How to Enable Gmail Read Receipts (+ 5 Use Cases)

Email Tracking
Denisa Lamaj
2 July 2024


Read receipts are a useful feature in Gmail that allows senders to know when their email has been opened by the recipient. 

This feature is especially beneficial for professionals and businesses, ensuring that important communications are received and acknowledged.

In this article, we will cover how to enable Gmail to read receipts and explore 5 practical use cases where read receipts can be invaluable.

What is Gmail Read Receipt

A Gmail read receipt is a feature that lets you know when someone has opened the email you sent them. It's like getting a notification that says, "Your message has been read." This can be very helpful in making sure important emails are noticed and addressed.

When you send an email with a read receipt request, the recipient may be asked to confirm that they've read the email. Once they do, you get a notification in your Gmail that tells you the email has been opened.

However, it's important to note that this feature is mainly available for users with Google Workspace accounts, which are usually used by companies and organizations. Regular Gmail users don't have this feature by default.

If you don’t have a business email account yet, check out our guide on how to create a business email account in Gmail through Google Workspace.

Where to Use Gmail Read Receipts? 5 Use Cases

First, let's clarify why read receipts are great for email tracking. Imagine you just sent an important email to your boss about a project update. You're waiting for a response but aren't sure if they've seen it yet. This is where Gmail read receipts come in handy.

With read receipts, you don't have to worry if your email got lost in a busy inbox. You know exactly when it has been opened, giving you peace of mind.

Here are five scenarios where using Gmail read receipts can be particularly useful:

1. Client Communications

When you send important updates or information to a client, a read receipt confirms they have received and opened your email. 

For example, if you're a project manager updating a client on the project's status, knowing they've seen your email ensures they are informed about the latest developments. To do this, simply request a read receipt before sending your email.

2. Legal and Compliance Notices

For legal or compliance-related emails, read receipts to make sure the recipient has seen your message. This is essential for record-keeping and compliance purposes. 

For example, a law firm sending a compliance notice to a business partner can use read receipts to confirm the email was received and opened, which can be important for legal verification. Just request a read receipt to keep track.

3. Internal Team Notifications

Send updates or announcements to your team and use read receipts to see who has read the message. This helps ensure everyone is informed. 

For example, if you are a team leader announcing a change in the meeting schedule, knowing who has read the email helps you follow up with those who haven't, ensuring no one misses the update. Remember to select "Request read receipt" when composing your email.

4. Sales Follow-Ups

When you send proposals or quotes to potential clients, read receipts to let you know when they've been read. This helps you time your follow-ups perfectly. 

For instance, a sales representative sending a quote to a prospective client can track when the email is opened, allowing them to follow up at the right time, increasing the chances of closing the deal. Add a read receipt request to your email for this purpose.

5. Event Invitations

Send event invitations and track who has opened them using read receipts. This way, you can follow up with those who haven't responded and finalize your guest list. 

For example, an event coordinator sending out invitations for a corporate event can use read receipts to see who has read the invitation, making it easier to follow up and ensure a smooth planning process. Request a read receipt when sending your invitation.

How to Enable Gmail Read Receipts? 8 Steps

Enabling read receipts in Gmail is a straightforward process, though it should be noted that this feature is primarily available to users with Google Workspace accounts. Here are the steps to enable Gmail to read receipts:

  1. Sign in to Your Google Workspace Account: Go to Gmail and sign in with your Google Workspace credentials. 
  2. Access the Google Admin Console: Navigate to the Google Admin Console. You need to have admin privileges to make changes to the settings.
  3. Go to Apps: In the Admin Console, click on “Apps” to manage settings for Google Workspace applications.
  4. Select Gmail: Under “Apps,” click on “Google Workspace,” then select “Gmail” to open its settings.
  5. Adjust User Settings: Click on “User settings” and then “Email read receipts.” 
  6. Configure Read Receipt Settings: Choose the option “Allow email read receipts to be sent to all addresses in my company as well as the following email addresses.” You can specify external addresses if needed.
  7. Save Changes: After configuring the settings, make sure to save the changes.
  8. Send an Email with Read Receipt Request: When composing an email, click on the three-dot menu. Select “Request read receipt” before sending the email.

Pros and Cons of Gmail Read Receipts

Gmail read receipts is a valuable feature for tracking emails, but it also raises some privacy concerns for both the sender and the recipient. Here are some of the potential issues and ways to address them:

Privacy Concerns with Gmail Read Receipts

Tracking without consent: Enabling read receipts without obtaining the recipient’s permission may be seen as violating their privacy rights.

Location tracking: Gmail read receipts may track the location where the email was opened, which could worry recipients who value their privacy.

Third-party access: Third-party email tracking tools can have access to sensitive information, which could be concerning.

Ways to Lower the Risks of Privacy Concerns

You should get consent from all recipients: Before enabling Gmail read receipts, ensure you get permission from all recipients to track their emails.

Disable tracking for sensitive emails: If you are sending sensitive information via email, disable read receipts to protect the recipient’s privacy.

Use privacy-focused email tracking tools: When using third-party tools for email tracking, choose ones like MailTracker that prioritize user privacy and have strict data collection and usage policies.

Email opened with MailTracker

Track if Your Emails Are Read with MailTracker

MailTracker helps you keep track of who opens your emails, ensuring your important messages are seen.

Set up alerts and notifications by clicking on the MailTracker icon in your Gmail account so you always know if your critical emails are read.

Add MailTracker to Chrome today for free.

Email tracking for Gmail

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