Outlook: Requesting a Reply

Recently while working on a response to a customer’s questions regarding Exchange Online and Office 2013 capabilities I ran into something that stumped me at first.  The customer wanted the ability to send an email with a flag to indicate that the recipient should send a reply.  

Read receipts and delivery receipts are something I normally run across, but this was the first time I had seen a requirement for a reply request.  After doing a bit of digging and with the help of a co-worker I found a feature that is a bit hidden in Outlook 2013 which does provide this capability.

When creating a new email message, click on the Follow Up option in the ribbon bar and choose custom.


This will display options for a custom follow up request.  One of the options is to set a flag for recipient of a specific type and with a reminder.   Outlook 2013 supports the following flag types:

  • Call
  • Do not forward
  • Follow up
  • For your information
  • Forward
  • No response necessary
  • Read
  • Reply
  • Reply to all
  • Review


If I were to send an email with the flag for recipients box checked, the flag to set to Reply and a reminder set for Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 4pm the recipient would see an information message in the header of the email.  A reminder would also be displayed to the user at the defined time asking them to take action.

Below is a screen clipping of the informational reminder that would show up in the recipient’s email message header.


The reminder notification displayed to the user would look similar to the screen clipping below:



I would like to thank Michael Icore from the Microsoft State and Local Government team for his help tracking down this solution to my customer’s requirement.

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