Find out if someone reads your email
I think we all have faced a situation before where we wanted to know if an email was read by a recipient. Did he / she receive the mail, was the email read? You can't know for sure even if you have added read notifications to the email because most email programs ask the user about those or simply ignore them right away. There is no sure way to receive notification at all if the recipient is cautious, most are not on the other hand and the following tricks will work most of the time.
This only works with HTML emails and not with basic plain TXT emails. The recipient has to be able to receive and display HTML emails. HTML emails can contain elements besides text, graphics for example. Graphics can be hosted on websites where access to them can be tracked easily.
So, the trick is to add a graphic to the HTML email and check the stats to see if the image has been accessed on the server. If it was accessed the email was read. If it was not it either means that the email was not read or that the recipient read only the text and that HTML was disabled, or that the display of media was blocked by default.
If you do not have a website you can use a service like Spypig or Statcounter and add those elements to your emails. Spypig is free which is great but it adds that silly pig image to the email and recipients with just a little common sense will be able to check on that and find out what you have been doing. Would not recommend this.
Statcounter is better because an invisible 1x1pixel image is added to the email, still if someone knows what to do they can see why the image was added.
The last method needs a website and access to a statistics script. Google Analytics is fine for example. What you do is you add a harmless image to the email, make it part of your signature for instance. Make sure no one else accesses that image and that it is unique for every email that you send and want to track.
This makes it less obvious that you want to track if the email was read or not and should be the preferred way. Still, if you do not have a website you might want to try one of the other two possibilities.
Update: Another option would be to use an url shortener but that is only useful if the link is clicked on by the user. Many url shorteners provide you with statistics nowadays, Bitly does so for instance.
Note that many programs ask whether you want to load images from remote servers when you are reading emails.
Update 2: Spypig is no longer available. We have removed the link as a consequence.Advertisement
Unless embedded images are disabled that is.
Gmail will, by default disable any images within an email unless the reader specifically allows them. I’m pretty sure that this is a feature of most mail providers and email clients.
It’s how spammers are able to tell that you’re a real person behind your email address. So it’s a security feature to block as much “tracking” as possible.
If you get a confirmation, then you know it’s opened, but I’ve read that with these sorts of methods, you only see about a 10% accuracy (most being opened, and never actually reported).
AFAIK Mozilla Thunderbird also blocks automatic image loading.
IMO, this is a stupid idea and I don’t like it. I lose respect for people who use these services or try this trick.
btw: Outlook also blocks this unless I trust the user.
I would suggest to actually call the person with a good old fashioned phone call or skype even.
SpyPig actually allows you to use a blank white image that makes the tracking invisible or at lease less obvious to email recipients.
Users are not required to use one of the “silly” pig images as your review incorrectly mentions.
AOL allows the sender to see if the e-mail was read… why do I have to downoad a separate software to see if someone with YAHOO has received and read my mail?
You can also use http://www.getnotify.com. Its more than just an email tracking service.
i whant to read my e-mail
how can I tell if my email was read by someone other than the intended recipient?
I’m using whoreadme.com since 3 years ago.
Email tracking in 10 seconds
You need to know what happened to the email that you’ve sent for job application, relation development, notification, confirmation…
Find out if your email has been read, When, Where, How, How Often, Forwarded to how many, …
Deploy your free email tracker in just 10 seconds with Tailmail at http://www.mobileshortcut.com/TAILMAIL
Unlimited, no registration, no download/installation, no revealing of your email address or your receiver’s email address
I’ve blocked these services in my hosts file. I’d rather not have people know if or when I’ve read my email.