Why you should avoid using BCC for emails?

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, September 19th, 2013

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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)
  3. 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 Reply 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

Related Posts:

How to create NON-SPAM emails that get opened and read

When to BCC Emails in Outlook

How to create NON-SPAM emails that get opened and read

By standss · Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Do you use Outlook to send out sales and marketing emails to your customers? Here’s a few tips to help your emails reach customers and not get blocked as SPAM

1. Send SEPERATE INDIVIDUALLY ADDRESSED to each person

Don’t send one email with a big list of recipients… or worse to undisclosed recipients. That’s a red flag to junk mail filter software.

Instead send separate emails so that each recipient should only see their own name in the To field of the email that they receive.

Creating separate emails for each person can take time. If you have a big list of prospects or customers you can use an Outlook addin like Email Merge PRO which will create and send separate emails to each customer.

2. Don’t use words that Spammers use.

This means avoid words like free, discount, guarantee, special offer, best price, bargain etc.

But… how can you sell something without using those word…  use them… but use them once or twice only where it makes sense.

Don’t make your whole email a sales promotion. Spam filters look at how often these trigger words are used so make sure you also have other (relevant) content.

3. Send emails from your own email account.

If you’re using Outlook, you probably don’t need to worry about this one. This applies to people who try and use unknown servers or web services to send out emails.

If the recipient’s ISP detects that your email is coming from an unreliable server or if the email is coming from a different domain then your email will be blocked.

Even when your email has gotten through to the user’s Inboxes, your job is still not done. You still need to get past the main Junk Mail filter… the person reading this email.

1. Make sure that the email is individually addressed (in the To field) only to him (or her).
When I see a big list of recipients from someone who is not a personal friend (I still get some joke emails etc from friends), I assume that someone is trying to sell me something.

2. Personalise the email at the start (something like Dear Sanjay) but don’t get carried away and personalise it too many places.

3. Send the email only to people who are actually interested in what you are writing about selling etc. If you have a big list of people, you may want to segment it into smaller lists. Not everyone is interested in everything you have to offer.

(If you are using Email Merge PRO, you can group your lists into smaller segments directly from the Wizard)

4. Make the Subject line interesting enough that the user wants to open the email.

I hope that these tips help your emails deliver better results for your business.

You may also want to look at Email Merge for Outlook which has an easy-to-use Wizard that helps you send out personalized individually addressed emails. It works from inside Outlook (your recipient list can be inside Outlook or Excel…)  and also has advanced features to help you segment your list etc.

Automatically Highlight Real Work Emails in Outlook’s Junk Folder

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Our last post Keep good emails out of the Outlook Junk Mail Folder showed how you can use Outlook’s Safe Senders option to keep real emails out of the Junk folder. Outlook’s Junk Mail folder does a good job of catching most of the SPAM emails but at times some of the real work emails also end up there.

Here’s how you can quickly spot the work emails amongst all the SPAM by getting Outlook to HIGHLIGHT the most likely real emails.

The trick is to get Outlook to automatically color code any emails that have certain words in them. In my case…

I’ve setup Outlook so that it automatically highlights (Red Bold) any email with the word Outlook in it.

Step-By-Step

1. Go to the Junk Emails Folder.

2. On the menu at the top, Click View > Current View >  Customize Current View to display the Customize View screen. (In Outlook 2010 click View > View Settings on the ribbon)

3. Click the Automatic Formatting(or Conditional Formatting) button.

Auto Format

4. Click the Add Button

5. Enter a name e.g. “Colour Code Outlook Emails”

6. Click the Font button and using the resulting screen to choose how you want emails to be highlighted (I chose the colour Red and Bold). Click OK to return to the previous screen.

7. Click the Condition button to display the Filter screen and enter your criteria and click OK.

Filter emails

In my case I chose:

Search for the word(s): Outlook
In: Subject and message body

8. Click OK 3 times to return to your Folder.

Your Emails are Now Color Coded… Any emails in the folder that meet the criteria you specified will automatically be highlighted. Any new emails will also be highlighted using the same rules.

I can’t tell you how many times this simple trick has helped me immediately spot an important email that Outlook thought was spam.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips, SPAM Filtering in Outlook Comments ( 0 )

Keep good emails out of the Outlook Junk Mail Folder

By standss · Comments ( 1 ) Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Here’s a quick tip on how to stop good emails from getting into Outlook’s Junk Mail folder (normally you’re trying to get bad emails in there).

We all get spam emails. Luckily for us Outlook’s Junk Mail folder does a good job of catching most of them. But there are occasional false-positives… when a good email ends up in there.

Here’s how you can tell Outlook to always trust emails from certain people.

Outlook has a Safe Sender’s list. Anyone on your Safe Sender’s list is authorised to send you email i.e. Outlook will not treat emails from them as junk email.

Everyone I send emails to is SAFE!

It makes sense (most of the time) that anyone you actually write to should automatically be put on your safe sender’s list.

The ability to do this is built into Outlook but is turned off by default. To turn it on:

  • Go to your Inbox.
  • If you are using Outlook 2010, (on the ribbon) click File > Junk > Junk E-mail Options
    For other versions of Outlook, (on the menu) click Actions – Junk Email – Junk Email Options
    Click the Safe Senders tab.
    Tick the checkbox “Automatically add people I e-mail to the Safe Senders List”.
    Click OK.

This little tip should hopefully help your get more of your real emails in your Inbox.

