Tips on Addressing Emails

Email is a great tool for communicating the same thing to several people at once.

Email is a great tool for communicating the same thing to several people at once. It’s easy to add people to the TO: field and include a larger group. Here are a few tips to help you send group emails:

  1. Keep the group small. I would suggest limiting the group emails to 10-12 at the most. If you regularly email to larger groups consider splitting the group in half and sending them each a copy. Or consider using a mass mail service like which specializes in large group emails. Keeping the group manageable will keep it clear of spam filters and you will more likely encourage people to read it if there aren’t a ton of recipients.
  2. Know when to use which address line.
    • TO: is for your primary recipient. Can a group all be the primary recipient? Sure they can! But, it’s always worth asking the question. Match your salutation to who’s in the TO: field. Also, make sure they all know each other. You are creating the email equivalent of a circle conversation so include everyone.
    • CC: is for your secondary recipients. These are folks, who you want to include, but probably don’t expect to join the conversation. It’s where the FYI folks go. Picture a conversation where you are talking to one person, but don’t mind at all including others who can overhear you.
    • BCC: is for hidden recipients. This is a way to add someone to a conversation without broadcasting that they are there at all. Picture an FBI interrogation booth. There’s always that one way glass, but who’s on the other side? Maybe that’s a bit over the top for an illustration, but you get the picture.
  3. What if you are sending to a whole group, but don’t want to share their email addresses with one another? Put your own name in the TO: field and everyone else in BCC:. They will only see an email addressed to you and not be able to see any other email addresses that it went to. This is a great tool for notifying your clients of important news without introducing them to each other. It’s also very effective for a church group or other organization where there are privacy concerns with sharing all of the email addresses with everyone else in the group.

  4. Beware of REPLY ALL. There are so many tragic tales that have come from the careless use of Reply All. I’m sure you have horror stories you could share. I certainly do. If you don’t have any, consider yourself among a very small percentage of the blessed. Reply All can be a great tool, but use it carefully. With great power comes great responsibility.

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