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How do I know that others have read my email, if I send an email to to folks via Gmail?

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  1. Google has implemented receipts, but I think it works only on G Suite.
    Follow these steps to enable receipts for Gmail.

  2. If you are using Outlook you can request a response from the receiver.
    Follow these steps for Outlook.

  3. In case you are interested in a third party solution, there is MailTrack (a Chrome extension and ToutApp (Paid).

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You can't know with any certainty.

As other answers have mentioned, some email clients (ie the software that you use to send emails) allows you to attach a "Please send a read-receipt" request to messages you send.

If you use email software which allows this, and if the email recipient agrees to respond to your "Please send a read-receipt" request when they view the message, then you can know that your email message has been opened. However even then, you cannot be sure that the person has read your message and not just quickly closed it again.

What's more, some people routinely refuse to respond to "Please send a read-receipt" requests. And some email software even has an option which they can set to never respond to such requests. So it's quite possible that your message gets read, but you aren't notified.

Ultimately, the best way to know if a message has been read is to put a request like "Please email me back to confirm that you have received this message" near the bottom of your message. This does rely on your message-recipient actually doing what you ask, but it is more likely to be successful.

Another approach that some people use is to place a very small (almost invisible) image file in the message, which is automatically downloaded when a person opens the message. This takes a good deal more work to set up than your average email system - and again, you can only know that the message was opened, not that the message was read.

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You can use Read Receipts on Gmail if you are a Google Apps for Work, Education, or Government customer.

If you want a third party service, you can use Yesware. The free version allows you to track 100 emails per month.

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Best to use a third party tracking tool like

  • Yesware : which inserts a tracking pixel into your email, and will tell you when it was opened
  • Sidekick (now Hubspot Sales) : does the same

or if you want to track attachments

Note that none of these are going to tell you which of the 2 people that you sent it to (if you've cc'd them) actual viewed your email, or if they forwarded it to other people. You'll only be able to see how many times the email was opened in total. If you plan to send a mass email out to a variety of people (more than 2) I would recommend using Mail Chimp as it will let you track exactly who opened what. It's also free for the first 2000 email.

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