If you have your own tips for using the Junk Mail Folder, please share it with others by leaving a comment below.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips, SPAM Filtering in Outlook Comments ( 1 )

STOP Getting Spammed by Your Own Email Address

By standss · Comments ( 1 ) Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Over the last few weeks I have noticed that spammers have started more and more spam email from YOUR or MY email address. The email is from YOU and also to YOU. Chances are you have your email address white-listed. Here’s a little trick I use to stop these emails from getting into my Inbox.

First why would you email yourself…last week I wrote a tip on how you can stay organized by emailing yourself… that could be a reason.

Here’s how you can move the spam emails out of your Inbox but still keep the real emails you have emailed yourself.

Decide on a few characters that you will type in the Subject of every email that you send yourself. Keep it simple as you want to be able to type these characters from your BlackBerry etc as well. Use something like QAZ or whatever is easy for you to type.

Any time you send yourself an email type those characters in the Subject e.g. Instead of “Pick Stuff from Supermarket”, you would need to type (say) “QAZ Pick Stuff From Supermarket”.

Now setup Outlook.

  • Add your own email address to the Safe Senders list in Outlook (this is probably already done)
  • Create a Rule in Outlook so that all emails from your email address get moved to your Junk Mail folder, except those with your special tag in them (QAZ in the example above) 
  • If you are using Outlook 2010. Click on File and select the Info tab and then click on Manage Rules & Alerts.
    For all other versions of Outlook, click Tools and then click Rules & Alerts.
  • Click on New Rule… to display the Rules Wizard as shown below:

Rules Wizard Step 1

  • Click Move messages from someone to a folder.
  • Click people or distribution list. Enter all your own email addresses in the From field and click OK.
  • Click specified folder. Use the screen that comes up to select the Junk E-mail folder and click OK.
  • Click Next, Next and then Next again

Rules Wizard 2

  • Tick except if the subject contains specific words.
  • Click Specific Words. Enter the tag (QAZ in example) and click Add.
  • Click OK
  • Your Rules should look something like the following:

Rules Wizard 3

  • Click Finish.

Now anytime Outlook receives an email from you, it will get moved to the Junk Emails folder, EXCEPT when they have your special tag. EASY!

Does this tip work for you? Do you have other better methods? Tell me what you think by leaving a comment on the blog.

Automatic Safe Sender Maintenance for Outlook Junk Folder

By standss · Comments ( 2 ) Friday, May 28th, 2010

I think Outlook’s Junk Email Folder does a fantastic job of keeping spam out of my Inbox but … occasionally real emails end up there. Here’s a quick tip to reduce the number of emails that get incorrectly moved to the Junk Email folder.

Outlook has a Safe Sender’s list. Outlook knows that anyone who is on your Safe Sender’s list is authorised to send you email.

It makes sense (most of the time) that anyone you actually write to should automatically be put on your safe sender’s list.

The ability to do this is built into Outlook but is turned off by default. To turn it on …

Go to your Inbox.
Click Actions – Junk Email – Junk Email Options
Click the Safe Senders tab.
Tick the checkbox Automatically add people I e-mail to the Safe Senders List.
Click OK.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips, SPAM Filtering in Outlook Comments ( 2 )

How often should you clear your Outlook Junk Folder?

By standss · Comments ( 4 ) Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

EVERY DAY! I used to let my junk mail folder collect emails for months until recently… here’s why?

If you’re like me, your Outlook Junk Emails folder will get at least 20 emails in it every day… most of them actually SPAM.

However you’ll occasionally get emails in there that are actual work emails. You can get Outlook to automatically highlight the work emails in your junk emails folder as I outlined in an earlier article.

But it is still very useful to clear your Junk Emails folder on a daily basis because:

  1. This habit makes you go to your Junk Emails folder which gives you the chance to see if Outlook has highlighted any emails that might need your attention (no point in Outlook highlighting them unless you actually look at the folder)
  2. You can also quickly scan through the rest of the emails in the folder to see if there are any other work emails amongst the SPAM.

This will ensure that you respond to incorrectly junk-filed emails in a timely manner.

The whole process is also much easier and quicker since there will be less emails in Outlook’s Junk Emails folder (assuming that you empty the folder out every day) than if you let it pile up over several days, weeks or even months.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips, SPAM Filtering in Outlook Comments ( 4 )

Finding Real Emails in Outlook’s Junk Emails Folder

By standss · Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Do a lot of your work emails end up in Outlook’s Junk Mail folder? Here’s how you can quickly spot the work emails amongst all the SPAM by getting Outlook to HIGHLIGHT the most likely real emails.

The trick is to get Outlook to automatically color code any emails that have certain words in them. In my case…

I’ve setup Outlook so that it automatically highlights (Red Bold) any email with the word Outlook in it.

Step-By-Step
1. Go to the Junk Emails Folder.

2. On the menu at the top, Click View-Current View – Customize Current View to display the Customize View screen. (In Outlook 2010 click View-View Settings on the ribbon)

3. Click the Automatic Formatting(or Conditional Formatting) button.

4. Click the Add Button

5. Enter a name e.g. “Colour Code Outlook Emails”

6. Click the Font button and using the resulting screen to choose how you want emails to be highlighted (I chose the colour Red and Bold). Click OK to return to the previous screen.

7. Click the Condition button to display the Filter screen and enter your criteria and click OK.

In my case I chose:

Search for the word(s): Outlook
In: Subject and message body

8. Click OK 3 times to return to your Folder.

Your Emails are Now Color Coded… Any emails in the folder that meet the criteria you specified will automatically be highlighted. Any new emails will also be highlighted using the same rules.

I can’t tell you how many times this simple trick has helped me immediately spot an important email that Outlook though was spam.

Regards,

Sanjay Singh

Categories : Outlook Email Tips, SPAM Filtering in Outlook Comments ( 1 )

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