it's not only people that read email
Do you provide a service via email that is time-consuming and repetitive, making you feel like an android? You'll be relieved to know that these tasks can be automated
and taken care of by a few lines of programming code. Using an automatically-triggered script that runs periodically (called a cron job) you can have your website
open new email, process the contents, reply and send out further email. It can even delete the new mail, leaving your Inbox clean and tidy.
By connecting on a database storing client information you can provide a significant level of intelligence for your email robot. Nothing makes a better impression than a neat and informative email response that arrives immediately to address your queries.
case study - internet vending machine
In 2007 I purchased a sit-down internet vending machine that worked wirelessly via 3G internet. Unfortunately it was the worst investment of my life. Anyway, the machine would send emails to me whenever somebody sat down and inserted a R10 or R20 note. This got annoying so I made a script to check my email every 15 minutes, read and process the email text and put the data into a table. I could then login to a private web page at will and view usage statistics as graphs and tables, as well as view the data on my mobile phone
via an RSS feed