Return Receipt or RR, is an email program functionality that let’s the Sender of an email know that an email has been received and/or opened by the other side.
Notice I didn’t say read…
There is no way to prove that the recipient read a single word. Opened does not mean read.
When would you use an RR?
I don’t even remember the last time I issued a return receipt! RRs should be used on those rare occasions where you need to try to have some form of acknowledgment that the other side has received the email.
Examples are critical communications like legal or business issues that you have asked the other side to confirm your RR so you know they received that very important information.
The fact remains that Return Receipt Requests are
counterproductive because they can be easily declined.
I’ve declined pretty much every RR request sent my way. I prefer to not expose when I’ve opened an email. That is my choice to make and I really do not like reporting back to anyone what it is I’ve done or not done and when. None of anyone’s beeswax!
Unexpected RRs are viewed as a privacy issue — one that infringes on recipients privacy! That’s why this feature has to be used properly and sparingly — if at all — to serve any real purpose.
Do you send an RR request with every single email you send? Stop that!
Do you know someone who sends an RR request with every email they send? Tell them to stop it!
In business communications, engaging RRs on every communication you send can be viewed as intrusive and downright annoying.
What if you are like me and don’t want to deal with RRs going out when you open an email? In the email programs I’ve used you will get asked about acknowledging a return receipt request. This provides the opportunity to decline that request.
How to turn off RR in Outlook
I do get requests on how to turn off RRs in Outlook so you don’t have to deal with these ongoing annoying requests. Here you go:
- Click on Tools > Options
- Select the Preferences tab from the multi-tabbed dialog box.
- Click on E-Mail Options.
- When the E-Mail Options dialog box appears, click on the Tracking Options button.
- Click on the radio button, “Never send a response”.
- Click on OK.
Done! Now your software won’t be reporting on your actions.
When the situation arises that has you thinking about Return Receipts, it is recommend that you not send a RR request unless the other side is expecting you to (because you are both on the same page) and is waiting and willing to acknowledge the receipt of your email.