Pither.com / Simon
Development, systems administration, parenting and business

Request Tracker - Precedence: bulk

I use Request Tracker as the ticketing tool for support enquiries to my web hosting company and happened to notice (while looking at email headers for something else) that it's sending out ticket emails with the header:

Precedence: bulk

I can understand why this is a reasonable default, especially as RT is often configured to send automatic acknowledgement and status emails as part of a ticket flow. However in my case I've specifically disabled the automatic responses - I'd much rather customers received a personal message instead.

The Precendence: bulk header was/is primarily intended to help email systems decide on delivery importance (speed) and how (or if) bounces should be sent. But these days it's also being used as a way to ethically indicate marketing, newsletter or other mass-emails.

So with the newer spam-like meanings for Precendence: bulk it isn't really something I want my (often quite important) support ticket responses to be marked with.

It took a little while of digging through mailing list posts to arrive at what's actually a very simple solution, so I thought I'd document it quickly.

The Precendence email header can be overridden in the Request Tracker templates. In the current version these are available in the menu:

Admin -> Global -> Templates

Then choose the template you want to edit, in this case that's probably "Correspondence" unless you've customised your ticket processes much.

Here's what my Correspondence template looks like now:

RT-Attach-Message: yes
Precedence: normal


I've just added the single Precedence header line (everything else was already there). It's important to add the new line above the blank line as that's the separation point between headers and content.

There don't seem to be any widely agreed not-spam type values for Precedence so I've chosen "normal" but this doesn't have any special meaning.

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