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Reply to E-list Messages (Lyris)

This article applies to: E-lists (Lyris)


Replying to a list message is just like replying to any email message, except that you must be very careful to check where your reply will go.

When list owners establish their lists, they decide where replies go. If the list has been set up for discussion, replies to messages will most likely go to everyone on the list. On the other hand, lists that are set up to distribute information from a central source may be configured so that replies go to the person who sent the original message.

Some email programs, such as Outlook and Thunderbird, can be configured to override the setting for a list's reply function. For example, if the e- list is set up to reply only to the sender, but you tell your email program to "reply to all," your local setting overrides the list's setting and your reply goes to everyone on the list as well as to the sender.

If you receive your list mail in digest format please note that a reply to the message, whether directed to the sender or to the whole list, will have the same generic subject line as the digest message had. It is a good idea to change the digest-related subject line so that it reflects the original message's subject line (which will be within the body of the digest, just above the text of the message itself).

When replying (especially when replying to the list), it is considered polite to delete the parts of the original message that aren't needed in your reply. This helps keep the overall size of the message small.

Follow these basic steps:

  • Choose the reply command for your email program.
  • Check the To, Cc, and Bcc fields to see where the reply will be sent. Edit these entries as necessary so that the reply will go only to the recipients you intend.
  • Edit the subject line as necessary to be informative, especially if you receive list messages in digest format.
  • Edit the quoted text to make your message as short as possible, including only the relevant text from the original message. In some cases there is no need to include any quoted text.
  • Type your reply.
  • Double-check all parts of your message (recipients, subject line, quoted text, and new text)

After you've done all that, it's safe to send your message.

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