How do I set up my email, prior to sending, so that I am notified when the email has been opened by the recipient?
When composing a message, request a Read Receipt.
It is not fool-proof though, as if the recipient is like me, they have disabled that request for all messages they receive. In that case you will never know if they have read the message. Also some servers do not send read and delivery receipts, but give it a try anyway.
Thanks Very Much