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Should You Confirm Receipt of Emails-Internally?
The “return receipt” (or receipt verification) is an email feature that tells you if the recipient received your message. Though this is a valuable email tool, it can be tricky.
The rules for corresponding inside a company are somewhat different from those used for sending messages outside a company. (If you’d like to know how the rules for external communication are different, go to www.KeepCustomers.com.)
The return receipt function is more commonly used within corporations that have internal network servers. In the internal setting, the return receipt feature works more effectively. If you’re unsure if your email has this feature, ask your network administrator.
The most common use for the return receipt, when sending correspondence within a company, is to protect the person sending the message. In other words, people use this feature to cover their proverbial derrieres.
By using this function, the sender has proof that he/she sent the information. The recipient then becomes the offending party because he/she isn’t responding by providing information, or answering inquiries, or taking the requested action.
Use extreme caution when deciding if you should use this feature. It’s perceived by many as annoying. If you’re not careful, you can quickly develop a reputation as someone who is difficult to work with. If you have your settings set to automatically require this with every message you send, change them now!
If you select the receipt verification option, you should ask yourself every time, “Do I absolutely need to verify receipt of this message?”
Is it really vital to ensure receipt? The point is – have a valid reason for using the receipt verification option, if you use it at all.
When you gain a broader knowledge of the functions in your email system, you are well on your way to sending effective emails – without offending anyone.
About the Author: Kelly J. Watkins, MBA. Test your email skills by taking a fun quiz at http://www.KeepCustomers.com or order “Email Etiquette Made Easy” (a comprehensive guide filled with exercises & examples) or view tips on communication & customer service! (812) 246-2424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.