For frequent emails, I continue to see some people still using large number of people’s email address in the To or CC field instead of creating a group. For example, the society I stay in, has around 200 houses. And the emails between the society members use this approach.
Their workflow goes something like this: Dig thru past emails looking for everyone’s email address, validate if the email address is still valid and then send an email to all of them hoping it will reach everyone and won’t end up in their spam folders. (If you email a large number of people, there is a very high probability that your email will end up in the spam folder.)
In general, the approach highlighted above is considered a bad practice. Below are few key issues with the way we are currently emailing:
- Anytime we’ve a new members, it hard for them to get on this list. Even if one person adds them to the list, we are not sure if everyone will include them in future emails.
- Also new members don’t have access to any of the previous emails. So we tend to see sometimes repeated emails coming again.
- Its hard to follow these email chains. It not clear who has responded to who and when. One has to go dig thru emails to find out the timeline.
- Many times emails bounce coz you’ve got the wrong email address. There is no easy way to maintain validated email addresses. Many times copying and pasting email address can also cause these problems.
- Its hard to categorize these email. I would be interested in only certain kind of emails. But emails don’t allow me to tag or categorize them easily.
- I have no control when these emails land in my inbox. For ex. I would like to see these email as a digest at the end of the day. Few of these mails are important, however most of them are FYI emails or complain email or just pure noise.
- People have no control over which email address gets used. For example, I get email on 2 email accounts and I can’t really do anything about it, other than request people to drop me from there list. Basically I’ve no control over this.
- Last but not the least, a privacy issue. I don’t want my email id floating around on email chains.
To avoid this problem, its best to create specific group or mailing list and request people to join the respective group. This way going forward, if you want to email everyone, just compose your email and send it to the group’s email address. No need to remember everyone’s email ids. New people can just join this list. Members can update their email address and personal email preferences, no problem.