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Message Tag (MSGTAG)

Posts: 17
Registered: 08-06-2007

Message Tag (MSGTAG)

There's a neat little program called MSGTAG which, until recently, I've been happily using via Plus Net.

Basically it does exactly what it says on the tin. I've found it very useful to be able to have a notification when an email's been read.

Now it doesn't work properly and one question their support team has asked is "does your ISP use Exchange?".

I think not, but can anybody confirm?



Message Tag (MSGTAG)

Hi Robin.

Short answer is no. PlusNet dont use exchange.


It would seem this program converts your email into a html email, which when opened probably loads a single pixel from the msgtag server which then updates your message status.

The problem with this is if people have security enabled at their end the embedded pixel or script may not run and update the status for you.

try sending a email to yourself. does it work ?

if it does it just could well be people are not displaying the fully rendered html email at their end.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,047
Thanks: 196
Fixes: 3
Registered: 05-04-2007

Message Tag (MSGTAG)

Ah - if that's the case I'd image there would be a problem. Since spammers starting used the same technique for determining whether a spam was opened (hence having an active address and knowing someone was reading their shit), I think I am right in saying most mail clients now won't download the images contained in an e-mail by default.

The same applies to the major players for free mail (hotmail, yahoo et al).


This program has got me Intrigued, so i have downloaded it and just about to reverse engineer it.

will report back my findings soonish.

EDIT: initial checks confirmed my assumption.

<p><table width="100%" bgcolor="#eeeeee"><tr><td width="100%"><a target="_blank"  href="" ><img src=""  border="0"></a> has notified the sender that this message has been received.</td></tr></table><p>

aobve was added to the bottom of email I sent, you can see the jw.gif location is unique and when this is loaded msgtag back that email has been read.


A mail message that you have sent has been opened by its recipient.

Message to: fkfkfkfk
Subject: test
Sent: 2006-08-19 19:44:51 UTC
Received: 2006-08-19 19:51:32 UTC
Elapsed time: 6 minutes, 41 seconds

How it works.

How it works.

When you install MSGTAG on your machine it finds configured outlook profile and imports it.

on my machine it listens on port 7362
it then changes your outbound smtp server to localhost:7362

It acts as a smtp proxy which then forwards onto your originally configured outbound smtp server.

This is what allows it to add its special footer to your email.

This is what happens in sequence

Email client starts to send email---> localhost relay "MSGTAG"

Message is relayed to proper outbound smtpserver.
MSGTAG connects to port 80 HTTP
Does a FORM POST like the following.


as you can see this tells msgtag some details, IE your msgtag username and password (plaintext) and who you are sending the message to and subject.

When the HTML Form post has been recieved it responds with.This contains the URL to the tracking image.


Now MSGTAG has got this it appends the following to the email being sent.

<p><table width="100%" bgcolor="#eeeeee"><tr><td width="100%"><a href=""><img src="" border="0"></a> has notified the sender that this message has been received.</td></tr></table><p>

So there you go, I couldn't be bothered with a tidy write up.

But still doesn't solve your problem does it :-)
Posts: 17
Registered: 08-06-2007

Message Tag (MSGTAG)

Great stuff...

And no, it doesn't solve my problem. I just get error messages from both Outlook and MSGTAG. One of them says something like:

"Your email hasn't actually been sent, even thought Outlook says it has been."

Now that is a fun error message.

Basically the message sometimes get sent and sometimes they don't Usually there's an Outlook sending error message. If I close Outlook and then re-open it, the messages usually go.

I'd love to have it working again.... <sigh>

AV ?

some Av programs can interfere with irs operation,thia will effect sending emails.

check out the msgtag website

EDIT: it looks like that MSGTAG internal have their own message server.