"Other recipient operations such as checking a checkbox or inserting text can't be tracked reliably since this would also require a script embedded in the message.
"An additional problem with the above-mentioned solutions is that the statistics gathered by the 'image open' mechanism and the 'intermediate link server' mechanism are usually maintained and managed on a different platform from that of the web mail analytics platform. For example, the 'image open' is collected by a server in the mass e-mail sender service while the web mail statistics are collected by a tool such as Google Analytics.
"This division of data makes it difficult to assess the effectiveness of messaging campaigns.
"Therefore, it would be highly desirable to have a way by which message-related statistics can be reliably collected using the same tools employed in gathering and compiling website statistics. This goal is met by the present invention."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Embodiments of the present invention provide methods and configurations for monitoring, collecting, and reporting data relating to the actions of a recipient with respect to an e-mail message.
"Recipient actions regarding an e-mail message include, but are not limited to: opening the e-mail message; moving away from the e-mail message, so that the recipient no longer sees the e-mail message, which can be done by actions including, but not limited to: deleting the e-mail message; viewing a different e-mail message; viewing other content than that of the e-mail message; navigating away from the e-mail message; and closing the e-mail reader tab/window; clicking an element within the e-mail message, including, but not limited to: a hypertext link; a checkbox; and a button (e.g., a 'radio' button); entering text within an element in the e-mail message; selecting an element within the e-mail message; Forwarding or replying to the e-mail message; Filing (or placing) the e-mail message in a message folder; navigating from the e-mail message to a website related to the e-mail message sender; opening a new e-mail reader window or tab to a website related to the e-mail message sender; and performing a social activity action related to the e-mail message or to the e-mail message sender, including, but not limited to: performing a
"There are a variety of ways an e-mail recipient can access his or her e-mail and perform e-mail related actions, including those listed above. A recipient can use an Internet-based e-mail service (e.g.,
"The term 'e-mail reader' herein denotes any application capable of displaying received e-mail to a recipient and allowing the recipient to perform actions related to the e-mail as described above. The term 'e-mail reader' includes, but is not limited to: Internet browsers, such as 'Microsoft Internet Explorer', 'Mozilla Firefox', 'Apple Safari', and the like; and e-mail client applications, such as 'Microsoft Outlook'.
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