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> Access And Email Tracking?, Access 2016    
 
   
rusty1969
post Apr 15 2018, 07:54 AM
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The company I work for would like me to add CRM/Sales/Leads features to a database I am developing. I know that Access can send email and I have that incorporated, however, I would like to know the "after" of that email? Is there a way to track - as other CRMs do - whether the recipient has opened the email (get date/time opened) or responded to the email? We use Outlook. I see online that you can connect Outlook to Access, how is the speed/functionality of that? This would be many (50?) users. Initially in developing this db, I started with connecting to the Contacts table from Outlook (there is a main shared contacts file on the network) and Access just chugged to a stop and locked up. I plan on importing the Contact table, managing it in Access, then overwriting the Outlook table each night. So my concern with trying to track email messages is performance/speed. But is there a way to track emails once that message is sent? Thanks,
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GroverParkGeorge
post Apr 15 2018, 10:07 AM
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I suspect you can use Outlook automation to get that information, assuming your using Outlook as the email client.

However, I'm also wondering whether you've considered a real CRM application? I know that Access is an amazing tool, but sometimes reinventing an existing wheel doesn't pay off.

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jleach
post Apr 15 2018, 03:50 PM
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I don't know that Outlook itself has any of that information (maybe it does, just never seen it myself).

Typically one would use a 3rd party SMTP/email marketing service like Mandrill or SendGrid or MailChimp, etc., which track all sorts of detail about this sort of stuff. You can use CDO within Access/VBA to send emails through a 3rd party SMTP service, and such services will typically have an API for gathering your "after" information, which can also be managed via VBA, with a little web service work via HttpRequest.

Food for thought... remember that Outlook is a client side application that in itself works with a server somewhere: usually better to go direct to the source rather than a client application as a middleman (especially Outlook - it's kind of a mess in there when it comes to automation).

Cheers,

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GroverParkGeorge
post Apr 15 2018, 05:18 PM
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What happens if you ask for a delivery and read receipt? Don't you get a notification back from that?

Attached File  DeliveryReadReceipt.jpg ( 38.51K )Number of downloads: 4

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WildBird
post Apr 16 2018, 09:17 PM
Post#5


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And in the same way you can ask for read receipts, you can also not send receipts, so the data is a little bit 'skewy'. If there was no read receipt, it doesn't necessarily mean the email wasn't read.

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jleach
post Apr 17 2018, 04:16 AM
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I think delivery receipts are supposed to handle cases where you need to be sure it made it: they're sent regardless of user preference, AFAIK.

Regarding OPs question: I was thinking more along the lines of standard marketing practices and email link click tracking, etc - where your 3rd party service replaces the links in your email with campaign links and other tricks for determining who opened the email, what client/device they were on, whether they clicked any links, etc.

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GroverParkGeorge
post Apr 17 2018, 09:56 AM
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Good point. If you use a mail service it can get quite complex. But that's probably not within the realm of an Access database, though, is it?

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jleach
post Apr 18 2018, 05:35 AM
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I wouldn't say it's outside the realm of Access... we did an email campaign system for a client from their larger Access application a few years back: it would build the html email via template and data inserts, send it out via CDO, and we used web services to retrieve the analytics back into Access for reporting on them (the 3rd party service we integrated with was Mandrill).

I had actually thought that's around the lines of what OP was asking about. You can do some basic stuff with the core protocol alone (send tracking, delivery receipt tracking, maybe response tracking if you want to do a bunch of lookahead comparisons), but the usual industry standard is to run an email campaign to see how your users are interacting with your emails.

All depends on what data points OP needs back out of it, I suppose.

Cheers,

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GroverParkGeorge
post Apr 18 2018, 08:28 AM
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So you're saying that you can create a web service to retrieve mailing campaign data from some organization like MailChimp, and run that from VBA?

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jleach
post Apr 18 2018, 10:08 AM
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No, the other way around. These email marketing/stats companies have their own APIs, we just need to use the HttpRequestClass (or similar) to connect to it from VBA and read the data into the db for reporting (or whatever else).

The general workflow:

1) Get an html email template from MailChimp, which includes tracking codes that MailChimp will monitor
2) Generate the custom email by inserting data into the template (like mailmerge) from VBA
3) Use CDO to send the email from VBA
4) User interacts with email, MailChimp's tracking codes do their thing and report to MailChimp
5) We read from MailChimps API via VB to get behavior stats


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GroverParkGeorge
post Apr 18 2018, 10:27 AM
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Ah, thanks. But it is an API, not something native to Access, and requires programming for that environment, which is what I really was thinking.

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DanielPineault
post Apr 18 2018, 10:31 AM
Post#12


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QUOTE
I think delivery receipts are supposed to handle cases where you need to be sure it made it: they're sent regardless of user preference, AFAIK.


It can be disabled.




Email stats are simply very unreliable. I myself disable them and e-mail coming from mass mail systems go straight into my Junk Mail so these 'features' are disabled and I can always review them knowing no one is over my shoulder trying to collect data on me.



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Daniel Pineault (2010-2017 Microsoft MVP)
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