Read receipts of email messages becomes very necessary on several occasions.
Imagine yourself as an executive of a company who has to send a lot of email to employees every single day. Since you are starting a conversation, you might want to know whether the other person has read the email message or not. Some people might read your message but how do you know whether the recipient has received and read your email message or whether your email landed in his spam folder? If the receiver never sends back an acknowledgement email, it is impossible to know whether the recipient has really opened your message and have read it.
Keeping track of sent emails in Gmail is not so easy, since you have to separately follow up email messages for each and every member and wait for a reply from the other side. If the recipient sends an acknowledgement email, it is confirmed that the receiver did actually opened the email message which you sent. But if the receiver never sends a reply, you have to ping him again and again. Scheduling all those followup emails in Gmail seems to be a workaround but then again, it’s manual and very difficult to manage.
There are some useful email tracking services available, but here is some good news for Google apps users who are using Google apps for business or Google apps for government domains.
Get Read receipts Of Gmail Mail – Know whether the recipient received your message
Google has just rolled out support for email tracking in Gmail by allowing Google Apps users to choose whether they want to add a read receipt option to the email messages they send from their Google apps email inbox.
This feature is only available for Google apps users who are on the business or government domain, so regular Google apps and Gmail users have to wait till Google rolls out this feature for everyone.
1. To activate read receipts of Gmail mails, login to your Google apps administration area as a domain administrator. If you are not the domain administrator for the Google Apps account, ask your domain administrator to read the following steps.
2. After logging in to your Google apps domain management console, go to settings and select the “Email” option from the left panel.
3. Go to the email read receipts section and specify the list of senders who can request a read receipt of sent email in Gmail. You can also select all users to be able to send and receive read receipts or acknowledgement email from participants.
Note that the read receipts of sent email in your Google apps or Gmail account will also work for external Gmail addresses or addresses that are outside your domain (e.g email@example.com).
4. Now that you have enabled read received of sent email in Gmail, compose a new message and you should see the option “Request read receipt” as shown below:
Select that option and send your email. You are done.
Now when the recipient opens your email message which had a “request read receipt” option checked, he will get a notification that the sender has requested an acknowledgement response from him. Here is how the notification works:
If the recipient choses to send a receipt, you will get a confirmation email in the same message thread. This will verify that the receiver has read your message.
I am not sure what will be the result when the receiver choses “Not now” option and denies to send the read receipt. Will he get an automatic notification after some time or will he get the notification whenever he receives a new message from your email address? Digital Inspiration has some more insights on how read receipts in Gmail work.
Alternative Ways to Get Read receipts In Gmail And Regular Google Apps Accounts
The downside here is that the read receipts feature do not work in Gmail and regular Google Apps accounts, so here are some more ways to track whether the receiver has read your message or not.
1. Create an account with Spypig.com . The site lets anyone find out whether an email was read or not, all you have to do is insert a tracking image anywhere within the body of your email message.
Whenever the receiver opens your email message that has the tracking image embedded within it, you will get an automatic confirmation email from Spypig that the recipient opened your message on this date and time. This is extremely useful and works with Gmail, Google Apps, Windows live, Yahoo and any web mail provider.
Spypig works only with HTML and rich text messages, so this won’t work if the receiver has disabled loading external images from third-party sites. That’s because if the embedded tracking image never loads in the browser, Spypig wont be able to track whether the recipient opened the email message or ignored it.
2. Another way to know whether your friend opened your email is to use a URL shortener. Go to Bit.ly or Goo.gl and create an account with any of these services. Once you have created an account, shorten a sample URL and remember to enable click tracking for the shortened URL you just created.
Now all you have to do is add this shortened URL to the body of the message which you want to track and if the reader clicks that short URL, you would know whether the other person opened your email message or not. There is a chance that he might read your email but ignore your shortened hyperlink so be sure to add something attractive which would entice the user to click that link.
None of the above two methods are full proof but they work most of the time.