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Message Actions

Tracking of message receipt

Tracking of message receipt

Sending an email is somewhat a matter of faith; when you send an email, you are trusting the the recipient receives it. In most cases, the faith is well placed. Email delivery is pretty reliable. ... but it is not always guaranteed that sending an email results in the recipient receiving it.

Telephone Message Pad contains an optional message tracking feature. Under the Admin >> Message_Actions page, enter email addresses and the status you would like the server history to reflect. Initially, messages are in "open" status. In a minimal implementation, you might have the status advance to "closed" on receipt. By scanning the recent messages (Tickets >> Show list), you know all the closed messages have been received.

A received email message showing the "auto" and "edit" buttons. Both are optional. (right click and show in new window for full size)


Important preparatory step

In the screen shot above, we are sending emails opened by directly from "Open" to "Closed" status upon reading. This is the simplest possible handling but does not take full advantage of the tracking inherent in Telephone Message Pad. Instead, you may find it valuable to define an intermediate category such as "read", "delivered", etc. first before using the Message Actions page. Any category you define is now available in Message Actions. See the second half of Leveraging the Ticket System for more about defining categories.


It is important to know the limits of this tracking so as not to misjudge what is happening. The tracking works by having the recipient's email program read an image from the server when formatting the message. The image does not mean the recipient has necessarily read the message but rather that the email program has prepared it for reading (for example, email preview function).

If the email goes to spam or somehow fails to get delivered, the image will not get read and you can see from the message still being open that there is a potential problem.

It is possible to set up an email program so that tracking if an email has been received is disabled. This is rare but possible.

It is common practice to use a one pixel transparent image so that the recipient does not know they are being tracked. While common, this just does not seem right and so the image in Telephone Message Pad is conspicuous and labeled "auto". When clicked, this explanation page is opened.

Editing of ticket

The destination email can contain a button to edit the message on the server. Editing access also serves as a viewer. A typical use case for editing is in an professional office where the professional does not have a Telephone Message Pad account but the receptionist does. The professional can add comments or change the status of the message without having an account.

Recipient email vs. Ticket on Server

Note that the controls just discussed affect only the action buttons in the outgoing email. The message shown in the listing on the server obeys different logic. There is never any tracking shown in the server message because we do not want to change status merely be viewing a message. The editing button is not shown because being able to see the edit button already implies you can see the ticket.