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What is a read receipt in Gmail?

If you use WhatsApp, you probably already know what a read receipt is.

It is basically a symbol (✔) that appears once when the message has been sent correctly, and twice (✔✔ - in gray) when the message has been received by the recipient.

WhatsApp uses the two blue symbols ✔✔ to confirm that the message has been read.

Thanks to this system, you will know at all times whether your message has been sent correctly, whether the recipient has received it and, depending on the privacy settings of each user, whether the message has been read.

Well, relatively recently it has been possible to enable confirmation reading when sending emails by Gmail (no matter who receives them). Thanks to this, we will be able to know who has received and / or read the emails that we have sent.

How to do it ?


Who can use this technique?

Unfortunately, Gmail has not yet enabled read receipt for all of its users . Basically, this option is only available for those who pay and not for those who have a free Gmail account (most users).

As can be seen on the official Google blog:

Important: This feature is only available on work or school Gmail accounts; it cannot be used on personal Gmail accounts.

In any case, don't worry, if you have a free Gmail account, there is an alternative that we explain to you below that lets us know when they receive and read our emails, and that works perfectly.


Enable Gmail read receipt

If you're using the Gmail for Business bundle and your Gmail workgroup administrator has enabled read receipts, then requesting and sending read receipts is a snap. Proceed as follows:

Step 1: write an email

Step 2: request the read receipt

When you select this option, recipients of each message you send receive a read receipt request.

As soon as the recipient of your email has confirmed receipt of the message, you will receive a confirmation message in your inbox. But how exactly should the recipient go to provide the desired confirmation? And what should you do if you yourself receive an email with a read receipt request?


Send a read receipt to Gmail as recipient

If you receive an email with a Gmail read receipt request, it's pretty much the same. If necessary, do the following:

Step 1: Sign in to Gmail and open your inbox

You can now click on "Send confirmation" to send the sender an automatic reply indicating that you have received and read their message. As soon as you have confirmed good receipt to the sender of the message, he will immediately receive confirmation in his inbox.

Gmail read receipts are very handy, but keep in mind that this feature does not guarantee 100% that the recipient has actually read the message. Indeed, even if he acknowledges receipt of the mail, this does not necessarily imply that he has actually read its content and examined any attachments. Another factor to consider: IMAP accounts also automatically send read receipts when the recipient marks the message as "read" in their inbox. Even if the message has not been opened by its recipient, the sender receives a read receipt from then on.

How the Gmail read receipt works

When you send an email with the read receipt, when the recipient of the email closes your email after having finished reading it, a pop-up window will notify them that the email they just read was sent with a read receipt.

Therefore, he will have to decide if he wants to confirm that he has read the email or to confirm later.

Without a doubt, the great flaw of this system is that the recipient who has read our email will always be able to choose the option of not confirming at this time. VS

This means that the person sending the email will not know that it has been read even if the recipient has read it.

4 free chrome extensions to get a read receipt on your free Gmail emails

If you are using the free version of Gmail and therefore have an email address ending in @, the free tools listed below will allow you to be notified when your recipient has opened and therefore read your email 

  • Mailtrack : this is a freemium Chrome extension to install on your browser. It allows you to receive a free opening / reading confirmation for all your emails sent via Gmail. The free version includes the Mailtrack promotion at the end of your emails, you must subscribe to a paid subscription in order to hide this promotion and have access to more features.

  • Boomerang : This free Chrome extension allows you to both schedules sending emails in Gmail and get read receipts.
  • Leadboxer : this Chrome extension, also freemium but more limited than the first, will also allow you to follow the openings of your emails after creating a free trial account.
  • Mixmax : also in the form of a Chrome extension to install on your browser, Mixmax offers a free version allowing you to track up to 100 emails per month. It is therefore more limited than the others but an alternative to consider, especially if you plan to opt for the paid version of one of these solutions.

All these software will allow you, once configured, to receive confirmations of opening and reading emails sent via a address.

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