Reply to sender reduces accidental emails to a list and makes it much easier to reply to the sender. People have to consciously select Reply All encouraging them to consider off-list discussions and replies. It avoids embarrassment and privacy issues by reducing the risk of emailing the whole list. Plus, it is still just as easy for people to reply to the whole list using Reply All when they wish to do so.
I’m on a number of mailing lists, most are on the jiscmail.ac.uk service. Some are configured to ‘reply to sender’ when you press Reply, where as others (most) are set to ‘reply to list’.
But we want to encourage discussion and don’t mind people replying to list so this doesn’t apply to us? This is no way stops this, replying to list is still easy to do, but it makes replying to the sender an option as well, it can be very difficult otherwise. With this suggestion if someone presses reply without thinking, it will not accidentally go to the whole list. A mailing list configured to Reply to List by default makes it very difficult to reply to just the Sender, especially for those using MS Outlook.
- If I want to reply to the sender, I hit Reply
- If i want to reply to the list, I hit Reply All.
- If I don’t think and just hit Reply, it will go to one person (rather than the whole list)
- If I don’t have a Reply All (very very rare) I can just copy the email address of the mailing list (which is easy to find) and paste it in to the To: field, replacing the name of the sender.
Conclusion: Replying to sender and list are both easy to do, accidentally replying to whole list is reduced.
- If I want to reply to the sender I need to find their email address, which isn’t always easy (see below), and paste it in to the To: field
- If I want to reply to list I can hit Reply, or hit Reply All, they do the same.
- If I don’t think and hit Reply, it goes to the list, which may disclosure private information, or cause embarrassment
Conclusion: Replying to list easy to do (two different ways), but replying to sender is difficult, involves finding their email address and copying/pasting. Easy to email list by accident.
Making this change will make your list work as people expect it to. It has no downsides!