Bulk email blues

This happened three times this past week. An email landmark, if you will.

Three times someone wrote to me — people that I know in two cases, the 3rd was a local small business I patronize — and they addressed the email to or cc to from 13 to about 88 people.

That email was important. And you were so thoughtful so as to include me — albeit so very visibly — in your group of people you really care about. But I don’t know them. And now they can see my own email address, out there all naked and unhidden. I know that since I like you I’d probably like your friends — but maybe not.

And I do have plenty of friends. And I use Twitter and other social media all the time. I know how to socialize. So even though I’m sure they’re all great, don’t give my email address away like that. Please?

Maybe you’ve heard of these malware and spybot computer things?

I know that you keep your computer up to date with patches and anti-virals and all the other de-germing stuff you have to do with PCs. Damn hackers and script kiddies. But maybe some of your friends are not so careful? And maybe you just slapped my email address right into the middle of your cousin Andy’s machine (he’s the one who has to call you about how to print out screenshots, remember?) and I just know he’s probably got a zillion keytrackers and address-book harvesters running rampant. So, let’s just not do that again, okay?

protect your own reputation, too

I mean, web servers start seeing you sending out those mass emails, gives them pause, right? They know that that’s what the bad folks do, sending out emails to 20 or 50 or 100 people. So maybe they look a little harder at what you’re up to. And maybe they put you on a list of people that could be a little “iffy”. You don’t want to even go there.

Next time: stop, check, think before you press “send”

This is what I’d love you to do. It’s not a big hassle, really. And it would make it even more obvious what a smart person you are. And you are, of course, since you’re my friend.

  • If you’re sending out notices regularly, and you’re a business, check into a service that will make sure you do it right, and professionally. I love MailChimp. They have great online tools, helps, and tracking for feedback. (You don’t want to guess about these things.) Other options are Emma and ConstantContact.
  • Kind of chatty? Think about a blog. That way I can subscribe to you and you don’t even have to worry about telling me when you have your next great idea or need to pass along that newsflash.

Otherwise, this is it:

Become friends with the BCC field in your email program. Put me and all your other BFFs in the BCC field. (Stands for “blind carbon copy” — crazy antiquated term, but it works.) And in the TO field, put your own email address.

Now you’re emailing everyone the right way. And because you’re my friend, I want the best for you.