Multiple Recipient Emails

In a competitive business world, speed is of the essence. Email messaging is the fastest form of written communication, however, the saying “More speed, less haste” is very apt when it comes to sending emails and here we look at why.


An over eagerness to send an email can cause embarrassment and even result in costly mistakes. In many cases a lack of understanding how email messaging works leads to such errors. Better knowledge and more care is all it takes to avoid monumental mistakes.

Email Nightmares

When an email is sent to one recipient only, an apology may be all that’s needed if a mistake is made. It’s a different matter altogether when others are unwittingly involved. Imagine any of these scenarios:

  • You email a special offer to new customers and accidentally copy in your long-standing customers
  • You email new suppliers for a quote and accidentally send the enquiry to your regular suppliers
  • You respond to a tender but accidentally reply to all, revealing your bid to competitors

In the first example, you risk losing long-standing customers through revealing new customers get preferential treatment. In the second case, you risk upsetting your regular suppliers by alerting them to the fact you are looking for new ones. In the last, you have shown your hand unnecessarily to your rivals.

Multiple Messaging: Send Errors

Email nightmares can occur through using the wrong “fields” when preparing to submit an email simultaneously to multiple recipients. When you click the “Send” button, any addresses showing in either the “To” or “Cc” (carbon copy) field will be openly transmitted. In other words, every addressee will see the names of all your email recipients. A further worry is that you could even find yourself in breach of the Data Protection Act. Suddenly that simple email is potentially breaking the law. Learn how to use the “Bcc” (blind carbon copy) field correctly and you will avoid these errors.

Multiple Messaging: Reply Errors

Understanding the implications of completing the correct fields when sending multiple messaging emails is only half the battle. Replying to them holds its own dangers.

When you find yourself receiving an email sent simultaneously to others, be careful how you respond to it. If you fire off your email and hit the “Reply all” button instead of “Reply”, your response will be sent to everyone. Did you really want all of them to see it? Less haste when you hit the button is the answer.

Our Multiple Messaging Tips

As we all start working faster and become overly familiar with email, it is all too easy to go into “auto pilot” and hit buttons without checking fields. Remember:

  • Never send or reply to an email without exercising caution
  • Turn on your automatic spell checker when writing your email. This will slow you down, and prompt you to double-check all information, including any listed recipients, before transmission
  • Always check the “To” and “Cc” fields before hitting “Send”
  • If you are unfamiliar with using the “Bcc” field then manually insert/delete recipient names as appropriate
  • Change your mail settings so that emails are not sent instantly but every few minutes; that way you can stop an email in your outbox if you have to amend it
  • Use the “Reply all” button sparingly — if at all