Deleting Groups of Names in an Address Book

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Deleting Groups of Names in an Address Book

Ron Smith called to ask if there is a way to insert all the names from his Outlook Express Address Book into an outgoing letter as a group, rather than one at a time. This question is also often asked by folks wanting to forward a letter, as well as by others who distribute newsletters. The answer is yes, and I suggested that Ron put the addresses into the BCC (blind carbon copy) field, rather than in the CC (carbon copy) field.

If you don't see a BCC field in Outlook Express, click on View>All Headers.

To select a group, click BCC to display your Address Book list. Now click the top name in the list, hold down SHIFT, click the bottom name, and then release the SHIFT key. This will select all names, whereupon you can click the BCC button to insert them as a group.

These instructions also work on any number of contiguous names (i.e. clicking the top and bottom names with SHIFT held down). For non-contiguous names, hold down CTRL while left-clicking target names one by one.

All the above also applies to Windows Live Mail and Outlook Address Books. In fact, the principle of selecting multiple items with SHIFT or CTRL held down also works with most lists, such as file names in a folder.

Personally, I keep my address list in an MSWord file, from which I copy and paste names as needed into my various email accounts.

Another frequent question regarding bulk email is, "Why do so many of the letters come back with various 'undeliverable' messages?"

The answer is spam. When an email service sees a message from one address going to dozens of other addresses, the immediate assumption is that it contains spam (unsolicited advertising). Beyond that, many email users are installing their own anti-spam filters that block incoming messages for a variety of reasons.

One of the best things to do if you distribute a newsletter is to ask all recipients to put your email address in their Address Books. In other words, if an incoming message is from someone they know and trust, other anti-spam filters should be ignored.

Various email services and ISPs have their own rules about the quantity of bulk emails they will allow to pass through their systems. We have found Google's Gmail to be the most generous, with a limit of 300. To send 1,000 newsletters, we simply divide them into four groups of 250 each.

Other readers have asked why they occasionally receive spam messages showing their own email address the return address. Or, worse yet, they receive indignant letters from people complaining about spam they received.

Well, viruses exist that can steal your Address Book and password. Then the virus-senders propagate emails that appear to come from you, but which contain links to their own nefarious web sites. If this happens to you, do an anti-virus scan, change your password and/or change your email address.

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