Do you need to BCC or CC someone on certain emails that you send out? Wouldn’t it be great if Outlook could do this automatically for you, or at least prompt you to add the person to the recipients list?
In this post we will show you how can use Send Rules to do this for you. SendRules is one of the components of SendGuard for Outlook.
SendRules allows you to define your own rules to run on any outgoing emails that can be used to:
- Check emails for sensitive information (recipients, attachments, keywords etc.) and prompt the for confirmation before emails are sent out.
- Block sending of emails based on your own criteria.
- CC or BCC additional recipients based on your own criteria.
Here is a Rule that I have setup in my own Outlook.
A maintenance company looks after maintenance of our office building. My contact person in the maintenance company is Ajesh, and I write to him whenever something needs to be done but… I also found it useful to CC his manager (Shivas) every time I email Ajesh.
It is easy to forget so I have setup SendRules/SendGuard to prompt me to CC Shivas every time I email Ajesh.
I only need to click Yes and the email is automatically CCed to Shivas. If I click No then the email is still sent out but without being CCed to Shivas (I don’t want to bother Shivas for small things).
NOTE: It is also easy to setup SendGuard to CC or BCC without prompting the user if you want.
(You will need to have SendGuard for Outlook installed in order to carry out the following. A fully function trial can be downloaded from here.)
Open up the SendGuard Settings screen (Click on the Standss Outlook Addins tab on the ribbon, click on the little drop-down arrow and then click Settings).
Click the Add button to create a new Rule.
Give the Rule a name (to distinguish it from other Rules).
A Rule contains two parts: an IF part which is the set of CONDTIONS to check the email for, and a THEN part which is the ACTION to take if the conditions are met.
Set the IF condition. In this case, my IF condition is “if the email contains Ajesh’es email address). The If tab has a lot of other conditions that you can check for.
Click on the Then tab.
Tick the Show Message box and select the Warning with Yes/No buttons message type (If you don’t want to be prompted, then leave this box unticked).
Enter your message details in the Message Caption and Message Body fields on the screen (You can right click over the Message Body field to enter in tags for the email addresses etc).
Tick the CC to box under the Action on Yes/OK and enter the appropriate email address in the box. This means that if the user clicks Yes then the email will be CCed to the entered email address.
Untick the box Do not send email for Action on No/Cancel. If the box is ticked then the email will NOT be sent out when the user clicks No. In this case I still want the email to be sent out if the user clicks No (but I do not want the CC to be added to the email).
Click OK to save your new Rule and go back to the main Settings screen.
Make sure that your new Rule is ticked in the list of Rules, and then click OK to save and close the Settings screen.
That’s it. Now anytime I send out an email to Ajesh, I get asked if I should CC it to Shivas. Easy.
Trying it out for yourself
SendRules and the rest of SendGuard can be setup easily to carry out all kinds of checks and actions on outgoing emails.
I have another similar rule setup to ask me if I want to add outgoing emails to my CRM system (by BCCing a special email address that they have given me).
Other customers use it to check emails for specific words and recipients.
You can download a fully functional trial version and test it for yourself from here.
What is the risk to you and your company if an email is accidentally sent to the wrong person? It’s easy to make this mistake (thank you AutoComplete) and the internet is full of horror stories of the consequences.
SendGuard for Outlook provides a simple solution to protect yourself and your company.
SendGuard prompts user for confirmation before emails are sent out.
- Users can immediately see who the email is going out to. External recipients are highlighted in red as an extra warning.
- Send Guard highlights that the email is going multiple domains (can also optionally show an extra prompt)
- The prompt can be branded with with your company logo
- The prompt can link to relevant corporate email policies
- Users also have to review a list of attachments before emails are sent out (attachments can be removed and renamed directly from here)
Extra Protection for the Organization: SendGuard can log details if users click Yes to send the email
SendGuard can be setup to log the necessary details to the Window log or a text file whenever a user click Yes on the prompt.
This can provides additional protection as proof that the organization took adequate steps to minimise the risk of wrongly addressed emails.
SendGuard has many additional powerful features to protect your company from confidential information accidentally being sent to the wrong recipients. This includes Reply-All filtering and a Rules engine that can be used to define your own special checks on emails before they are sent out.
