Avoid e-mailing the wrong people: A quick tip

Ian Lurie

My clients don’t really have my best interests at heart. They all have names like ‘Joe’ or ‘Jane’ or whatever.

So it’s really, really easy to have one of those butt-clenching moments when you realize you just sent a line-by-line chronicling of every onsite SEO issue your pharmaceuticals client has to your unitarian church client.


You can do some basic stuff, like setting your e-mail program to delay outgoing messages for 30 seconds. That works if you remember to check who you just sent to.

Yeah, right.

My preferred method: I type in each recipient’s last name, instead of their first name, when I’m entering e-mail addresses.

I don’t have multiple clients with the same last names. So I’m a little less prone to e-mailing Jane Jones when I meant to e-mail Jane Smith.

Whenever I forget, by the way, I seem to end up accidentally e-mailing the wrong Jennifer, or the wrong Scott. A nice reminder.

If you know a better way, like a little monkey that’ll read my e-mail to: line and then hit me with a tire iron if I screw up, leave a comment.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at www.ianlurie.com

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  1. Don’t know if you’re a Mac or a PC, but maybe groups? So, you type “church” and the church lady pops up (sorry, couldn’t resist).
    If it makes you feel better, I had a client who used to occasionally send me her accounting books by mistake (I’m a copywriter). Her accountant had a similar name.

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