Experiencing “Slow Image Load Times”?

When viewing any email message, Outlook will usually perform multi-thread content loading (many images loading at once), but sometimes Outlook will perform single-thread content loading (one image loading at a time). How will this affect your PoliteMail tracked messages?

For every PoliteMail tracked messaged, PoliteMail will supply a unique “time to read” based on the number of words Outlook counts and how many images and links are placed within a message. PoliteMail places a read-time image in the body of your PoliteMail tracked message that will take 150% of that supplied “time to read” to load completely. If for some reason, Outlook performs single-thread content loading, since Outlook randomizes the order in which images load, some images placed in the body of the message may not load until that read-time image has been completely loaded. This creates the effect of some images being temporarily broken (grey box in Outlook) or not loading at all.

This is an Outlook bug/feature that will switch Outlook behavior to perform single-thread content loading and it causes email recipients to experience “slow image load times” when users send PoliteMail tracked messages. In PoliteMail v4.6, we offer a solution for this Outlook bug.

Typically, updates to our software require no additional action. However, for users experiencing this “slow image load time” an additional set up requirement will mitigate if not eliminate this behavior in PoliteMail v4.6.

Corporate Cloud Hosted Clients:

To enable this feature, you’ll need to work with PoliteMail to update to PoliteMail v4.6. Once you have updated to PoliteMail v4.6 we can enable this setting for you on the server side.

You’ll need to:

1). Add the PoliteMail Server image host name (given to you from your account manager) to your organization’s Trusted Sites via GPO push

On-Premise Clients:

To enable this feature, PoliteMail will require a secondary “image” host name for the PoliteMail server to be added to your organization’s Trusted Sites via GPO push. Typically, this image host name will be similar to your current PoliteMail host name.

You’ll need to:

1). Create a secondary DNS entry for the PoliteMail Server image host name

2). If not using a wildcard DNS, add another SSL certificate for the PoliteMail Server image host name to the certificate store on the PoliteMail application server

3). Add the PoliteMail Server image host name to Trusted Sites via GPO Push  

Example:

PoliteMail Server Host Name: company.pmail5.com

PoliteMail Server Image Host Name: company-image.pmail5.com

By adding this secondary image host name to Trusted Sites, the read-time image will resolve to the image host name, so regardless of Outlook’s single or multi-thread content loading the read-time image, users will no longer experience “slow image load times”.

On-prem? Run the PoliteMail prereq script to prepare for installation

*Please note the prereq script needs a minimum of 1 GB of RAM to run.*

You should have received a download link for the prereq script from your account manager. If not, email serversupport@politemail.com for the link.

Copy and paste the prereq script to the server on which you will be installing the software.

Server

 

 

 

 

 

Extract the file onto a temporary folder on your C drive.

Temp Folder

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copy the file path.

Copy FilePath

 

 

Run Powershell as the Administrator.

admin

 

 

Change directory to the file path.

sve directy

 

 

Execute the script.

execute script

 

 

Enter the technical contact name.

enter technical contact

 

 

Enter the technical contact email address.

email

 

 

Enter the FQDN of the computer.

fqdn

 

 

An output will appear if the certificate matches the FQDN.

output

 

 

Once the script is run, it will install the necessary features and roles required to run the PoliteMail Server software.

When the script has completed, you will see a list of the roles and features installed, if any of them state “false”, fix the errors and re-run the script.

true or false

 

 

 

 

Next you will be asked to connect your SQL instance. Enter in the necessary information

Ready to Install

 

 

 

Once all steps are completed, you will be asked to email the results of the output file located in the temporary folder to your account manager who will create your user license.

Watch the video now:

Creating the Admin PoliteMail for an Outlook User

Adding the PoliteMail Admin User

Once PoliteMail Server is installed and configured, you will need to create the initial Admin user. When created, this Admin user will be able to connect to the PoliteMail Server from the PoliteMail for Outlook client software, and test the application.

PMMgmntConsoleIcon

 

First, login or RDP into the PoliteMail Server, and launch the PoliteMail Management Console.

 

 

Select User Management and then click Add New 

PoliteMail_Server_Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.  In the dialog box that opens, input the users Name and Email address information

2.  Important!  Copy the alphanumeric password key to the clipboard

3.  Select Admin from the User-Type drop-down list and click OK

To learn more about user types: http://kb.politemail.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1167&action=edit

Server_Manager_Edit_User

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Open a text document, and paste in the password key, if the user is not yourself, or if you are creating multiple users at this time, you will also want to copy and paste the email address associated with this key.

5.  Send the User their password key. The PoliteMail for Outlook software is available from the PoliteMail server via a link using this format:

https://your-politemail-server-host-name.com/client.zip

Now install the PoliteMail for Outlook client software, and connect to the PoliteMail Server using the user credentials (email address and password key) you just created.