Do you need to send an email again? Maybe you forgot to attach a file the first time, or maybe you sent it to the wrong person, maybe you need to add a few more recipients…
One way to do this is to go to find the sent email (in your Sent Items folder) and then do a Forward or Reply on it, make any changes you want and then click Send. The problem with that is it adds FW or RE in the subject line… and adds the original send dates, recipients etc in the body of the email. Any changes that you make to the email may also be highlighted in a different color making it look like you resent the email.
There is an another way built into Outlook.
Go to your Sent Items folder.
Open the email in its own window (by double-clicking on it).
The Message tab of the Ribbon should already be selected (click on it if you need to).
One the Move group, click Actions and then click Resend This Message.
A new unsent email will be opened will all the details of this email copied to it. Make any changes that you need to and then click Send.
I hope that this tip helps you in those instances when you need to resend an email.
If you work with important and/or confidential information in your emails, you may also want to add extra protection using a tool like SendGuard for Outlook.
Should you do Reply or Reply-to-All? Have you ever looked at an email and wondered if your reply should be seen by ALL other recipients included in the email?
In most cases a simple ‘Reply’ would suffice, as only the sender would receive the email.
Situations where a ‘Reply-All’ would be justified is if the information being sent adds value and relevance to all the recipients of the original email.
On the other hand, Reply-All should NOT be used if your reply is a ‘Thank You’ or ‘Ok’. In this case, either using Reply, or providing no reply will do, as the subject matter is not necessary for the sender and all the other recipients to see or be a part of.
It is also important to note that at times these Reply-All email chains are the result of an accident, i.e. clicking ‘Reply-All’ instead of ‘Reply’. Users do not always fully understand the function of Reply-All, resulting in email chains sent back and forth without knowing about all the other included recipients.
Regardless of the intentions behind clicking Reply-All, by choosing to send a reply to all the recipients listed in the email, many problems can arise.
In this post we will be looking at some of these problems and why they should be avoided.
Emails or Spam Mail?
The first problem with Reply-All messages is that they are very annoying. At times these messages are similar to spam mail, which for many organizations is not something they want to deal with on a daily basis.
For instance, if you were part of an organization that employed thousands of people around the world, and one of your associates accidentally clicks Reply-All to an email that all the employees are addressed in. The amount of emails being sent would be HUGE. In addition, once others start replying back using Reply-All on the same email chain, the cycle of emails being sent and received would seem never ending.
Having to constantly check these incoming emails to ensure that they are work related would be irritating and a waste of time. On the other hand, having to ignore incoming emails is not wise, due to the possibility of receiving emails from clients/customers.
Causes Server Issues
As emails are being sent back and forth, they are ultimately stored in the organizations computer servers and cloud based storage. When put in a situation where everyone in the organisation is receiving the same number of emails at the same time, multiple problems can arise for the servers.
For starters, the size of the organization and the number of employees will have an effect on the functionality (i.e. the speed and available space) on the servers. This simply means, if there are a whole lot of employees receiving a whole lot of emails, the rate at which the servers are filled may cause some problems regarding how well the servers work.
Furthermore, as the servers and other storage systems are filled, there may not be time to purchase more space, due to the lack of time and costs involved in buying more servers/space at the last minute. This could result in lagging computers and networks, due to the strain put on the servers trying to send out emails to all the listed recipients, while simultaneously trying to allocate space and data for various business operations.
With the increased pressure placed on the servers, the likelihood of it ‘flooding’ and therefore crashing is a big concern for the organizations due to the magnitude of data and emails being shared.
Decreases Organizational Productivity
The drip down effects of employees having to constantly check their emails, increasingly slow network receptions and crashed servers will have a negative effect on the organizations productivity.
By having so many obstacles that affects so many people, from the restrictions to their ability and quality of work will also increase. Furthermore, in some situations, these problems may take days to amend, leaving organizations and their employees unable to perform their daily tasks and meet important deadlines.
Loss of Clients and Customers
Businesses can also potentially lose clients and customers if they are included as recipients in these Reply-All emails. Receiving what seems like never-ending emails, that has no relevance of their role in the organization would be very annoying/frustrating. This may cause them to negatively perceive the company and may even lead them to part ways, to reduce the risk of a similar situation happening because of the organization.
The Secret’s Out
The final problem we will be looking at is the inclusion of BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) recipients in Outlook emails. When BCC recipients are included in emails, the recipients in the To and CC lines are unaware of their inclusion, besides the sender, due to their email addresses being hidden.
