MSGTAG: Got the message?

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Product overview

The release of MSGTAG heralds a new era in email communication. In its short history, email has rapidly become one of our favorite ways to communicate. According to a new study from Jupiter Research, 93 percent of people who use the Internet go online to use email, a figure that is expected to reach 98 percent by 2007 (Source).

Until now, there has never been a satisfactory way of knowing if and when people have received your messages. MSGTAG provides an easy, reliable, and secure way of knowing.

As the name suggests, MSGTAG adds a small tag to an outgoing email message. When the recipient opens the email, the tag notifies the MSGTAG server, which in turn notifies the sender that the message has been received. MSGTAG notification tells a sender four things:

  • The message that has been received;
  • The time that it was received;
  • The time it was sent;
  • The time elapsed between sending and receiving.

The MSGTAG application is very easy to download and install. It runs in the background, requires very little input from the user, and integrates seamlessly with most operating systems and email programs, including:

  • Outlook
  • Outlook Express
  • Eudora Mail
  • Netscape Mail
  • Incredimail
  • Pegasus Mail

MSGTAG's read receipts are triggered if the recipient is using an HTML-rendering email client. They are not triggered by recipients who use text-only email clients, including some PDAs and mobile phones. However, the vast majority of PC users use HTML-rendering email clients and MSGTAG works for these recipients. If you send email to a lot of users with text-only clients, you can set up MSGTAG Status not to tag specific email addresses, domains and groups.

Since the launch of MSGTAG, it has enjoyed a very high tag strike rate. However, there are rare occasions when a tag will not be triggered. Some email security products designed to filter out spam and viruses also inadvertently block the tags produced by MSGTAG; and the forthcoming version of Outlook (2003) will enable users to block external images, thus allowing them to block MSGTAG's tags. However, itís likely that many users will not use this feature — and MSGTAG will continue to work for non-Outlook recipients.

MSGTAG works with the popular SMTP mail protocol. It does not work with MS Exchange, although an Exchange version is planned.

The key benefit of MSGTAG is that it tells you when an email has been read. MSGTAG never returns false positives, i.e. it will never tell you that a recipient has opened their email when they havenít; and the messages themselves still get through even if the read receipt is not triggered.

Three reasons why you should be using MSGTAG

  1. On occasions when you send an email and expect it to be read in a timely manner — but don't necessarily need a response — MSGTAG will confirm that it has been read, thus saving you the time, cost, and effort of a follow-up phone call.


  2. Email is a relatively new method of communication and people have different habits and levels of diligence when it comes to checking and replying to email. Businesspeople may sit with their email client open and active all day, while home users may check their email once or twice a day, or even less frequently. Because we are unable to anticipate when our recipient will receive our email, the medium can't be reliably used for time-critical communications without a large degree of risk. MSGTAG can remove some of this risk by alerting users when their messages are received. If a message does not return a receipt promptly, the user can follow it up through some other means.


  3. Many computer users get so many emails that it can be hard finding the time to reply to all of them. With MSGTAG, if you send someone a message, it's surprisingly comforting to know that they have read it, even if they have not had the time to reply yet.

MSGTAG's special features

  • email notification — MSGTAG sends an email to your inbox as soon as the recipient reads your tagged message. It is not necessary to log on to a website to check whether a message has been read yet. You can simply check your inbox.


  • Optional footer — you can decide whether or not to include a footer in your email which lets the recipient know that you have tagged the message.*


  • Editable footer — you can edit the text in the footer to suit you. For example, you could include a signature or a personalized message.*


  • Status of messages shown in dashboard — MSGTAG Status includes a dashboard which shows you the current default settings and the status of each of your tagged sent messages. You can customize the appearance of the dashboard by sorting the columns.**


  • Flashing icon notification — The MSGTAG icon flashes when your message is read, so that even if you have minimized the dashboard and disabled notification by email, you can still be notified.**


  • Sound — MSGTAG Status plays a sound when your email is read, so that even if you are not at your desk, you can still be notified. You can customize this sound to suit you.*


  • Easy download and installation — MSGTAG's relatively small size (approximately 1 megabyte) and the InstallShield wizard make it very easy to download and install the software.


  • Compatible with the most popular POP3/SMTP mail clients — MSGTAG works with MS Outlook 2002, Outlook Express, Incredimail, Netscape Mail, Mozilla, Eudora Mail, and Pegasus Mail.


  • Compatible with the most popular desktop operating systems — MSGTAG runs on Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.


  • Automatic set-up — It's very easy to set up your MSGTAG account and configure your mail settings. MSGTAG imports your mail account settings and configures your mail client automatically.*** Advanced users can also add mail accounts and change their settings manually.

