How to know if someone opened your email or not is essential. Let me put forward a case to bring it into perspective. You are planning to launch a new product. So you have decided to pitch thought leaders and top bloggers to help you put your message out there. You’ve prepared plenty because you don’t want to leave anything to chances.
You crank out a powerful email that you feel will blow them away. Then you hit “Send” button and wait for the results. Just imagine if you didn’t have to wait for the results and you know how to tell if someone read your email or not? Wouldn’t that be great? Whether you sent it from Gmail or Outlook or any other email client, you will be able to know who and when someone opened your email pitch. Moreover, you can measure the success rate by tracking the open, reply and click rate at the same time.
According to The Radicati Group, a technology market research company, the average adult will receive 92 email messages per day. So there are high chances people might ignore your email if they don’t know you well. Chances are you might not know whether your recipient opened the email or not. In such a case, having the knowledge of how to know if someone read your email becomes critical.
There are two ways you can establish that, and it will only take a few minutes to get it done:
- Requesting a return receipt and open – common with most email clients or
Using an email tracking application/tool.
- In this post, we will be discussing the two methods that guides you on how to know if someone read your email and the best way to increase open rates.
Use third-party, email tracking applications
If you are an employer or are running a business, you might require more than just knowing whether your email was opened or not. Apart from email opens, you might be interested in certain insights or metrics that might shape your strategy or next decision making.
In such a case, learning how do you know if someone read your email or not might need a third party software – an email tracking application. Good news is, these applications offer more features than the native free-to-use email clients. The bad news is, unlike with Outlook read receipt, which is free to use, these are paid services attracting monthly or yearly subscriptions. However, some offer free basics but with limited features.
There are many powerful email tracking tools and applications in the digital world these days. Every tool works the same way. Here are some of them to get you started:
- Gmail Read Receipt – provided by Gmail itself
- Outlook Read Receipt – provided by outlook
These tools not only tell you if the email was received and opened but also when it was opened. Some of them are the features provided by email clients for the users convenience but these features have many limitations which are eliminated when it comes to email tracking tools.
SalesHandy, for example, lets you know the how many times your emails were opened or read. You can keep a track of all the bloggers or investors you pitch your ideas to and interact with them according to their interest. You can also track the links in the emails sent. Apart from all these things, SalesHandy also helps keep track of document open and shares so that you can easily measure the success of your campaign.
Try out SalesHandy in your next campaign, sign up here for unlimited free email tracking and scheduling.
How does email tracking tools track your emails?
All the email tools mentioned above, when used, put a tiniest invisible tracking pixel of 1*1 size to the emails you send using their plugins or software. So, when your recipient will open the email, you will be notified that your email has been opened/read.
Request a Return Receipt
Once you learn how to know if someone opened your email, you might be surprised at the number of people who read your emails and just decide to go mum. Another way, rather than the one mentioned above, to know what really happens to your emails after hitting send is to enable the option to request return/read receipts with the email that you send.
But, you have to bear this in mind: these requests only do half the job. Your recipient might decide to decline the requests. That means you won’t be getting the receipt responses to the emails you sent. Also, there are email platforms though that don’t allow to track whether the emails were opened and read or not.
Let’s take a look at how to activate the receipt features in Outlook and Gmail G-suite platforms:.
Outlook email Request Receipt
Outlook allows you to make two requests – whether the email gets successfully delivered and whether it was opened and read.
If you are an Outlook user, here is a quick process you need to follow through if you want to request a return receipt in Microsoft Outlook:
- Go to the top menu bar and click Option.
- Once it brings up its sub-menu, check request a Delivery Receipt and Request a Read Receipt.
- Once your email has been delivered successfully and opened, you will receive a notification, upon recipient’s consent.
(See the image below)
Putting up a Gmail Request Receipt
Google doesn’t allow you to request a read receipt in the free version of Gmail. However, it is possible if you are a Google premium user (use Google’s paid business cloud software G Suite) and have administrative rights to the platform.
On the G-suite Admin console, find and activate the radio button at the bottom to turn on reading receipt requests. Otherwise, you may ask the administrator to do it for you.
What can set your emails apart?
You worked hard and did everything to set your email apart. You then learned how to see if someone read your email and implemented it, only to find out that your email open rates are disappointing. What can you do more? How can you optimize the overly optimize emails?
Well, while you were dead set on making your email perfect, there is a possibility that you might have ignored the email subject line.
What’s important in that you ask? It’s the first impression on the person you are emailing and I say that is one of the most important thing about pitching. Making the right first impression.
Here are some of the email subject lines that will make your emails shine brighter:
- Yep, that just happened…
- G + L + F = 2X Your Sales
- These 6 skills will pay the bills…
- Better than T&C?
- How to generate FREE, organic traffic!
- ⏰ Are you In or Out?
- Bad news…closing down
- Huge Announcement: Brand new event…
- Forget Groupon — this stuff works!
- This email got 6X open rate…
- There is still time…
- Why I (kinda) HATE surveys…
- Your 7-figure plan goes bye-bye at midnight…
- *Don’t Open This Email*
All these above-mentioned subject lines were a hit and you can also get amazing open rates using them for your next email.
Summing it up
You have worked hard to design, write and optimize that email. The last thing you would want is to have it tossed into the bin, or totally to go unread. If you are using the free email platforms, you can always trigger request receipt feature. And, that’s how far it gets. However, if you need to discover more than which email was opened or not, you need to look elsewhere. Email tracking tools will not only track email, and the link opens but also offers you extra intelligence you need to boost your business and sales. However, most of them are paid, and the free version might come with some limitations.
Over to you
Hope you learned how to know if someone opened your email or not. Please do share with us, which tracking tools are you using? If not, then what are you doing to make your emails stand out?
Every tip is worth sharing. Scroll down to the comment section and let us know what makes your emails stand apart.