Add tracking to your e-mail message

What do you want to do?

Flag a message

Add voting buttons

Get a delivery or read receipt

Flag a message

Flagged e-mail messages help you to better manage your mail. Flagged messages create to-do items either for you alone or for you and the recipients of the e-mail message. For example, you can flag an e-mail message that requests information that you need by a certain date. When the recipient receives the message, a flag appears with it, and a message appears in the InfoBar in the Reading Pane and at the top of the message when it is opened in Outlook.

A message that is flagged for yourself can help you to track who has replied to the message. In the previous scenario, you sent a flagged e-mail message requesting information by a certain date. By also flagging the message for yourself, you are reminded to check for replies. Outlook can even help you to automatically find replies to the original flagged message.

  1. On the Message tab, in the Options group, click Follow Up, and then select the follow-up due date, or click Custom.

  2. If you want a reminder about this flagged message, on the Message tab, in the Options group, click Follow Up, and then click Add Reminder. If you want, you can change the reminder date and time.

  3. If you want, you can include a flag to the recipients so that they will be alerted of a deadline. On the Message tab, in the Options group, click Follow Up, and then click Flag for Recipients. To include a reminder to the recipient about this flagged message, select the Reminder check box, and then, if necessary, change the date and time.

Add voting buttons

This feature requires you to use a Microsoft Exchange Server 2000, Exchange Server 2003, or Exchange Server 2007 account. Most home and personal accounts do not use Microsoft Exchange. For more information about Microsoft Exchange accounts and how to determine which version of Exchange your account connects to, see the links in the See Also section.

It is easy to create a poll in Microsoft Outlook by including voting buttons in an e-mail message.

  1. On the Message Options tab, in the Format group, click Use Voting Buttons.

  2. Click one of the following:

    • Yes;No      When all you need is either a yes or a no, this is a good way to take a quick poll.

    • Yes;No;Maybe      When you don't want to limit the choices to yes and no, this voting option offers an alternative response.

    • Custom      Click this command to create your own custom voting button names. For example, you can ask your colleagues to choose among three days of the week for a recurring weekly staff meeting.

  3. When the Message Options dialog box appears, under Voting and Tracking options, select the Use voting buttons check box.

  4. Select and delete the default button names, and then type the text that you want. Separate the button names with semicolons.

    Message Options

Get a delivery or read receipt

A delivery receipt tells you that your e-mail message was delivered to the recipient's mailbox, but not whether the recipient has seen it or read it. A read receipt tells you that your message has been opened. In both cases, you receive a message notification when your message is delivered or read. The contents of the message notifications are then automatically recorded in the original message in your Sent Items folder.

However, do not rely solely on these receipts. The message recipient might determine whether a read request has been requested and decline to send one. If the message is read-only in the Reading Pane, a read receipt may not be sent. In addition, the recipient's e-mail program might not support read receipts.

  1. In the message, click Options.

  2. Under Voting and tracking options, select the Request a delivery receipt for this message or the Request a read receipt for this message check box.

To learn how to turn on these options for all e-mail messages that you send, see Be notified when messages are delivered or read.

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