EDI Concepts Inc

Email Delivery Receipts

InStar now has the ability to store email delivery receipts (Read Receipts or Delivery Failure) and show the status on the Sent Letter window in InStar. Further, InStar will file the Receipt with the Sent Email Item so when the Outlook email item is opened (assuming you are storing email with the InStar letters, more info)

InStar Email Letter showing Sent Email Date Sent and Email Letter showing Read and by whom


  • The InStar User must request a read receipt. This setting can be automatic on all sent email if set in User Setup or can be set for each email at the time of sending. We recommend setting Read Receipt universally for all users in user setup. rather than one letter at a time when sending.
  • The email receiver must send a read receipt. Most email systems allow for 3 options when sending Read Receipts, never, prompt to send, always send. Some people prefer to never send a read receipt. We think this is bad practice because you can never tell if your email has reached its destination. In this circumstance the only thing an InStar user can do is re-send the email until they receive a response.
  • Delivery receipts from the email server (not to be confused with Read or Failure Receipts) are no longer used. A delivery receipt in years past was sent from the email server whenever requested by the sender. This was abused by spammers and so most email servers will no longer respond to a request for a delivery receipt.
  • The advantage of attaching Receipts right to the sent email is everything is localized on that particular piece of the email so when that email is viewed you know exactly the status.

How to Attach Receipts to Sent Email in InStar

  • The InStar Enhanced Email Inbox will detect if an email is a Receipt. You generally have 2 types, Read Receipt and Delivery Failure. (for extra fun some servers misspell “Deliverly”) Some servers produce their own Receipts so they may vary a bit in form.
  • InStar will detect a Receipt and add an option on top of the right-click menu on the email item to “Attach to Sent Email” This option is only available on the a Receipt.
  • InStar may ask whether to treat a received email as a Receipt when building the list of email items. The answer to this is normally “Yes”.
  • Detection as a Receipt does not stop the user from filing the email as any other email item however filing as any other email item does not affect the sent email. The user must use the option “Attach to Sent Email” to attach the Receipt to the sent email.
  • Read Receipts are easier to handle than Failure because Read Receipts generally come from the email address to which you sent the email. Failure Receipts generally come from the email server so InStar cannot find the client from that email address. See below for some hints on how to handle Failure Receipts.

Process of Attaching Receipts

  • Select a Receipt from the email list and right-click on that item to produce the menu.
  • On a Receipt the user will have the option to “Attach to Sent Email”. If that option is lacking no matter what the email may say, it is not a Receipt which uses a very specific form for the email item.
  • Select “Attach to Sent Email”
  • InStar will try to find the Client based on the From Address on the Receipt. If not found user will need to lookup the Client.
  • Once the InStar Client is selected InStar will build a list of sent email on the Client based on the From Address on the Receipt and the Subject of the email. (Subjects are VERY IMPORTANT).
  • When there are multiple possible emails compare the subject in the list to the subject in the body of the Read Receipt. InStar is good about adding Re: or Fwd: each time an email is sent so this is useful along with the Date Sent. Note in the image how the Receipt shows re: RE: Re: in the subject so it is easy to match. This can happen when numerous email on the same subject are exchanged. The user can hover over a field in the list to see more than the displayed information.
  • Double click or Highlight and Click Attach Report and the email receipt is attached to the sent email, moved to the Read Items Folder in Outlook and also stored with the original InStar Letter/Email.
  • When viewing the Sent Email it will show in InStar when Read and by Whom. Image above.
  • When Opening the Outlook Email filed in InStar, InStar will also open all the Receipts. In the image below we can see the Sent Email and 5 Email Receipts from 5 addresses on the sent email.
  • By following this process Receipts are attached to the sent email and it is not necessary to hunt through the letter list to find if you have a Receipt for a specific piece of email.

Hints on Failures Receipts

  • On Failure Receipts the From Address will be something unknown like Mailer-Daemon, making it difficult to determine which email out of the many you sent in the last week failed.
  • There are normally 2 files attached to the Failure Receipt, details.txt and Undelivered Message Headers.txt (names may vary with different email servers) BOTH FILES SHOULD BE .TXT FILES. DON’T OPEN IF THEY ARE NOT .TXT FILES.
  • details.txt is very brief and will give you the email address to whom you were sending the email item that failed but not the subject. That may allow you file the Failure Receipt.
  • If you must know more, the other file, Undelivered Message Headers.txt, has much more detail and will show you the Subject so you can then attach the Failure to the correct sent item.
  • Because the Subject is not in the body of the Failure Receipt, InStar will most likely respond that it cannot find the sent email even when searching on the correct client BUT will prompt the user to “Expand the Search” and return all the email items so you can select the item that failed to be delivered.
  • Sample details.txt
  • Sample part of Undelivered Message Headers.txt.

EDI Concepts Provides Support and Programming Services for InStar and NOVA SalesPro