Tired of hitting “send” on an email message and want to make sure that a recipient got your message? There’s an easy way to do that when you use a return receipt or read receipts.
Return and read receipts are forms of tracking. With a return receipt, you request that the recipient’s email server send you notification that the email has been delivered. When you select the message to provide a return receipt, you get an email back—typically within a few minutes—saying that the message was delivered, delayed, or did not send properly. A return receipt can also indicate if the recipient’s server was able to give you a receipt.
Read receipts, on the other hand, allow you ask for proof that the recipient actually opened—and perhaps read—your message. The key word is “ask” but more on that later.
When a return receipt arrives saying that a message was not able to be sent, it is typically called a “bounce.” A read receipt will indicate that the recipient opened your message. Again, though, it doesn’t mean that the person actually read the message.
Setting Up Return and Read Receipts
You can usually specify in your email program whether you want to set up return and read receipts, and if you want them to be a simple notification or include a full copy of the email message you originally attempted to send. Most people have their email set to send a return receipt when the message was not able to be sent; therefore you are not notified when a message is sent successfully—only when it could not be sent (or was delayed).
In the case of read receipts, a pop-up window comes up requesting the recipient to respond in most cases. The recipient may have to check off whether or not they read the message. With a return receipt, the recipient doesn’t have to say if they got the message or not—the server does it for them.
Read Receipts Can Be Ineffective or Annoying
While return receipts tend to do their job, read receipts do not guarantee that the recipient has read the message. Perhaps the recipient checks their email in haste and clicks that they read the message even when they didn’t. This can happen if the recipient simply wants to make the pop-up window go away.
Another obstacle: Not all email programs require the recipient to click whether or not the received a message. In other words, you could send a message indicating that you want a read receipt, but the recipient’s program makes it possible that they don’t have to send one back.
In addition to those factors, some people see read receipts as sneaky or obtrusive, as they can require the recipient to take action right away in order to open the message. Pressuring a recipient to confirm they read a message can be considered a violation of privacy, and may not position a business as professional when it comes to emailing clients and customers.
Finally, read receipts can also be sent by embedding an image in the email. The recipient can have images turned off in their email and therefore you will never know the recipient opened your email.
Want to set up an email system that gives you maximum control over tracking messages? Contact us today
(888) 737 – 3586
Contact Abuzz Technologies
Philadelphia Computer Repair Serving the Tri-State Pennsylvania/New Jersey/Delaware area.