Enabling Domino® to process return receipts for SMTP messages

When an Notes® mail user sends a message to another Notes® user and selects the Return Receipt delivery option, the mail client adds the Notes® ReturnReceipt item to the message. The ReturnReceipt item on a Notes® mail message prompts the recipient's Notes® client to generate a notification (the receipt) to the sender when the recipient opens the message.

About this task

By default, Notes® return receipts are not compatible with SMTP messages, which use MIME headers to identify return receipt requests. For return receipts to work seamlessly when a Notes® message is converted to MIME and vice versa, you must set up Domino® to translate between the two formats.

Enabling return receipts lets Domino® honor return-receipt requests on inbound SMTP mail and add return-receipt requests to outbound SMTP mail. On inbound messages, Domino® converts MIME return-receipt headers to Notes® "ReadReceipt" requests before delivering the message. On outbound Internet mail, Domino® maps a Notes® return receipt request to the MIME header specified in the Return Receipt Mapping field.

There are two MIME headers that can be used to request a read receipt. You can specify which header Domino® uses for outbound mail when converting a Notes® return-receipt request into a MIME return-receipt request. The Return-Receipt-To header is the older method; the Disposition-Notification-To header is the newer, preferred method. Choose the method supported by the majority of the systems to which your organization sends mail. For return receipts to work, the receiving server and client must both support the header used. Newer mail clients may not support the older header.

When you disable return receipts, Domino® ignores the Return-Receipt-To or Disposition-Notification-To headers on inbound SMTP mail and does not return the return receipt to the sender. It also does not convert Notes® client requests for return receipts into a corresponding MIME header field.

Note: Disabling return-receipt support affects SMTP messages only. Internal messages sent over Notes® routing continue to process return receipts.

Enabling return receipts in your system does not guarantee that your users will receive return receipts every time they are requested. The Internet mail specifications do not require servers or clients to honor return-receipt requests. If the recipient's server does not honor the request, it is ignored. Generally, large organizations with LAN-based mail systems that provide their own internal return-receipt features implement return-receipts over SMTP, while commercial Internet mail systems, such as Web-based mail systems tend not to.

Requesting Return Receipts from an IMAP or POP client

About this task

Disabling return receipts on a server does not affect non-Notes clients. If users request return receipts for messages sent from an IMAP or POP client, such as Microsoft Outlook, the client generates the proper MIME header (that is, either a Return-Receipt-To or Disposition-Notification-To field in the header). Domino® does not strip the messages of the return receipt request. Domino® leaves existing MIME headers intact on outbound messages and sends a MIME message that asks the receiving server to send a receipt when it delivers the message.

To enable return receipts


  1. Make sure you already have a Configuration Settings document for the server(s) to be configured.
  2. From the Domino® Administrator, click the Configuration tab and expand the Messaging section.
  3. Click Configurations.
  4. Select the Configuration Settings document for the mail server or servers you want to administer, and click Edit Configuration.
  5. Click the MIME > Conversion Options > General tab.
  6. Complete these fields, and then click Save & Close:
    Table 1. Return receipt fields for MIME messages
    Field Description
    Return Receipts Choose one:
    • Enabled to allow the sender of a message to receive a return receipt.
    • Disabled to prevent the sender of a message from receiving a return receipt.
    Return Receipt Mapping Choose one:
    • Use Disposition-Notification-To - (default) When converting an outbound Notes® message that includes a return receipt request into MIME format, the server converts the Notes® ReturnReceipt item into the MIME header item Disposition-Notification-To.
    • Use Return-Receipt-To - When converting an outbound Notes® message that includes a return receipt request into MIME format, the server converts the Notes® ReturnReceipt item into the MIME header item Return-Receipt-To.
    Note: This field appears only if you enable Return Receipts.
  7. The change takes effect after the next Router configuration update. To put the new setting into effect immediately, reload the routing configuration.