Emailing a Group: What Not to Do

Yesterday I received two email messages sent to large adhoc groups of people. One was from an individual in a medical center, letting her professional contacts know about a job opening. Another was from a parent who wanted to know whether anyone had videotaped a concert in which his child had performed. His camera had failed him, and he hoped to hear that rousing "Pirates of the Caribbean" medley again.

Both people broke a rule of email etiquette: they exposed all their contacts’ email addresses. They put recipients’ addresses in the CC (courtesy copy) line rather than the BCC (Blind courtesy copy) line.

So now, if I wanted to use email to solicit business at Microsoft, AAA, Pemco, Boeing, Codesic, Medtronic, Corbis, and dozens of other companies, I would have email addresses to use.

Both writers should have followed my Email Tip Number 82: Use BCCs to keep addresses confidential.

If you would like 109 other tips (or if you know someone who needs them), please get my booklet "110 Tips for Sending Email That Gets Read–and Gets Results." It’s available here in both printed and PDF format for just US$7. Review a 16-tip sampler of the PDF here.