Product positioning

MSGTAG is an extremely easy-to-use desktop application that adds functionality to existing email programs by telling the user when their emails have been read by their recipients. MSGTAG Status offers the fully customizable message footer, and enables the user to manage their contacts in groups according to tagging and notification options, and to view the status of their sent messages on the MSGTAG dashboard in addition to, or instead of receiving email notifications.

Target users

MSGTAG is aimed at all email users who use the popular POP3/SMTP email account standard and who have ever wondered whether their sent messages have been read. This includes business users and private users.

Product differentiation

How are MSGTAG read notifications different from read receipts provided and supported by email clients such as Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express?

MSGTAG's read notifications are considerably more reliable and user-friendly than traditional read receipts.

  • Traditional read receipts are not supported by a large proportion of email clients, particularly web-based clients such as Hotmail. MSGTAG read receipts are triggered automatically by any email client supporting HTML. This includes Hotmail and other web-based email clients, as well as the majority of desktop email clients.

  • Traditional read receipts prompt the recipient to return an email to the sender to indicate that they've read the message. The recipient is confronted with a dialogue box which pops up obtrusively each time the message is opened or closed. In some clients the default action in the dialogue box is "Ignore", with the additional option of automatically ignoring any and all such requests. In many instances, a recipient may be completely unaware that a read-receipt has been requested.

  • MSGTAG tags are completely automatic and unobtrusive. Recipients don't need to do anything other than read the message.

  • The tag can be customized or made invisible.

  • The MSGTAG Status dashboard allows the user to see at a glance the status of all their sent messages, i.e. whether they have been read or not.

Which features set MSGTAG apart from other email tracking applications?

There are a handful of other applications that provide automatic read receipts. However none provide MSGTAG's ease of use, personalization options, low price, security and privacy protection.

Ease-of-use:

  • MSGTAG does not require you to change the email address you type into the "To:" field of your email.
  • To tag messages with MSGTAG, you don't need to use a completely new email application. You can continue using your normal mail client in the usual way. You will only notice MSGTAG working when you receive a read notification in your inbox.

Personalization:

  • MSGTAG Status enables users to modify the text and appearance of their footer, or choose to have no footer at all.
  • MSGTAG Status is fully customizable, allowing you to configure your tagging settings for each recipient, and organize your contacts into groups.

Low price:

  • MSGTAG does not charge you a fee for each tagged message you send. There are no tag limits, even for the Free version. Users who upgrade to Status make a one-off payment for the software.

Security and reliability:

  • Messages tagged by MSGTAG do not pass through our server — they take the same route to their destination as they normally would. Because of this, MSGTAG in no way compromises the security of your messages. The only information passed to the MSGTAG server is the subject header and recipient's email address. This information is needed for users to distinguish which receipts come from which messages. The receipts include the subject and recipient information in addition to received and elapsed time information. The MSGTAG server retains the information only until the tag is triggered, and then it is deleted.
  • Other email tagging services which route messages through their servers in order to tag them establish a potential single point of failure for all their users' email. Should servers become overloaded or fail completely, email sent using these services may be delayed, or not get through at all. In the unlikely event of a MSGTAG server crash, your messages would still be delivered as usual, although they would not be tagged.

Privacy protection:

  • MSGTAG does not support tagging for group emails. This means that it cannot be used by senders of bulk unsolicited email, or "spammers", as a way of finding out if an email address is valid.
  • MSGTAG tells the sender only the time a message was received. It does not promote privacy invasion by providing the sender with the IP (internet provider) address or geographical location of their recipients, nor does it embed tags into attachments to track forwarding or printing behavior.

Corporate background

MSGTAG is a product of Fisher Young Group, a New Zealand company formed in 2002. The company contracted eCOSM, a Christchurch software development company, to create MSGTAG. eCOSM is the company that developed MailWasher Pro, the groundbreaking anti-spam application for Firetrust. With the debut of MSGTAG, Fisher Young Group is leading the way in the field of automatic email read-receipt software.

Fisher Young Group has its headquarters in Christchurch, New Zealand. Christchurch is home to some of the most exciting and resourceful Internet companies in the Asia-Pacific region, including Firetrust and Aoraki Corporation, producers of the Jade development environment.

Contact details
General Manager
Fisher Young Group Limited
PO Box 11 363
Wellington 6042
New Zealand

email: matthew.miller@fisheryoung.com
website: www.messagetag.com

Corporate positioning and business model
MSGTAG is a powerful tool for all email users, both personal and business. MSGTAG combines all the benefits of email communication with the certainty of a phone call, allowing users to email with increased confidence. MSGTAG provides tangible benefits in a corporate environment, allowing businesses to use email in time-sensitive situations. Multiple licenses are available.

MSGTAG is extremely simple to use, requiring minimal technical expertise from the user. This puts MSGTAG in an excellent position to become the dominant product in its category.

The three versions of MSGTAG are currently offered for download from the MSGTAG website's products page. The site also provides comprehensive user support, including frequently asked questions and tutorials.

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