Earlier this week I wrote a blog post about forcefully guiding staff to use Yammer for internal conversations. While some people loved this concept, for others it made their blood boil as they thought the use of transport rules to block internal email traffic was anti-email.

The reality is that sometimes you want to be gentle, other times you just want to get things done.

A more preferred solution for guiding people to use Yammer, Skype for Business or even a face to face chat instead of email would be to use the MailTips feature of Exchange & Outlook.

MailTips can be applied on any mail-enabled object within Exchange and will simply present a message above the To field with a note.

On a group this would look like:

Whereas for a user it would look like this using Outlook on the web:

Or this using the Outlook desktop client:

MailTips are only visible on Outlook 2010 and above as well as Outlook on the web (formerly known as Outlook Web App aka OWA), not mobile clients.

The challenge with MailTips is that there is no way to enable them out of the box across users – it needs to be done via the Exchange Control Panel:

Or via PowerShell using the syntax: Set-<RecipientType> <RecipientIdentity> -MailTip “<MailTip text>” where RecipientType can equal Mailbox, MailUser, MailContact, DistributionGroup, or DynamicDistributionGroup.

For this to truly work in a programmatic fashion and cater for new users joining the organisation you would need to create a PowerShell script and set it to run as a scheduled task on a regular basis to apply the MailTip instead of doing it manually.

So now you have another alternative to mail transport rules – something that is a bit gentler than simply blocking internal emails. J

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