There is nothing negative about using BCC’s in the right context, such as BCCing the HR or legal department when addressing sensitive situations as a compliance measure. On the other hand, when BCC’s are used as a method of protection for gossip or as a way to confront other co-workers, is where it can get problematic.
If BCC’d recipients decide to reply to the email with Reply-All, things can get messy. For one, their secret is out, i.e. their identity and involvement in the email is made known to all other CC’d recipients. The next problem is that CC’d users now know that the sender of the email had included other recipients without their knowledge, this can reduce the level of trust the recipient has for the email sender, and it will also make them question the motives behind the email.
All these situations mentioned above, have been more frequent recently due to human error and the rush of everyday life. That being said, with a little bit of time and proper email etiquette can be avoided.
However, If you are interested in providing extra protection at the click of a button whenever replying to emails for you and your organization, feel free to download the free trial of ReplyGuard for Outlook which provides solutions for Reply-All related problems, or for increased range of email protection solutions, download the free trial of SendGuard for Outlook.
Did you just do a Reply-All to an email and say something you regret… maybe sent some incorrect or worse insultive or embarrassing information. Here’s what you should and should not do.
(In most cases) Don’t bother with Recall
You may be tempted to use the Recall button that is built into Outlook but we really don’t recommend it. Why?
It does not work in many cases including when:
• The original message has been read. This can occur even when the email has not actually been read i.e. when the message is displayed in the Preview Pane or Reading Pane.
• The recipient is not using Outlook
• The recipient is not logged on to the mail service provider.
• The recipient is using Cached Exchange Mode and is working offline.
• The original message is moved from the Inbox.
In most cases, recipients will get an additional message saying that you want to recall the message. In our experience that makes recipients even more curious and they end up going and reading your original email which they may have been ignoring until then.
What you can do now (that the email has already been sent)
If you have sent incorrect information, you may want to do another Reply All immediately with something similar to the following.
Please disregard my earlier email because it contained incorrect information. I will be sending another email soon with the corrected information.
My apologies for any confusion caused.
Then take your time and send the corrected information.
If you feel that you may have offended someone in the Reply All, then we recommend that you send the person a one-to-one apology email, or even better pick up the phone and call them. You could also ask them if they would like you to do another Reply-All and apologise in the email thread.
How to avoid Accidental Reply-Alls (Prevention is better than cure)
Thousands of users around the world are already using ReplyGuard for Outlook. It prompts users for confirmation whenever a user clicks Reply-All.
You can use ReplyGuard on its own or use the full SendGuard which includes ReplyGuardGuard, DelayGuard and SendConfirm.
DelayGuard keeps your emails in your Outbox for a pre-set time thereby giving you time to change your mind.
SendConfirm does a final confirmation prompt with the names of recipients after you click Send.
Together these prompts help keep your companies safe from accidental reply-alls and other situations where confidential information could accidentally be sent to the wrong person.
SendGuard and ReplyGuard are already used by companies of all sizes around the world. Please contact us for more information or click on the image below to download a free trial.
In this post we look at 3 simple mistakes that emailers make that can cost their companies everything from a few wasted minutes, to upset co-workers to lost clients.
We also look at steps that organizations can take to protect their people and themselves from these mistakes.
Hitting Reply All too often
Just because the email that you received was addressed to multiple people does not mean that your reply should also go to them all.
We all already receive too many emails and it can be annoying to receive emails with one or two words acknowledging receipt of the emails etc.
They may not be as bad as spam but they have a similar effect… they take our attention away and waste our time.
For Individuals: Your unneeded reply-to-alls could be annoying your contacts and even training them to start ignoring your emails. Think carefully before you click Reply All.
For Organizations: Unneeded Reply-All emails cost businesses many hours of lost time and productivity every year. Reclaim this time by using addons that get users to confirm that they do in fact want to email everyone when they click Reply-All.
Forgetting to email everyone
On the flip side to the above, sometimes a Reply-All makes senses (or at least a Reply-to-Some of the original recipients).
This may be required to keep everyone in the loop or for your own personal protection.
For Individuals: Always check if an email has multiple recipients and decide who should be part of your reply
For Organizations: A lot of valuable time can be wasted resending emails to missed recipients. Use an addon similar to SendGuard which will prompt when you do a Reply (and not a Reply-All) on an email with multiple recipients that you may also want to include others in it. SendGuard even lets you change the recipients without having to go back to the email.
