I did a piece for the BBC World Service on the Reply All button the other day (MP3 to follow). I’m not saying there’s a causal link, but now Nielsen have issued a memo:
We have noticed that the “Reply to All” functionality results in unnecessary inbox clutter. Beginning Thursday we will eliminate this function, allowing you to reply only to the sender. Responders who want to copy all can do so by selecting the names or using a distribution list.
Apparently they’re not the first to do this: Standard Chartered have done it some time back, according to comments on Techcrunch.
There’s a lot of people who don’t like this; they think it’s a dumb move. I’d tend to agree, but for maybe different reasons. Why not try to understand why the Reply All button is there, and try to find another way for staff to disseminate information?
All I can imagine from this is the time wasted as employees add email addresses one by one for fear they leave someone out of a message. There’s got to be a better way. Wikis, blogs, RSS, twitter, Yammer, anyone?
Dunder Mifflin Alert! Nielsen to Disable Employees’ ‘Reply to All’ E-mail Functionality – Dylan Stableford – Blogs B2B @ FolioMag.com
Removing Reply All is backing out from getting into any trouble. I would say placing the reply all button in a strategic place so that it involves a concious effort from the users. This consious effort will solve the problem.
How about adding prompts, e.g. “Your message will be sent to 25 recipients: A, B, C, … I. Are you sure?” That should send the users thinking…