Our inboxes are inundated in the 21st century. The longer we wait for a response, the more we start to worry if the communication was never received.
Text messages add to the flow of the conversation. You send an SMS and wait for a response right away. But what if you don’t receive a response? Find out how to identify if someone is reading your texts.
Fortunately, there are two techniques for determining whether an email has been read or not:
- Ask for an acknowledgment of receipt.
- Use an email tracking program.
Acknowledgment requests and email follow-up are not always effective. However, there are rare cases where a return email request is appropriate. This is especially useful for urgent messages or when you need to know if your message has been delivered.
Asking your email service for a receipt is the first approach to finding out if someone has opened your email. We will see how the acknowledgment function works in Microsoft Outlook, and then how it works in GSuite Gmail in this section. Let’s start with Outlook:
To request a receipt in Outlook, you have two options:
- Received when delivered
- Received once read
When you choose the first option, you will be notified when an email has been delivered to the intended recipient. Of course, just because a message has been delivered doesn’t mean it has been read. You might not know the message is in someone’s inbox, unopened.
That brings us to the next Outlook delivery choice. When your recipient selects the second option, they’ll be asked to send a notification when they open the email.
Check the box to the left of Request delivery receipt to request a delivery receipt when your message is sent. Check the box to the left of the Request read receipt option to request a delivery receipt when your message is opened. If you want, you can choose both alternatives.
Send your mail as usual now. When the recipient opens your message and selects Request read receipt, they’ll be asked to send a notification. If they answer yes to the prompt, you’ll receive a read receipt, which is a short message confirming that your original message has been read. Tracking settings can also be used to automate Outlook’s handling of message receipts for outgoing and inbound messages.
The return receipt feature is not available in the free version of Gmail. GSuite, on the other hand, offers functionality. You must first enable the acknowledgment option in GSuite Gmail before you can use it.
Access your GSuite administration console to enable the acknowledgment feature. Choose Applications> GSuite> Settings for Gmail> Advanced settings from the Applications menu. The Advanced Options window appears. Scroll to the email read receipt option using the scroll bar on the right side of the screen.
Allow email read receipts to be sent to all addresses in my organization as well as the following email addresses by clicking the toggle option to the left of Allow email read receipts to be sent to all addresses in my organization and to the following email addresses. Users in your organization can request and return receipts via email if this option is enabled.
Just type in your email as usual once the Read Receipt feature is enabled. When you’re done, click the down arrow in the lower right corner to display a menu. From the context menu, select Request a read receipt. When you’re done, click Send to send your email as usual. When your recipient opens the communication, they will be asked to give a receipt.
As you just found out, relying on the native email return confirmation feature to determine if your message has been received isn’t always the most reliable option. If you just need to know if your email has been read occasionally, that’s probably good enough.
However, you may need a more precise method of determining whether your email recipients have viewed the messages you sent them. You may be concerned about how your acknowledgment request will be received.
There is a solution to get rid of your problems. There are a variety of extensions available which provide reliable email tracking. Often times, the monitoring tool works without your recipient knowing that their messages are being tracked.