Contact Us

Resist The Temptation! The Rules Of ‘Reply To All’ [LIST]

An email with a long list of recipients can be an easy way to accomplish tasks quickly. It can also be an infuriating way to jam up your inbox for days. Let's set some ground rules.


Computer Thinking
Bill Lai, Getty Images

Think Before You Click

 
 

Before you hit the "Reply To All" button, you should ask yourself "does everybody need to read this?" Almost always the answer is no. This is especially true when the original email was intended to distribute basic office information. No one cares what you think about the third floor copier being broken and how your day is ruined. Take the information in, use it and delete the email. The draft folder is as far as your reply should go.

 
Funny Computer
Funny Computer

Avoid Inside Jokes

 
 

Mass email is great because it allows you to communicate with many people. The downside is that one "office champion" that feels they are so close to the person who sent the original email that they will 'reply all' with "yeah, kind of like that late night back in September when we got drunk and woke up in Winnipeg." What the hell does THAT mean? Chances are it was marginally amusing to the person it was meant for. For everyone else, it's 5 seconds of our lives we'll never get back having to delete that nonsense. Hate to break it to you...you're not funny!

 
Daly and Newton, Getty Images
Daly and Newton, Getty Images

Answer The Question

 
 

So you're on an email string at work with about 30 or so other people. Your boss sends out a mass email asking "how should we go about finalizing the Murphy account?" You know there's that one dimwit who will reply all with "I don't know guys, what do you think?" Now that's just not helping anyone. It's certainly not helping the other 29 people who's deleted folder just got one email heavier. Answer questions directly and get right to the point. For example, "Murphy's a sucker. Let's take his money and tell him the check is in the mail." See, progress.

 
William Howard, Getty Images
William Howard, Getty Images

Don't Just Say 'Thank You' or 'Congratulations'


 
 

Dear Staff, Due to a record setting quarter we are closing the office early on Friday.

Sincerely,

The Boss

5, 4, 3, 2, 1...wait for it...da-dum. The blue box of doom in the lower right of your screen pops up with the first kiss ass "Thanks!" Great, now I have to stop sending my credit card information the the King of Nigeria to collect my 2 million dollar inheritance so I can delete ANOTHER useless email. The congratulatory emails are even worse. Do I need a hundred "way to go's," "go get 'em's," or "nice work's?" What if I don't think Hank in accounting deserves a congrats for winning 4th place in the fly fishing tournament over the weekend?

Golden rule: When replying "thanks" or "congratulations" to a mass e-mail, FORWARD the original email to the person you want to thank or give cudos to. 
 
Noel Hendrickson, Getty Images
Noel Hendrickson, Getty Images

If Sending A 'Reply To All,' NEVER 'CC' Additional People

 
 

Why? There's no need to drag more poor souls into your never ending email ping pong match. I doubt Mitch in maintenance needs to to be 'CC'd' on the email about your weekend trip to Niagara Falls. Do you even know who Mitch is? Have you spoken to him in person...ever? Beware of the passive aggressive CC'ers on 'Reply To All' emails. You know, Marge one seat over who doesn't like you because you never came to her cat party? Chances are she'll catch you when your guard is down when you say something stupid (it happens.) That's when the boss is suddenly part of the group email all thanks to the dreaded CC and Marge the crazy cat lady.

 

More from 94.3 The Point

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://943thepoint.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on 94.3 The Point quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on 94.3 The Point quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!