This morning I had an e-mail from a site visitor asking about how and when one should use Return Receipts (RR) due one of his friends making this request with every single e-mail that they sent.
Return receipts are a way of knowing that an e-mail has been opened on the recipient’s computer. It does not however mean the opened e-mail has been actually read. Do you have someone in your life who has this feature turned on for every single e-mail? I’ve found those are the folks that seem to want to know when you receive their e-mail even if the content is not critical or important – sort of a control thing.
Or, it could be your friend does not even know they have this option selected. You could very nicely e-mail them with a “Did you know…..” letting them know this is not a feature to be used for every single casual e-mail can help to inform them.
The recipient should have the privacy to determine when/if they want to read an e-mail and reply to it. RRs should be reserved for those instances where it is critical to knowing the e-mail was received/opened — and the other side is open to acknowledging that. Such instances would include legal and important business issues.
It is important to know that some e-mail programs allow the recipient to decline the sending of an RR. I have my e-mail program set to not sent any RRs. None of anyone’s bee’s wax when I opened any particular e-mail. That said, when it is an important matter and I can understand why there is an RR requested I go ahead and give my approval.
I use RR for legal issues and important company matters where I want to have some sort of proof or trail to document that an e-mail was sent and subsequently opened. I’ve never found a reason to use RRs with personal e-mails to friends or family. To send an RR request for every day-to-day e-mail, especially personal e-mail, is simply not necessary (and to be honest a PIA).
What do you think of Return Receipts — sending and accepting?