Learn how to connect the PoliteMail for Outlook client to the PoliteMail Server:  http://kb.politemail.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1207&action=edit

Note:  Once you have one Admin user connected via the PoliteMail for Outlook client software, all user administration can be done via the Settings controls in Outlook, you do not have manager users on the Server.

Reassigning a License to a Another User

PoliteMail licenses can be reassigned at any time. Simply locate the name of the User to be changed in the PoliteMail Server Manager and click the Edit button. Change the user’s name and email address to reflect the new information, and select a User Type from the drop-down list. Copy the alphanumeric password to the clipboard and paste it in an email that will be sent to the user. The user will then enter the new password into their PoliteMail Server Connection.

Deleting a User

Open the PoliteMail Server Manager, locate the user’s name and click the Delete button.

Note: when deleting a user, the tracking data associated with the user (e.g. all their tracked sent emails and tracking metrics) will be lost. To keep the tracking data associated with the deleted user, reassign the current license to another email address (user). This way the data will be preserved and associated to the new user.

Resetting a Password Key

Occasionally a user will lose their password key, upgrade Outlook, or get a new computer, and will no longer have the original key available. To connect from the PoliteMail for Outlook client software to the PoliteMail Server, the PoliteMail key for that user should be reset to generate a new key.  Simply click Edit on the User in question, and click the Reset button to generate a new key.

Copy the password to the clipboard and paste it into an email that will be sent to the user. The user will then enter the new password into their PoliteMail Server Connection.  If the user also requires the PoliteMail software, you may send a link to it using this format:
https://your-politemail-server-host-name.com/client.zip

Changing a User Type

If a user’s role has changed, you User Type can be changed by utilizing the PoliteMail Server Manager.  Simply access the PoliteMail Server Manager from the desktop, locate the user name from the list and select the new User Type from the drop-down menu. Close the PoliteMail Server Manager to save the changes.

How do I determine my Exchange Server version?

How do I determine which version of Exchange Server we are running?

Some features of PoliteMail and PoliteMail Server are dependent upon which version of Exchange Server you are running. You can look-up your Exchange Server version right from your Outlook desktop.

With Outlook running, press and hold down the CTRL key, while right-clicking the Outlook status icon that’s located in the Windows notification area to the far lower right of the Windows task bar (the opposite side from the Windows Start menu).

In Windows Vista:

In Windows 7:

Now select Connection Status and scroll to the far right. You will see a Version column at the top, and the Exchange version for your account will be listed there.

The version number is broken up into 4 sections, PrimaryVersion.ServicePack.RollupBuild.Revision

Microsoft Exchange Server Version Version
Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 6.0.4417
Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 SP1 6.0.4712
Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 SP2 6.0.5762
Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 SP3 6.0.6249
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 6.5.6944
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SP1 6.5.7226
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SP2 6.5.7638
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SP2
March 2008 update
6.5.7653.33
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SP2
August 2008 update
6.5.7654.4
Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 8.0.685.24 or
8.0.685.25
Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP1 8.1.240.006
Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP2 8.2.176.002
Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP3 8.3.83.006
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 14.0.639.21
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP1 14.1.218.15
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP2 14.2.247.5
Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 15.0.516.032

How to add the PoliteMail Server to your IE Trusted Zones

How to add the PoliteMail Server to your IE Trusted Zones file

To more effectively track email, the PoliteMail Server should be included within your network’s trusted zones.

This is an Internet Explorer security setting which blocks content from untrusted sites, and the user will be asked to “download content from an unknown website”. To avoid this, and enable automatic content download and open tracking for internal email, place the PoliteMail Server name into the trusted zones file.

Many companies will already have a wildcard subdomain entry to cover any internal sites (e.g. https://*.yourdomain.com ). If you create a subdomain for the PoliteMail Server on a primary domain already included within your Trusted Zones files, then the PoliteMail Server will be implicitly trusted and no other changes need be made.

Otherwise, if the PoliteMail Server subdomain is not contained within an already trusted wildcard domain, then the domain name may be manually added to the trusted zones file on an individual machine (to test the result). However, is it best to implement this company wide using Group Policy [GPO].

To see the list of existing trusted zones within your network

Start IE, then put the PoliteMail Server domain name into the IE address field. You should see a “Loading…” message. Now use IE > Tools > Internet Options > Security tab, and click Trusted Sites, then the Sites button below.

To Manually Add a Site to the Trusted Zones

Follow the instructions above to see the list of trusted zones, then type the full URL domain name for the PoliteMail Server (including http:// or https:// ) into the Add this website to the zone field, and click the Add button.


