You can send an email to several people in one simple action. Communications can be divided into four types depending on the number of parties participating in the information transfer: (1) one-to-one, (2) one-to-many, (3) many-to-one, and (4)many-to-many.
Each type of communication has its own attributes and strengths. For example, the typical phone call is one-to-one, and the typical meeting is many-to-many. Email is the most successful one-to-many technology, with respect to both sending and receiving:
- Sending. You can send an email to more than one person at a time, for example to everyone in your family, or to a group of friends.
- Receiving. You can receive information that has been mailed to more than one person, for example an announcement sent to hundreds of people on a mailing list.
The key advantage of this one-to-many communication is efficiency, since instead of sending emails individually, you can save large amounts of time by sending one email to several people at once (also see address groups).
Similarly, when you receive an email from an Internet mailing list you are getting information that would probably be impractical to receive any other way, since most organizations don’t have the time or resources to send out paper based notices individually to hundreds or even thousands of people.