Bulk mail best practices

Many people erroneously assume that individual e-mail recipient’s addresses are hidden when they use a distribution list in the To field of an e-mail. Unless your e-mail program is setup otherwise, most e-mailers will expand the distribution list and display the names of each of the recipients. Think about it: If the e-mailer doesn’t expand the distribution list, how does the e-mailer know where to send the e-mail?

I believe it’s a generally accepted best practice to place the recipients’ e-mail addresses for a bulk e-mail in the BCC field. BCC stands for blind courtesy copy. Everyone listed in the BCC field will get a copy of the e-mail without divulging a list of all the recipients. Some programs may have bulk mail features that will hide addresses listed in the To field. Unless you know for sure, always use the BCC field.

Other best practices include performing a test run before executing your mailing. You can find more information at these resources:

Another tip: I always make a point of adding recipients to an e-mail last. It saves me the embarrassment of accidentally sending the e-mail before I’m ready.

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