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Filter or classify emails by populating header fields on receiver end.

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238659D
Publication Date: 2014-Sep-10
Document File: 2 page(s) / 32K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database


Emails are one of the main channels for online marketing. Filtering valid and relevant promotions from expired ones need not be a manual task. The article below describes a processing module at the receiver end that populates the existing standard email header fields prior to the email reaching the user's inbox. The existing header fields such as expiration, importance etc can be populated from parsed values in the email. These header fields can then be used by mailbox rules to filter/classify emails to display relevant ones to the user.

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Filter or classify emails by populating header fields on receiver end

Filter or classify emails by populating header fields on receiver end.


Managing the continuous influx of emails is one of the daily tasks for anyone with an email account. What makes it challenging is separating the relevant ones. Some of the email clients provide several features to make this easier (ie, spam detection, separating social messages, promotions etc from other emails and so on).

Retailers that provide online offers, promotions, coupons, paid surveys etc usually have an expiry date or validity period for that offering. A subscriber's inbox can get cluttered with outdated offers. It would be good if the inbox only listed those which are still valid.

One way is for retailers who sent the email to populate the "expiration-date" field of mail header with the last date of promotional period. Once this is done, a user's expiration settings can either archive or delete the expired emails. However, this effort is not always undertaken by the retailers. Similar to the scenario above, there are other email header fields such as Importance, Sensitivity, Supersedes etc and custom header fields which can be populated by the sender to better categorise and organise emails at the receiver end .

When the sender does not effectively utilise the header fields , we will need to look at options to pre-process the email at the receiver end so that these header fields are populated and are usable by the client.

The idea is to build a component for the receiver end that scans received emails and populates the standard email header fields . O...