For more information on Group Policy see: Use Group Policy to Add Trusted Sites to IE9

Use Group Policy to Set Trusted Sites:

  1. In Group Policy Management, load the Trusted Sites Zone template
  2. Under User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer > Internet Control Panel > Security Page, click Site to Zone Assignment List
  3. Click Enabled.
  4. Click Show.
  5. Click Add.
  6. In the Enter the name of the item to be added field, put in the domain name of your PoliteMail Tracking server
    (e.g. https://company.pmail.com )
  7. In the Enter the value of the item to be added, enter the number 2 (2 = Trusted Sites)
  8. Click OK

Allow time for GPO to refresh, This change will take effect upon the users next workstation restart. You may also run a group update on the workstations for the policy to take effect.

How to verify your PoliteMail Server is properly configured and available over the network

How to verify your PoliteMail Server is available to users on your network

Once your PoliteMail Server is installed and configured, you should verify the server is available across your network.

If users are in remote locations, or those accessing your network over VPN cannot connect, then the server may not be accessible, or in the proper network zone.

To determine if the PoliteMail Server is accessible from a network location

Users can determine if they can access the PoliteMail Server by starting Internet Explorer, and typing the full URL address of the PoliteMail Server into the IE address field. (e.g. https://yourcompany.pmail.com or https://pmail.yourcompany.com).

If you see the “Loading…” text in the IE window, your PoliteMail Server is accessible.

Please note, SLL is used by default for PoliteMail Corporate Cloud Servers. For in-house servers, you may elect not to install an SSL certificate, in which case, you would only use http:// and not https:// in the URL address.

Tracked links not working?

In order to track recipient email, all receipts must be able to access the PoliteMail Server, and it is best for the server to be included within your IE Trusted Zones file.

In the case where recipients report that they can not access tracked links (e.g. you’re links don’t work, or, your links go to a blank page), that usually means they can not access the PoliteMail Server from their network location, or the server is not included within the trusted zones. Sometimes this could be related to a firewall or load-balancer configuration issue.

To determine if the PoliteMail Server is within the Trusted Zones

Try this, have the recipient follow the instructions above and type URL address of your PoliteMail server into the IE  http:// address field (at the top). Once you have the loading page, then right-click on the page, and select “Properties”

 

The PoliteMail Server should be included within the Trusted Zones.   If it is not, follow this article.

Why was only part of my distribution list sent to? Or PoliteMail reports all of the list as sent, but I'm only seeing a few opens?

Diagnosing Send Issues

Typically when we see inconsistent send behavior, (e.g. the mailing went to 3,500 of 5,000 recipients) it is related to send permissions issues on specific Distribution Lists [DL(s)].

Often, a DL will contain sub-groups, and sometimes the permissions on those groups may be different from the container group.

When sent locally (via outbox) the user must have permission to send to the specific list(s). When sent via PM Server, the Exchange Service Account must have adequate permissions to expand the members of the DL.

You can test for permission on the local machine by:

1) Set PoliteMail > Connection Settings > Server to send via Outlook Outbox
2) Select the proper From Account
3) Put the distribution group into the To: field, and add email content (or test content)
4) Use PoliteMail > Schedule Send, and set the day for some day in the future (which will queue the messages in the Outbox, and not send them)
5) Select 1to1 with Tracking and Send
PoliteMail should process the list, and the Outbox item count should represent the total number of recipients. Often, if there is a permissions error on a sublist, the send will be interrupted and only a partial number will be put into the Outbox.
6) Open the Outbox, and Ctrl-A to select All and Delete

If the send fails to complete, another test is to redo the steps above, and just prior to send, click the [+] symbol next to the distribution group name in the To: field to expand the distribution group(s). Click the [+] for any sub-groups, then click Send to see if the behavior changes (or if you receive an Outlook error dialog when trying to manually expand the groups).

You can test for permission on the PoliteMail Server by:

The Service Account established for the PoliteMail Server must have adequate permissions to expand the distribution groups, and send. You can test this process using the PoliteMail Server Manager tool.

1) Start the tool, and click on: Exchange Web Services.

2) Provide your Exchange Version Number (2007, 2010, 2010SP1+)
Enter the Service Account UserName and Password
Enter the Exchange Server Domain name (e.g. domain.com) and Host name of the Exchange (e.g. exmail).

3) Next to the Expand Group button, enter the distribution group name. If the group is expected to contain nested groups, click the checkbox for ‘Recursive’ and then click ‘Expand Group’ button.

PoliteMail Server will now expand the group. The window below should show the recipient addresses and on the very bottom should provide the total count.

How to check for an Exchange Synchronization issue:

If the permissions test pass, then the problem is most likely a result of processing a large volume of email through the Outlook Outbox.

This issue would relate to “PoliteMail says it sent to all 5,000 recipients, but only 5 people opened”

For sends of 1,500 or more, we do not recommend using the Outbox.

Ideally that user would have PoliteMail > Connection Settings > Server to send via the PoliteMail Server. Please note that his option requires an Exchange Service Account be activated on the server-side (talk to your PoliteMail Server Manager for more details).

