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Following are some helpful and, in some cases important, tips for sending email.

As a general rule, NEVER send group emails with the recipient list exposed
Always use the BCC (blind carbon copy) section of your email client, or program, to send your email to multiple recipients. Make the sender yourself, or create an "undisclosed recipient" email address then BCC your recipients. There are several reasons to do this, PARTICULARLY when you are sending work related material.

1) Leave your recipient list exposed, and help spread viruses
Many people, even today, do not use competent anti-virus software, such as NOD32. So if one of your recipients is infected, where do you think the virus will look for more victims? Not just in your address book, that's for sure. Any email address is vulnerable, and if you've sent an email with an exposed recipient list, congratulations - you've potentially helped to spread a virus.

2) Who cares about privacy?
Have you asked permission of all your recipients to share their private email details with everyone else on your list? No? Well, you've just breached their privacy, whether there is a legal argument to be made, or simply from a common sense point of view. Not only that, what if it's one of those emails that is forwarded multiple times? Potentially, you could be sharing your recipient list with THOUSANDS of people across the world!

3) Who cares about competitors?
You're in business and you send a group email to, let's say, 100 of your clients, and you leave the recipient list exposed. Who is to say that that list will not fall into the hands of on of your competitors, thus providing them with a ready made hit list of potential new clients. Let's not mention the privacy issues already discussed in #2.

4) Why not make our emails as LONG as possible?
You've all seen them. Those emails, usually non-work related, that get forwarded dozens of times. The previous recipients are all listed, and before you get to the actual content, you have to scroll through hundreds of names and/or email addresses. A waste of time, space, bandwidth, and just generally annoying.

5) Is there an exception to this "rule"?
The exception to the BCC rule is where the recipients have a direct relationship, and it is important they all know they have received a copy of your email. An example would be a project director updating team members on progress, and CC'ing (thus leaving the list exposed) team members as well as the Manager etc.


Save time - create a signature
Check your email client for sending options. You'll find you will be able to create a signature, or even multiple signatures for different purposes, very easily. You may have a full signature with your name, business, all contact details, what you do or sell, and some links for potential clients or people you don't know very well. You might also have a simplified signature for constant communication, or a more personal signature for emails to friends and relatives.

HTML emails - yes or no?
In case you don't know, a HTML email is more or less a web page in an email. It can contain images and styles the same as a web page so when your recipient opens it, they are greeted with a very pleasant looking email, rather than a plain text email (such as the one you may have received directing you to this page). The problem is, a LOT of people won't be seeing that "pretty" version. They will be seeing a big mess of code, links to images, and an email that is very hard to read.

Unless you can create a mime-type email, stick to plain text and control what your recipients see. A mime-type email will send out two versions - text and html - and will deliver the version appropriate to your recipient. The html version, however, still needs to be crafted in a way that it will display correctly for the absolute majority of people. If in doubt, ONLY send plain text.

I recently sent a mime-type email out to 2000 recipients, and only 48% of them received the html email - the rest were delivered the plain text version.

There is also a security risk with HTML emails. The same "nasties" that can be embedded into a web page, can also be embedded into a HTML email.



I hope the above gives you a little better understanding of how to send email safely and in accordance with current "standards". If you want more information, simply search the web for "email etiquette".

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Rob - JustWeb

30.11.2008


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