Emailing the Wrong Person
Outlook has a great (and also greatly dangerous) feature called Auto-Complete. You don’t need to remember anyone’s email address… type in a few characters in the To, CC or BCC field and Outlook fills in the email address for you.
Unfortunately, this makes it very easy to accidentally send the email to the wrong person. The Internet is fill of disaster stories where this has led to lost clients, large lawsuits etc.
For Individuals: Check your email’s recipients before clicking Send. Better yet, install software similar to SendGuard that will display the recipient’s name(s) to you again before sending the email out.
For Organizations: Deploying software similar to SendGuard for Outlook may also provide additional legal protection because it shows that the organization took extra steps to protect against accidents of this king.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Organization
Our SendGuard for Outlook is already protecting thousands of Outlook users in businesses of all sizes around the world.
- SendGuard detects potential mistakes in emails and prompts users before emails get sent out
- Organizations may have additional protection in lawsuits because (if needed) they can show that they took extra steps by using SendGuard to minimize incidents of mistakes such as this.
SendGuard consists of a number of different email security features, but based on user feedback we recently introduced the new SendConfirm and Reply Guard bundle to specifically protect against the mistakes identified in this post.
We are excited to release a new “bundle” to protect users from common Outlook mistakes that cost individuals and organizations a lot of wasted time and money.
Send Guard for Outlook detects common mistakes in emails as they are being sent out. If any mistakes are detected then the user is prompted for confirmation or changes before the email is sent out.
SendGuard is actually a collection of several different Guards and is licensed (priced) according to the Guards that users want enabled.
Two of the most popular guards are Send Confirm and Reply Guard. The new bundle provides an option to activate these two Guards if you do not want the full Send Guard.
What is Send Confirm for Outlook?
Send Confirm for Outlook protects your company from wrongly typed email addresses and accidental disclosure of sensitive information to the wrong people.
An AOL survey revealed that 32 percent of respondents had accidentally sent an email to the wrong person. In a more recent survey 78% of respondents said that they had accidentally sent emails to the wrong people at some time.
Send Confirm integrates inside Outlook and prompts users for confirmation before emails are sent out.
Send Confirm also recognizes that the greatest risk is if the information is sent to the wrong organization and therefore highlights the domain in red in its prompts.
What is Reply Guard for Outlook?
Reply Guard is used by many of our clients to reduce the amount of unnecessary Reply-Alls that take place in an organization.
Research has shown that Unneeded Reply-Alls results in many hours of lost productivity in organizations.
They also make the senders look unprofessional and train recipients to ignore emails from the offenders.
Reply Guard for Outlook integrates inside Outlook and displays a message similar to the following when Reply All is clicked on an email.
In addition to warning the user that Reply All was clicked, the prompt allows users to immediately change the recipients without having to go back to the email.
Send Confirm and Reply Guard have special features for deployment and support in corporate environments.
- All messages/prompts can be customized based on corporate/legal guidelines and policies.
- Reply Guard can be deployed with customized settings using Windows Server technology
- Settings can be locked to prevent changes by users (administrators can still make changes if required)
- Discount Volume Pricing
- Priority support options
Together Send Confirm and Reply Guard will keep your organization protected from the mistakes that are too easy to make in Outlook.
Send Confirm and Reply Guard are part of the Send Guard for Outlook. Download SendGuard and eliminate common email mistaking today.
The web is full examples of what the dangers to organization due to emails sent to the wrong email address (including one that may have led to a $1B settlement). What are the risks to your organization from these kinds of mistakes, and what you can do to manage those risks? We answer these questions and also look at a solution that several large companies are now implementing.
How do these mistakes occur?
These mistakes typically occur when a user accidentally sends an email to the wrong person. The normal reason for this would be that there may be two people with the same or similar names.
Unfortunately Outlooks Auto Complete list (which generally helps by displaying a list of matching names and email addresses as you begin to type) makes these kinds of mistakes even easier to make.
(Strategy) What can you do to reduce the risks from these kinds of mistakes?
It is probably impossible to eliminate mistakes of this kind altogether. Therefore your organization’s strategy should be based on:
- Configuring Outlook to reduce the chances that users will make these mistakes
- Be able to show (in the event of litigation etc.) that your organization took reasonable action to prevent mistakes of these kinds
What can you do:
The actual actions you can take include:
- Asking users to be more careful and pay more attentions before emails are sent out.
- Turning off Microsoft Outlook’s Auto-Complete feature.
