Recently, I received an invite to attend a local meeting to learn more about a controversial education topic in the news.This forum included some high-profile people in government, education, and legal.
About a week before this highly publicized event, anyone who expressed an interest in attending this meeting received the very first email from the organizer, reminding us to attend along with more agenda information.
As I opened up this email, I noticed within seconds that the well-intentioned event organizer did NOT use the BCC Email Feature, and must not have thought to do so before hitting the “send” button.
After being in Corporate America for 20 years, and thinking that I have pretty much “seen it all” when it comes to email etiquette and sometimes the lack thereof in the professional world, what happened next was; unfortunately, very predictable.
Here’s what I witnessed while sitting at my laptop watching the entire scene unfold via email…
- The first unsubscribe request email was received when the person hit the “reply to all” button.
- Soon after, the second unsubscribe request came in, and the third… After a few hours, I lost track of the unsubscribes.
- Then, it happened… The “Loose Cannon” sent a completely off-the-wall email attacking everyone on the entire email distribution list. Of course, this started a chain reaction of counter-attack reply emails. It was getting intense.
After reading some of these unprofessional emails that flooded my inbox, I really didn’t know quite what to expect before the meeting. I had this visual image in my head of the police showing up outside of the school trying to control angry protestors, or the “Loose Cannon” causing a disturbance!
The day of the meeting finally came. Attendees learned more information about the new testing standards. Thankfully, the police did not have to show up because the assembly was peaceful with no furious people in uproar.
The very next day, the email frequency got even worse…
- A renowned attorney and guest speaker assumed that we all opted in to hearing from her via email, and hit the “reply to all” button to the same email distribution list. She shared YouTube video links and promoted her blog. The emails were excessive, and everyone received 24 emails from her in just three days. I did not read most of the emails, as there were just too many. This professional did not include an email opt-out link either, which is not exactly a best practice.
- Eventually, the emails tapered off. I would like to think that someone must have privately told this attorney to “stop with the emails, and that if any of the attendees are interested then they will opt-in to being emailed and receiving her blog updates on their own.”
The Moral of THIS Story:
Using the BCC Email Feature would have prevented all of this drama from happening via email in the first place.
Better yet, there are all kinds of online email distribution services and email marketing tools to choose from, so perhaps this group should look into using a small business email service before sending out an invite to the next forum.