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Forced Read Receipt

Posted on 2013-06-05
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Last Modified: 2013-08-21
We are using Exchange 2007 and Outlook 2007 clients

One of our staff would like to have an accurate count of the number of people that are reading a weekly news letter.
Because the read receipt option in Outlook give the recipient the option to send the read receipt or not, this may not be an accurate indication of those that have actually read the email.

Does anyone know of a product that will provide a accurate, automatic notification of when the email changes from "New" to "Opened/Read" that is compatible with Outlook 2007?

Thank you,
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Question by:swfwmd2
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David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 500 total points
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This is a privacy protection feature that cannot be disabled best solution is to place the image (hopefully image download is permitted for this user) on a web server and use the web logs to determine whether or not it has been read using the webserver logs as a reference.
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by:David Lee
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Hi, swfwmd2.

There is no way to do this.  It's impossible to force a read receipt.  The alternative is to employ a web-beacon (i.e. a transparent image hosted on a web server embedded in the message).  When the message is read Outlook retrieves the image from the server which writes an entry into the web server's log.  You must then parse the log to find out which messages were read, when, and by whom.  The problem with this approach is that it won't work if the recipient is reading messages in plain-text format (plain-text doesn't support images, so the web-beacon is lost) or if they don't download the image.  

The only foolproof method is to use a third-party tracking service.  You would send your message to the third-party service who then sends a notification message to the actual recipient.  The recipient clicks a link in the notification message to view the actual message which is hosted on the third-party's web server.
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