Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

How Sure Are You That Your Client Actually Received an Email?

In the technological world we live in, email has become the gold standard of communication, particularly for client communications. But when you need to inform a client about something critical, or get some time-sensitive answers to questions or access to documents, can you just send an email? How can you be sure that your client will see it in time?

Or most importantly, how do you confirm that a new potential client received their retainer agreement via email?

Below you'll find a few tips on ensuring that your emails get received and read by clients.

1. Call to Confirm

Calling to confirm an email has been received may feel somewhat antiquated ... like, what is this, 1991? But even though there's probably an app to recycle fax machines now, when you absolutely need to know an email has been received, calling to confirm is an easy way to find out.

2. Request Email Confirmation via Email

Rather than you, or an assistant, calling to confirm, at the very beginning and at the very end, of every client email, request that the client respond immediately upon receipt just to confirm receipt. If there are other action items in the communication, those can be addressed, or confirmed, later on. If your client is tech-averse, you may want to allow them to call to confirm receipt.

3. Email Tracking

While it's technically an option, it may seem rather sketchy, and borderline unethical, to use email tracking on your clients, or anyone for that matter. But, so long as you notified your clients that you would, it's an easy way to see when, where, and what device was used when, your clients accessed an email.

4. Client Messaging Portals

Rather than using tracking software, using a client messaging portal is a more upfront way to track when a client receives a message. Sure, they're inconvenient. But, when you send the client a message using a portal, they will receive an email with a link to the message on a secure website. When they click the link, they will have to login to the portal to get the message, and because it's a link to your own portal, it will be rather easy to track both when the link is clicked and when the message is viewed.

Another perk to using a portal is the security that comes with knowing that mistyping an email address, or accidentally replying all, won't divulge confidential client information because the portal limits those options for you.

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