Contacts categories can be useful to organize your contacts into smaller, more meaningful groups such as “Work Colleagues, “Family”, “Club Members” etc. and will also make sending emails to entire groups much easier.
Let’s take, for example, a small club with a hundred members to which you want to email a monthly newsletter. Instead of inserting each email address every month in the ‘TO:’ field, you would only do this once, give the list a name (eg: members) and use that nickname in the TO field from then on. Here’s how it’s done.
Update your contact list with your members’ email addresses.
Once ready, click on the ‘CONTACTS’ link in the left side pane of your Hotmail Live screen.
Select ‘MANAGE CATEGORIES’. This will display your categories page with any existing (including the default) Hotmail categories.
Click on ‘NEW’ to create a new category.
Start filling in the category details. Give it a unique nickname (in this case I will use Group A) and start typing in the members’ email addresses which you should already have created in the contact list.
To avoid having your email rated as spam, you should be very careful not to exceed unreasonable sized contacts category lists. What is unreasonable you may ask? Well, at the time of writing it appears that 100 contacts per category is considered high but these limits may be changed from time to time. I would recommend keeping the list below 50 contacts and creating a number of groups (Group A, Group B etc) and sending your mail shot in 2 or 3 different sessions instead. This will work well for communities or personal use. For more voluminous mailshot you should really use different online services which provide for mass emails.
Click on ‘SAVE’ when ready updating your contacts. You should be able to see your newly created category Group A in the list.
You are now ready to send your newsletter to your club members. Start with creating a new email. In order to safeguard your members’ email addresses it is recommended to place your members’ email addresses in the BCC: section instead of the TO: field.
If TO: is used, then all the email addresses (even if in a category list) will show on each members’ email message, consequently exposing other members’ personal address unnecessarily which can lead to abuse. BCC: (standing for Blind Carbon Copy) on the other hand ensures that all email addresses are ‘masked’ and remain hidden to all.
If your BCC: field does not show on screen under the TO: field, click on ‘Show Cc & Bcc’ link towards the right top of the screen.
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Proceed with writing your email with an attractive subject line and some great content which your members will be pleased to read.
Click on ‘SEND’ to send the email !