Yesterday I received a “thanks for applying to our competition, but you didn’t win” email from a (presumably junior) marketing person at a technology company that shall remain nameless to protect the guilty.

I didn’t notice when reading it on my iPhone, but the message was sent To: 31 different people, me being one of them. Not even CC’d, the usual rookie mistake.

The good news when you get an email like this is that you can see all the other companies who received the email. Like many of the recipients probably, I did a quick scan of the emails, and opened a few new tabs in Chrome to check out the companies of email address domain names that seemed interesting. And now with services like Rapportive, you can even see who the generic free email addresses (gmail, yahoo etc.) really belong to.

The worst part of this (aside from being embarrassed for the person who sent the email), is the short orgy of self-promotion that follows. People who I assume to be adults pretending they don’t know they are replying-to-all in order to shamelessly plug their own startups. Thankfully, this usually flames out after a half-dozen emails, or when (in this case) two particularly clueless people who know each other start catching up via email’s cc’d to 30 other people (“hey, did you ever get that thing done?”) and then presumably receive private emails telling them to STFU. So it ends.


And the cycle of Email idiocy continues. I suppose this is something of a rite of passage for inexperienced marketing or administrative folks working online - a mistake you hopefully only make once.

For some actually useful advice on using BCC when making introductions, check out this great post from Mark Suster.