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How to Check if an Email Has Been Read

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help

Judith from Massachusetts asks:
How can I check to see if an e-mail I’ve sent has been read?

Sometimes you send an email message to one of your friends, colleagues, or business partners and wonder whether he/she opened that email or not. There are chances that the person may have entirely skipped your email or maybe the message was lost in the spam folder.
Whatever the reason might be, if you want to make sure the other person opened your email message, here are the steps you have to follow:

– Go to and you will see the following interface:


– There are different fields which you have to fill, depending on the objective of your email message. Let’s understand them in full detail.
– The first one is “Your Email address” field. In this field, enter your own email address or the address from where you would be sending the email to a recipient.
– The next field is “Your Message Title”. Enter a suitable title of your email message; this will act as the subject line.
– The next step involves picking a tracking image, which will be embedded in your email message and will be used to track whether or not the recipient opened or read your email message.


There are different images to choose from. You can either use your own image, using the “Upload your own image” link or choose from one of the available samples.
– If you don’t want the recipient to know whether you have enabled tracking for the email message, it’s highly recommended to use the small white square image.
This image will completely merge with the background of your email message and would appear invisible.

– Next you have to choose the number of notifications you want to receive, once your friend has opened the email message. This number can be chosen anywhere between 3 to 100.


– Next, click the large button that says ”Click to Activate my Spypig”. The page will refresh and your chosen image will appear in that box, as shown above.
– You will notice that a small counter has started automatically just below the image. You have one minute to embed that tracking image in the email message before the feature gets activated.

– Quickly right click the image and choose “Copy image location”


– Then open your email account and insert the image using the “Insert image” button, this path varies for different email clients or services.
Example: In Gmail, you have to click the small image icon as shown below and then choose the radio button “Insert Image from a web address”


– You are almost done, now compose your email message and send it to whoever you want.

Spypig will keep a close eye on that image and once your friend opens the email message, you will get a notification email from spypig. Here is an example of the notification email :


Please note that the recipient must be able to receive HTML enabled messages in his email service or client. Otherwise, the Spypig image will never load and you will not know when your friend opened that email message.

~Amit Banerjee

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