Maybe "etiquette" is not the right word. Maybe some common sense rules would be better. So, we all use email. We receive email from a friend and that friend has included a number of recipients to get the same email. Usually this is not a problem. But, there are a few things you as the receiver or sender should think about....
  • Do I want anyone receiving the email to know my address
  • When replying to a sender, do I want the reply to go to the sender only or all on the list.
  • When forwarding the email to another person not on the list, should that person have access to all in the list.
The answer to these questions is "maybe." How ever you access your email, by a web browser connection to your provider or using an email client installed on your computer, there are defaults that can be set up. In particular, you can set the default reply to be one of two ways...
  • Reply to sender only
  • Reply to all
The biggest complaint is users have their default set to "Reply to all." Sometimes this is how the email program sets it. The default should always be "Reply to sender" only, but you will have the option to set it for "ALL" on a one-time basis.

    The second part of this deals with email you want to send to multiple recipients. All email programs have option on how to send a message...
  • Using "To:" for each recipient; thus all will see all addresses involved
  • Using "Bcc:" (Blind carbon copy); thus the recipient will only see his/her address
    A reply will than only go back to you.
  • Finally using "Cc:" (Carbon copy); This used to send email to someone and a copy to another where you want the "To" person to know about it. Bcc can also be used for the carbon copy.
When sending out items, like newsletters and other types, the "Bcc" method should be used. This way, if the sender is asking to be notified that the email was received, only the sender will get it independent of the "Reply to" setting of the other end.

    These recommendations are the preferred settings or usage etiquette. You don't have to agree but most appreciate their usage.