Using “Reply All” Should Be Outlawed

Or at the very least be punishable by 20 lashes with a web noodle. Every day I hear people complain about how they received an untold amount of e-mails because someone sent a message out to a group of people on a list and people were replying back to the entire list using “Reply All.” In many companies, using “Reply All” on network broadcasts to Staff or large distribution lists can get you severely reprimanded at best, fired at worst.Consider this before you click the “Reply All” button on your next reply to a broadcast e-mail message sent to a large group of people:

Does your response contain information that is critically important to everyone on the list?

If the answer is NO, then don’t do it. The amount of network traffic generated by people using “Reply All” is tremendous, not to mention the wasted time of people getting what they consider to be unsolicited SPAM just because they were on a distribution list.

Even worse, you’ll often see people using “Reply All” after getting several responses that were sent using “Reply All” just to tell everyone to quit using “Reply All” because they are generating annoying, needless messages.

Then more people use “Reply All” to tell the people who used “Reply All” to respond to the people who first used “Reply All” not to use “Reply All” in the first place and on and on and… Oy!… You get the picture.

You might not have thought you were creating a mess when you did a “Reply All”, but look how fast it can get out of control!

Moral: Think twice before using “Reply All.” Make sure your message is relevent to the entire list and not conversational.

Tip: If you need to send out a message to a list of e-mail addresses or distribution list, try putting the addresses in the BCC: (Blind Carbon Copy) field instead of the TO: or CC: field. Then the only person who can receive a reply from a “Reply All” is you! 😀

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