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I'm using emails in my professional context to contact with my client. (We are external auditors ABC). We are given access to a common email account in which we have to use to correspond with the client XYZ.

Since there are lots of emails sending in and out of the mail box and there is one person of the team who is in charge of handling emails, forwarding the replies to the relevant person of the team gets difficult. (What usually happens is we compose the email from our own work mailbox me@abc.com and forward it to the common mailbox ext_auditor@xyz.com.)

As it is hard for the team member who is handling emails to determine to whom each received email belongs to, we would like to add a attn in the email before we send it to the client. How should we indicate this particular information in our email?

closed as off-topic by Andrew Leach, choster, Kris, TrevorD, Kristina Lopez Oct 14 '13 at 17:27

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    This isn't a question about English language, but about business communications protocol. My suggestion would be to place the ATTN in the subject line of the email so that it can quickly be scanned and/or automatically filtered. This question might be on topic at Workplace.SE. – choster Oct 14 '13 at 6:25
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about business practice not the nuts and bolts of English. – Andrew Leach Oct 14 '13 at 7:08
  • @choster, Then would that be okay if I simply cross-post this question in The Workplace? – SAM Oct 14 '13 at 9:33
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it should be asked on the relevant Q&A on SE, not ELU. – Kris Oct 14 '13 at 12:12
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This is better solved as a technology question than as language question.

You need a good email admin. Even a mediocre one should know what to do. It is not so much as what the email admin needs to do but to provide or upgrade you with the proper services and tools, as well as administer the proper privileges, that would enable a group to send emails thro a single email account, and then receive such emails back individually.

The email system should allow a person to send each individual email

  • from ext_auditor@xyz.com
  • masquerading as Pete.Cactus@xyz.com
  • reply to: Pete.Cactus@xyz.com

Alternatively, as I am not aware what your protocols require, you might wish to send

  • from Pete.Cactus@xyz.com
  • masquerading as ext_auditor@xyz.com
  • reply to: Pete.Cactus@xyz.com

These perfectly acceptable organizational tools are the similar process used by phishers to masquerade sources of emails, except that in your case, the email admin would provide the proper permissions and privileges.

OTOH, if your organization might insist on not using the technology route, my experience of the old days were having to remind your clients about your email format:

# Email headers
FROM: mailbox@abcaudits.com
TO: clienty@clientysite.whatever
SUBJECT: ATTN:punxsutawney phil: Hold the whole Tax loop hole

###################################################  
IMPORTANT: Please ATTN your intended recipient in  
the subject header when replying this email.  
###################################################  

But NO. You will be disappointed because your client will not follow those instructions completely or to your satisfaction. And the subject line could get too long and oblivious.

If email-anonymity is your protocol, such that your client should not know your individual email ids, but a randomized email id - there is a way to do that, technologically.

If you had asked this question at the relevant technology forum, there would be people who could tell you what free-ware you could use that is capable of doing what you want, provided you are willing to hire an intern to write the scripts for you.

And why use free-ware, when you could pay for it too? Why not outsource your email services to Google Apps?

BTW, hiring a final year comp sci intern might be more expensive than hiring teacher.

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