set up your G-Suite account, follow these instructions.

Once you’ve added the piece of code to your website and your account has been verified, sign in to G-Suite.

1. Compose a new email.

2. Enter the To and Subject fields.

3. Go to More options (the 3 dots on the right-hand side of the email composer).

4. Click Request read receipt.

5. Click Send.

The limitations of Gmail’s read receipts

Read receipts are a useful addition to Gmail, but there are some limitations, in addition to needing a G-Suite account linked to a business or organization:

  • You have to manually ask for a read receipt for each new message you send. You can’t set your account to automatically ask for read receipts.
  • Recipients must agree to accept your read receipt, so there’s no guarantee they’ll use it. If you don’t receive a read receipt notification, you can’t be 100% sure that the recipient hasn’t read your email.
  • You can’t use it for mass email lists or mail merge – it only works when you use your To and Cc

Other options for tracking your emails in Gmail

If you don’t have access to G-Suite, there are other options available to you.

Firstly, you have the option to set up a Chrome extension to help you track your Gmail emails.

Right Inbox can be downloaded to your Chrome browser in just a couple of minutes. All you need to do is navigate to this page, click Add to Chrome, click Add extension in the pop-up, and you’re done. You’ll now be able to see the Right Inbox icon at the top right of your Chrome browser.

Within Right Inbox, you can set up an integration with your CRM so that all your emails are tracked. This will also allow you to send read receipts to your recipients.

To set up a new integration:

1. Click on the plugin icon at the bottom of the email composer.

2. Choose the CRM you want to sync with Gmail.

3. Click Add.

4. Enter the details of your CRM account.

5. Click Save, and then Enable.

In summary

Read receipts are a useful addition to Gmail. They alert you when your recipient opens an email you’ve sent them, which removes any doubt that they’ve received it.

That said, Gmail makes it more difficult for users to access the function by requiring them to have a professional G-Suite account first. You also need to manually request a read receipt when you compose each email. Even then, you can’t guarantee your recipient will agree to use it.

There are ways around all this, however, especially if you choose to integrate your CRM with your Right Inbox extension. That way, you’ll be able to track your emails and gain even deeper insights into your Gmail activity.


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