Getting Rid of RE: – Is There a Reason to Reply All?

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Henry Brown 7 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #174040

    Lindsey Tepe

    Is ‘Reply All’ really such a dreadful thing? I recently came across an article, Eradicating ‘Reply All’, which makes a compelling case for getting rid of – or at least limiting the availability of ‘Reply All’. In the article, they seem to make a few cases for getting rid of the function:

    1) Mistaken use – employees occasionally embarrass themselves by accidentally using it

    2) Poor judgement – the feature is used for personal reasons, like concert tickets

    3) Lack of content – more often than not, they lack any substance and simply create clutter

    As a former teacher, I distinctly remember the stream of 30 individual “Reply All” emails to Potluck invitations, each listing a different casserole that was claimed for the event. I understand the annoyance, and time wasted, having to sort through each of those individual emails and dispose of them.

    As a current gmail user, however, I wonder if the bigger question isn’t Why can’t Outlook (and other email providers) better manage conversation threads? Is there really a solid case for eradicating ‘Reply All’, or is the issue that providers treat each ‘Reply All’ as an new individual email, rather than part of an email thread?

  • #174054

    Henry Brown


    Have worked with organizations which spent a considerable amount of time training the user communitee on the correct use of the Reply All button and the payoff was signficant!

    One of the organizations took it to the nth degree in that if a user hit “reply all” without proper justification they lost access to their email accounts until they had completed an 8 hour course on Email usage.

  • #174052

    Erik G Eitel

    Interesting thoughts. I’m excited to see what people have to say about this topic. Personally, I think reply all still has a function in email. As Lindsey said though, Google does the best job of managing threads so that the conversation doesn’t take up my entire inbox.

  • #174050

    Hannah Ornell

    I’m still a fan of the reply all function and wouldn’t want to see it go. I agree that gmail’s system of maintaining the emails in a thread is the ideal way to go. Hopefully other email servers switch over to this format.

  • #174048

    Ami Wazlawik

    I find that the reply all function can be very useful, particularly when trying to set up meetings, elicit feedback, or share ideas via email – lets everyone know what’s going on at one time instead of having to make separate contacts with people.

  • #174046

    We need it! How laborious it would be to re-type everyone’s emails every time, eh?

  • #174044

    Stewart F Gwyn

    How about BCC:? I don’t use it. Never will. But I’ve noticed “reply all” “from” managers or executives contributing to a conversation where author set BCC for a reason or hoping for one.

    Some sites not having an option other than email, or knowing the best method to communicate with others, like:

    Lync (Office Communiator, MAC Office 2011) and distribution lists for chats.

    Sharepoint is the place for office holiday planning – listing all the casseroles to a signup facilitor. .

    I agree, “reply all” has been a riddle with many references. We had one or two occasions where internal thread had been distributed with external customers email account being added, and you see where causality runs. All you are able to do is shutdown those threads and reminding about edits. It reminded me of an article after ENRON. Trader’s talking about clients when they thought guys were on-hold or those message reappearing in testimony, seeing conversations, brutal.

  • #174042

    Erik G Eitel

    I think the BCC is more relevant when using CRM systems opposed to communicating with people through a chain email. I know that Salesforce has a special link that needs to be BCC’d in order to log activity. So I can’t really imagine the BCC going away any time soon, if not only for that reason.

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