Insights Outlook add-in

Applies to: Office 365 Enterprise E5, Office 365 A5, Office 365 Nonprofit E5, and MyAnalytics add-on, Microsoft 365 E3, Microsoft 365 Business, Office 365 E3, Office 365 E1, Business Premium, Business Essentials.

Please note: For Microsoft 365 E3, Microsoft 365 Business, Office 365 E3, Office 365 E1, Business Premium, and Business Essentials, this feature will be rolled out beginning in May, 2019.

Did you ever miss an important email or forget a commitment you made to your co-workers? Do meetings and emails tend to take over your calendar? Do you ever wish to see reminders for 1:1 meetings with your manager, direct reports, or other top collaborators? Would you like to be notified if an upcoming meeting doesn't have a quorum?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes, the Outlook add-in provides actionable insights to help you stay on top of your tasks and get more done.

What you might see

In Outlook, open the add-in by selecting the Insights (swirl) icon in the Outlook Home ribbon. If you are using the Outlook Web App, first open an email message, and then select the Insights icon in the top-right corner of your email message.

You'll see Insights in the right panel in Outlook:

Insights panel

Email read statistics

Applies to: Office 365 Enterprise E5, Office 365 A5, Office 365 Nonprofit E5, and the MyAnalytics add-on

Insights can tell you how many people have opened your emails and how long they spent reading them. In general, it informs you about emails that you sent to five or more Office 365 users who are internal to your company. (For more information about which email messages are reported about, see Reporting details.)

After you send an email message, it takes up to fifteen minutes before Insights can inform you about it. Insights groups similar information into a single summary card that you can select and expand to see a more detailed view.

Reporting details

Insights does not display read information about every email that you send. Please note the following circumstances.

Requirement: qualifying messages

Read statistics are shown only for qualifying messages. A qualifying message is an email message that is sent to five or more qualifying recipients. A qualifying recipient is a person who is in the same company as the sender and has not opted out of Insights.

Other exceptions

Insights does not report about email messages in the following categories:

  • Email that was sent from a shared mailbox
  • Email that was sent to a mailbox that was configured for email forwarding. (Recipients of forwarded email are not included in the count of qualifying recipients.)
  • Email in which the individual recipient count on each of the To: and Cc: lines is less than 5 AND the Bcc: individual recipient count is also less than 5.

Bcc: precision

When you send email that has recipients on the Bcc: line, the precision of the email-read statistics is lowered.

Read activity

The Insights add-in reports the "read activity" of qualifying email that you have sent. The following table describes how Insights reports the read activity of a particular email:

Number of people who read your email Reported read activity
0 or 1 readers

n or n-1 readers, where n is the total number of recipients of the email that you sent

all other numbers of readers

the exact read percent

To see information about a specific email message

  1. In your Sent Items folder in Outlook, select the email message.

  2. On the Message ribbon, select the Insights icon. If the Insights panel isn't already open, it opens now. At the top of the panel, a card displays information about the email. For example, the following shows the message status for the "Document for review" (email subject line):

    Low activity

  3. To see more information about this message, select the card. For the selected message, a chart shows the percentage of recipients who opened the email, and the number of times people replied to it and forwarded it.

    Proportion of recipients who opened your email

    Based on the length of the message, Insights estimates how long a person needs to read it. It uses that number to decide whether people glanced, skimmed, or read the email, and informs you of this in a card.

    Details about email message

    Depending on how many people opened the email and how long they spent reading it, Insights might suggest that you follow up on your email, or it might show tips to help improve email communication.

Privacy by design

The Outlook add-in preserves all the data subject rights afforded by GDPR. The insights users see in the add-in are only available to them. No admin or manager can see those insights. They are computed on the fly based on the user's email and meeting information, and are never stored outside the user's mailbox.

Additionally, the add-in begins processing data for insights only when the user first launches it. Learn more about how Microsoft protects your privacy.

To turn off the add-in

You can turn off the add-in by opting out of MyAnalytics. See Can I opt out of MyAnalytics? for how-to steps.