What a great article, and so true!! I think too many people get caught up in trying to make sure that some "key" person sees their "thoughtful" response to something that they forget to consider the ramifications. And yes I too remember the need to F-O-R-M-A-T a floppy. Nice job!!
Help Stamp Out "Reply To All"
Help stamp out “Reply To All”. This has long been a closely held belief of my own. It wastes time, bandwidth and frustrates the heck out of the receiver when there’s no need for it.
Help stamp out “Reply To All”. I’ve been reading a number of articles lately about this subject. This has long been a closely held belief of my own. It wastes time, bandwidth and frustrates the heck out of the receiver when there’s no need for it.
"The more inexperienced you are on email or the more senior you are at a company the more likely you are to use 'reply to all' to reply to every email you get including ones from one person in the first place!"
Replying to all has been a dangerous practice for many years as has blatant forwarding. How many times have you received an email that has been forwarded to you and it contains every email address from everyone who has ever seen it as you scroll down to find the original message? This is a spam goldmine, folks! Not only that, but back in the early days of email (waaaaaaay back in the late ’80′s) I remember reading an article about a really cool way to build your list – just add a “bcc” to yourself onto an email that has an intriguing story, offer, ad or picture, and you will be forwarded on along and receive any and all addresses that the other people send your original message to.
Believe it or not!
Now, this particular function in email has been outlawed, though, if you can read through the original headers to your emails, (in some programs it’s called show full headers”) you can occasionally still see where an email has been as well as where it hopes to go.
Another blogger, Jake Kuramoto on AppsLab, says:
"So, today, my inbox was choked with about 30 messages all in the same thread. It was one of those ironic spam threads where at least 75 percent of the replies were unsubs or stern reminders not to reply to all, some of them in all caps, sent of course, to the whole list."
As far as I’m concerned, receiving emails that do not require action on my part or teach me something is a waste of my time. I average 400 emails a day as it is that I need to stay on top of. I’d much rather receive a couple of lines updating me on the final result of a conversation than all the chatter along the way.
So the next time you’re tempted to hit the “reply to all” button on your email program, think twice and resist the urge! And if you're in a group that has settings that sends your replies to the main group or to everybody in a thread, take a second to double check where you're sending.
Does anyone else remember the old days before Windows when you needed to format your disks before using? (No kidding, we really had to do that!) The joke in my office was to type "f-o-r-m-a-t" and then hands up before hitting "enter" to make sure you had remembered to only format the drive that had the BLANK disk in it, not the hard disk. I remember people bemoaning that they had formatted their C drive and the response being, "I did that myself, once." Time to create a new mnemonic for checking the reply destination. And, while you're at it, how about deleting all but the latest message? Don't you just love getting the 15th volley where the email is now several pages long? Not.
Learn more about the author, DeBorah Beatty.
Comment on this article
Posted by Jason Francis, Kirkland, Washington |
Aug 16, 2010
Posted by Keith Gormezano, Seattle, Washington |
Aug 17, 2010
Whenever, I get a "generic" e-mail addressed to me and 50 other recipients in the to or cc boxes, I just hit reply all and thank them for sending it to me and include my signature line which tells them what I (can) do (for them).
So far, I've gotten three clients by doing this who were looking for someone to come in to their office and set up, review and/or fix their problems, and/or train them in QuickBooks or Quicken for the PC or Mac.
Posted by DeBorah Beatty, Beaverton, Oregon |
Aug 17, 2010
Boy, Keith, that's really walking a tightrope with the new SPAM laws. I'm glad it worked out for you. I would never do that.
Posted by Susan Brooks, Gig Harbor, Washington |
Aug 17, 2010
Keith: I love your tag line! Well done! Interesting thoughts Deborah - I am not in circles where I get the cc's much but like the idea as that was such a frustration.
Posted by Michael Hartzell, Seattle, Washington |
Aug 19, 2010
Five Essentials to Business Success. Yep... The second essential is "Unique Personal Invitations"
Stamp out "Reply to all" fits this exactly.
Thus, even if there were no spam laws to consider, best practice is to connect personally.
Posted by Lorrie Perencevic, Lynnwood, Washington |
Aug 19, 2010
AMEN AMEN, and...did I say "Amen"? :)
Thank you, Deborah, for this great reminder! I too receive close to 100 emails a day and the "ongoing chains of chatter" in forwarded and group-sent emails annoys me to no end. I personally would stay miles away from this sort of activity, even as a "creative reply" that might glean a new client here or there, because the laws are clear and enforced. Makes no sense to me to engage in anything that could be construed as shady, plus these techniques are downright bothersome to the vast majority of people who use email.
Thanks for your insight, as once again you hit the nail right on the head.
- email handling
- reply to all
- email etiquette