Becky Says...

April 3, 2001

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E-Mail Tips and Tricks

I rarely need to send the same exact e-mail (private, not discussion group) to more than one person, but I learned something a while back that is extremely useful in those times when I am sending something to a group: use the blind copy feature for all the addresses. For the main recipient, use yourself. If you don't know how to send blind copies, check your e-mail program's help section.

Sometimes it's useful for members of a group (say, a family) to see all the e-mail addresses written out. But more often than not, that would be better accomplished by offering to share your list of addresses if you're the family record-keeper. For one thing, they wouldn't all be clumped together in teeny little print with all those commas.

It's really easy to keep people from having to see all the quotation marks if you are sending something along that you've received: copy and paste it into a blank e-mail form, instead of hitting "forward." The people you're sending the item to will appreciate not having to go through >>> on every line. If you want to send something that already has a bunch of the marks, take the time to delete them. (I wonder sometimes if anyone would really notice if they received e-mail that was nothing but >>> marks.)

You'll get good-guy points on that. You'll also get good-guy points if you'll omit the business about sending the thing on to pick-a-number of friends. I've mentioned before that I never send those things on, and don't send it back to the person who sent it to me, even if the closing blurb asks me to do it. And most of the people I know don't do it, either. Asking someone to send something on, "to show you care," is a minor form of emotional blackmail. Even if you don't mean it that way! If you truly want your recipients to share the whatever-you-sent, suggest that they're welcome to pass it along, but word it so that's optional!

A final tip: if you can't think of anything to put in the subject line, just use the date. Or do as a couple of friends and I do: make the subject be, "Hello!"

Text copyright 2000-2001 Becky