Sometimes, when sending high volumes of email through the Outbox, Exchange will throw a synchronization error, which will halt the PoliteMail send process. In this case, PoliteMail would report the total quantity were “sent” because it had completed its processing of the distribution group, but when writing to the Outbox, Exchange had an error which interrupted the send.

In the case, the user would not see the total quantity of messages written to the Outbox (e.g. per the example, only 5 of the 5,000 messages would go into the Outbox).

You can look for these errors on the local machine.

First, identify the time and date of the problematic send (from sent items). Then go to the Outlook folder view, and open the Sync Issue folder, and look for the error log for that same date/time. If you open that, you may see errors, and if you have one that matches the send date/time, drag that into a support message (PoliteMail > Request Support> and send it to us and we can examine it in detail.

Outlook Folder View<

Exchange Distribution List > 10,000 won't send, unexpected XML error

Trying to send to an Active-Directory based distribtion list of more than 10,000 which will not send?

This type of list has to be expanded by the PoliteMail using Exchange EWS, when using the PolitMail Server tool to expand the list, to see an unexpected XML error when the list fails to expand fully?

When this occurs, it is because of a mixed 32-bit, 64-bit Exchange and/or Active Directory Tree environment. This limits EWS to a 10k distribution list or less.

The solution is simply to use multiple sub-lists within the To: field, of less than 10k each. In other words, instead of sending to one “AllEmployee” list of say 25,000. You would instead send to 4 lists, say one for each department each being less than 10k total.

Links to internal sites not working in IE9? Add PoliteMail Server to Trusted Zones

If links to intranet or internal site pages are not working when sent tracked, but only for users on IE9?

This is a result of a security feature in IE9 which blocks links that traverse from an untrusted zone into a trusted zone. Most likely, your own internal site domain has been included in the IE trusted sites zone, but the PoliteMail tracking server has not. To fix this, simply add your PoliteMail Server domain to the trusted sites zone list.

See also: Use Group Policy to Add Trusted Sites to IE9

Use Group Policy to Set Trusted Sites in IE9:

  1. In Group Policy Management, load the Trusted Sites Zone template
  2. Under User ConfigurationAdministrative TemplatesWindows ComponentsInternet ExplorerInternet Control PanelSecurity Page, click Site to Zone Assignment List
  3. Click Enabled.
  4. Click Show.
  5. Click Add.
  6. In the Enter the name of the item to be added field, put in the domain name of your PoliteMail Tracking server (e.g. https://company.pmail.com )
  7. In the Enter the value of the item to be added, enter the number 2 (2 = Trusted Sites)
  8. Click OK

Allow time for GPO refresh, then this will take effect upon the users next workstation restart, or run gpoupdate on the workstations for policy to take effect.

EU Data Directive, January 2012 update

On 26 January 2012, the European Commission released new proposals regarding the EU Data Protection Directive (95/94/EC) and e-Privacy Directive (2009/136/EC) which came into effect 25 May 2011.  The objective is to make the data protection rules more consistent across all EU member states, making it far simplier for international businesses to understand their data obligations and comply with the rules.

These laws apply to both employee and consumer personal information.

While stricter rules regarding cookies will be imposed, it is important to note PoliteMail does not make use of cookies for its email tracking and analytics.

Organisations will need to obtain “specific and explicit” consent from internet users to store information and must delete data unless there is a “legitimate and legally justified interest” in keeping it.  In the working group’s opinion on the question of consent, when consent is required from a worker and there is a real or potential relevant prejudice that arises from not consenting, the consent is thus considered not freely given and therefore not valid.

For tracking internal communications, (e.g. email and intranet pages), we have suggested employers may comply with these rules within their employment and labour agreements and within the context of privacy and/or technology use policies that explains the reasons for the collection and use of such data. The company should be clear about the reasons for data monitoring, and the extent is it is necessary to achieve a legitimate aim (see the closing paragraph for our rationale).

By no means claiming any legal expertise on the matter, we do suggest that companies are already collecting personally identifiable employee information simply by function of using their email systems. In other words, the employee email address, and what messages the employee has sent and received is already stored within the Exchange environment.  Certainly the PoliteMail email analytics data are additive to this.  Our system is storing another copy of the email address, and storing additional interaction data (open/click/fwd/reply) in relation to those email messages.

Certain types of data tracking and processing are not significantly intrusive.  The PoliteMail email analytics tool enables communicators to measure the effectiveness of their email communications and the ability to monitor if the resources being developed and deployed to support the organisation are in fact being utilised by employees. While the tool also enables communicators to take follow-up action with specific employees or groups of employees based upon their interactions (or lack thereof), we see this as reasonable use of data and not outside the interests of data protection or privacy compliance.