E-mail multiple recipients without sharing e-mail addresses

Don't share e-mail addresses with the crowd. When sending e-mail to several people, use this trick to hide their addresses.

Sharing e-mail addresses is frowned upon, but that's exactly what you do every time you send an e-mail to more than one person — whether you're creating or forwarding the message. Everyone who receives the e-mail has the address for every other recipient.  Within the same organization, or an intimate group of friends and family, that's okay. However, it isn't okay if you're sending a promotion or special discount to 100 clients who don't know one another. Depending on the nature of your business, you could lose your job.One quick option is to send the e-mail to yourself and bbc all the recipients. Doing so hides all e-mail addresses but yours. The downside of this technique is that bcc messages tend to get snagged by spam filters. That means your mail might never reach some of the recipients.

A more dependable way to send an e-mail to a list of undisclosed recipients follows:

  1. Open the New button's drop-down list and select Contact.
  2. Type Undisclosed recipients in the Full Name control. You don't have to use that name; give your list a meaningful name that describes the recipients or the message's intent.
  3. Enter your e-mail address in the E-mail field. october2008officeblog11fig1r.jpg
  4. Click Save And Close.
  5. Create a new e-mail message.
  6. Click the To button and choose Undisclosed recipients.
  7. Click To and highlight the necessary addresses.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Enter your message and click Send.

Remember that the name you give the undisclosed contact (step 2) will show in the e-mail's header, so give that name a bit of creative and careful thought.


Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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