Track when users read an email

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Occasional Contributor

Is there a way to track when users read their emails in Exchange Online?  I opened a ticket with Office365 support and they said try some third party support that would attach to everyone's Outlook client.  That doesn't really work because we have people reading on mobile phones, through Outlook Online, and through Outlook clients, so it would need to be a back-end solution to track when users read an email.  In Office365-->Reports-->Usage I can see how many emails were read in a week so there must be a read log somewhere.

 

Does anyone have any recommendations?  Through Microsoft or even some sort of third party that queries Microsoft's servers to retrieve this information.

7 Replies
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There isn't any method/functionality that can allow you to do this in O365. What the support folks probably meant was to utilize the same methods that marketing companies (and spammers) use - add an image or some other element to the email, which when opened will signal that the message has been looked at. You will either need to do this via add-ins or server-side by redirecting the mail flow, not recommended unless you absolutely must do this.

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@adam deltinger That's what Microsoft originally responded with too.  We are looking for something on the server side to see when a user reads a message or not.  We can pull reports of how many emails were read in a week so there should be a log somewhere with that info.

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@Vasil Michev I agree I wouldn't want to do that either.

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Alright! Then no, then this is definitely not the solution! There is no guarantee with this either because nothing will force any recipient to send a read receipt!

What’s the real purpose of this report! Are you having troubles with people not reading mails? :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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@adam deltinger We have to do a lot of eDiscovery and that is always something that is requested.  We used to be able to show that until we migrated to Exchange Online and the get-MessageTrackingReport & ReadTrackingEnabled function was removed.

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If you are looking for read statistics on a specific email, as already said using something like a tracking pixel can help gather those stats but you may have better results using a third party email campaign.

If you do a compliance search in the Security and Compliance center you can download a csv with the results which includes an “isread” attribute. That is only going to tell you if someone marked the item as read though and isn’t something I’d recommend for use as a routine tracking method.