Video: Track email with read receipts

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You can request delivery and read receipts when you send a message. Whatever your reason for wanting to do so, adding a request is easy to do.

If you'd prefer to see instructions in an article, see Be notified when others receive or open an email message.

Read and delivery receipts: How they work

Before you send a message, click the Options tab. Then, click Request a Delivery Receipt or Request a Read Receipt. When you send the message, it's routed to the recipient's email server, which delivers it to his inbox. And the server sends the delivery receipt you requested. Note that the server, not the recipient, is shown as the sender of the delivery receipt.

When the recipient double-clicks the email to open it, he can choose to send you a read receipt or choose not to.

Change what happens when you receive a read receipt request

When you receive a message with a read receipt request, that means the sender wants to get confirmation that you received the message. Read receipts can be automatically returned or not, or you can choose what to do for each read receipt request.

  1. Click the File tab.

  2. Click Options.

  3. Click Mail.

  4. Under Tracking, under For any message received that includes a read receipt request   , click one of the following options:

    • Always send a read receipt

    • Never send a read receipt

    • Ask each time whether to send a read receipt

In Outlook 2013, you can request delivery and read receipts when you send a message.

Why would you want to do that?

Well, maybe you're sending a very important message, and you want to make sure the recipients get it and open it.

Or maybe the message isn't that important, but you're not sure about the email address or if the recipients check their email.

Or maybe you're not expecting a reply, but you'd just like to know the message got through.

Whatever the case, adding a request is easy to do. Before you send a message, click the Options tab.

Then, click Request a Delivery Receipt or Request a Read Receipt. We'll select both and see what happens

When we send the message, it's routed to the recipient's email server, which delivers it to his inbox.

At that point, the server sends the delivery receipt we requested, which looks like this.

In this case, the server reports that the delivery was successful.

Note that the server, not the recipient, is shown as the sender of the delivery receipt.

You'll also get a receipt if the server could not deliver the message.

Now when the recipient double-clicks the email to open it, he gets this message.

He can choose to send you a read receipt or choose not to. He can also select this check box.

If he does, the message won't appear again and whichever choice he makes now will apply to all future read requests.

If he chooses yes, you receive a message that looks like this.

Note that a read receipt is sent from the recipient.

Also, keep in mind that a read receipt means only that the recipient opened the message; it doesn’t mean he actually read it.

Outlook keeps track of your delivery and read receipts.

To view that information, open your sent items, and double-click a message.

Then, click Tracking. And you can see when the receipts arrived in your inbox, and the recipient names.

This is especially useful if the email was sent to multiple recipients.

So, delivery and read receipts are a good way to know for sure if your email was delivered and opened.

But what does it mean when you don’t get a receipt? Up next, we'll look into that.

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