You know that feeling when an email has been sent and you’re just waiting for a reply?
You start to wonder if the email even got to the recipient. Did it somehow end up in spam?
Then you start to wonder whether you should send a follow-up. Is it too soon? When is it too soon? Are they just busy?
All of these things run through your head. But how do you know if someone read your email on Gmail?
Thankfully, there are ways to alleviate that worry so you can get on with your workday.
In this article, we’ll look at read receipts, delivery receipts, and image email tracking. We’ll then round off with the most elegant solution to this problem.
Method 1. A Read Receipt
Step 1. As you might expect, you need to be in your Gmail account to start.
Step 2. Then, open the Compose window – just as you would if you were sending a standard email.
Step 3. Pop in your recipient, subject line, and the email that you want to send.
Step 4.Don’t click Send yet.
Step 5. If you look to the bottom right you’ll see a More options button. Click that. You then need to choose Request read receipt.
Step 6. Press Send.
Quick note: You will see the read receipts in your inbox, but it does rely on the recipient to approve the read receipt for you to be able to see it.
Method 2. A Delivery Receipt
Read receipts are sometimes called delivery receipts. Microsoft Outlook is the most prominent email client that uses this terminology.
Essentially, delivery receipts are exactly the same as read receipts, so all you need to do is follow the steps outlined above.
Method 3. An Image in an HTML Email
Using an image in an HTML email to see if your email has been opened is more reliable than read receipts and delivery receipts – and they don’t need the recipient to approve the receipt.
But how do they work?
You insert a small image into the email, which can sometimes be invisible – a small white square, for example. When the image is displayed in the recipient’s inbox (i.e., they open the email), data can be gathered. The data is typically the date of when the email was viewed and the time it was viewed.
There are some drawbacks to using the techniques mentioned above.
- Read receipts and delivery receipts often require the recipients to approve them. It’s not uncommon for some recipients to find this practice slightly invasive. You may find that they don’t even read the email.
- Gmail read requests cannot be used on personal Gmail accounts. Unless you’re a Google Workspace user you won’t be able to access them.
- Google will sometimes let the recipient decide whether they want to send the read receipt.
- Using an image in HTML requires a bit of technical knowledge.
So, these methods may not be the most reliable.
That said, Right Inbox provides a more reliable way to track if someone has read your email on Gmail. Here’s how it works.
Method 4. Using an Email Tracker
With Right Inbox’s email tracker, there is nothing that the recipient has to do for you to know that they’ve opened the email. This feature even tracks if the recipient clicks on links within the email you send.
So how do you set it up?
How to Set up Email Tracking with Right Inbox
Step 1. Make sure you’re logged into Gmail and then open up the Compose window.
Step 2. Make sure you have the Right Inbox extension installed. This point is pretty important.
Step 3. Navigate to the bottom menu and then click the little eye icon at the bottom.
Step 4. You then need to decide whether you want to click email opens, link clicks, or both.
Step 5. You should be able to see real-time notifications of opens and clicks in the bottom left of your compose window.
Step 6. To see more detail you need to head over to your Sent folder on the left of the Gmail navigation.
Step 7. You should see a little checkmark icon in the sent folder for emails that have been opened by the recipient. By hovering over that, you will see how many times that email has been opened, how many clicks links in your email have received, the location where the email was opened, and on what kind of device.
There you have it. While read receipts, delivery receipts, and image email tracking are viable options, they’re often not ideal. Right Inbox provides a super simple and reliable way to know if your emails have been read and how your recipients have engaged with them.
If you haven’t tried Right Inbox, head over to the Chrome store and try it out today.