While both of the above are theoretically good solutions, they may not work as well in the real world for most organization because:
- Irrespective of how careful people are, mistakes are inevitable (it’s part of being human).
- Auto-Complete is actually a very useful feature and it is painful and counter-productive to use Outlook without this turned on.
Is there a better solution?
Yes! Send Confirm is an Outlook addin that integrates inside Outlook and automatically prompts for confirmation before emails are sent out.
The domain is highlighted in red as the greatest damage can be caused if confidential information is sent to the wrong organization.
Send Confirm has been designed with the needs of both small and large companies in mind.
- The warning prompt can be customized based on corporate/legal guidelines and policies
- Special filters can be setup to control when the prompt gets displayed (external emails only, all emails etc)
- All settings can be set and deployed centrally
We’ve actually Send Confirm available to users for several years as part of Send Guard for Outlook. However at the request of several larger organizations, we have now packaged Send Confirm as a separate component to make it more cost-effective for wider deployment in organization.
Please contact us at email@example.com for more information on how Send Confirm can be used to protect your organisation.
We received an email query earlier this week from one of our readers asking
“Outlook includes my email address in the To field when I do a Reply-All. Clearly I do not want to email myself but Outlook lacks the intelligence to not add my email address to the email. Do you have a solution?…”
The reply to this was YES!!!
We have this functionality built into our own Outlook addin called SendGuard for Outlook. You can turn this feature ON from the setting screen following the steps below:
- Open Outlook
- In Outlook 2013/2010, click on the Standss Outlook Addins tab > click SendGuard > Settings In Outlook 2007/2003, click on the Tools menu > Standss > SendGuard > Settings
SendGuard will display the following screen:
- Click on the Reply Guard tab
- Tick the checkbox for Automatically remove me when doing a Reply to All
- Click OK
Now if you do Reply-to-All on any email, SendGuard will automatically remove your email address from the mailing list.
If you haven’t tried Send Guard for Outlook, you can download a fully functional trial of the Outlook addin.
SendGuard has a number of special filters that check outgoing emails to ensure that they are going to the correct people with all the required information. It’s built in tools include the Attachment Guard, Subject Guard, Reply (and Reply All) Guard, Account Guard, Bad Mood Guard and Send Confirm.
Outlook users BCC emails for two main reasons… sending sales/marketing emails or sending someone a copy of the email without letting the other recipients know. We strongly recommend that you DON’T use the BCC field for either purpose. Why?
- Your sales/marketing emails will probably get caught in SPAM filters: Stuffing the TO/CC/BCC field with email addresses makes your email look like spam and it might be caught by the SPAM filters, which means your recipients might never receive your email about an important announcement/sale/event etc.
- Your sales/marketing email might not get read even if it gets past the spam filter (because it looks too much like a sales email to the recipient)
- If you used BCC to keep a recipient hidden from others, imagine what would happen if the hidden recipient did a reply-to-all! Suddenly the other recipients would be aware that you had been using BCC and depending on the nature of the email conversation, this may be viewed as dishonest or sneaky.
What to do instead of using the BCC field?
Send Personalized Individual emails (Marketing or Sales emails)
Your emails have a better chance of reaching the recipients inbox if it is personalized and addressed to that person.
You can either send the same email to the recipients one at a time (compose a new email and copy paste the content) which would be time consuming… or
You can use an easy mail merge tool like Email Merge for Outlook to send out personalized individual copies of the email to each recipient. Each recipient will get a personalized copy of the email which is addressed only to him/her.
Forward Emails (when you need to hide a recipient from the others)
If you need to send someone a copy of an email without others knowing about it, don’t BCC them on it. Instead send the email out to the “disclosed” list of recipients. Then forward a copy of the Sent email to the “hidden” recipient. Now if the hidden recipient reply’s to the email, the reply will only come to you.
Avoid accidental Reply-To-Alls yourself
If you or others in your organization are dealing with confidential information that you are BCCed on, you might want to also look at Send Guard for Outlook to avoid doing an accident Reply-to-all yourself!
Send Guard has special filters that check emails as you respond to them and as they are sent out.
A special prompt will warn you and ask for confirmation if you reply to an email on which you have been BCCed.
This can avoid the accidental disclosure to other recipients that we referred to earlier.
I hope you find this tip useful.
If you know of other email abuses or ways to avoid email abuses, share it with us by leaving a comment below
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