How to Use CC and BCC in Email in 2022

How to Use CC and BCC in Email
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This article will explain the differences between CC and BCC email addresses. We’ll go over the differences between CC and BCC in email, when to use each, and four CC and BCC in email best practises to avoid embarrassing email debates.

How to Use CC and BCC in Email to Keep Communications Efficient in 2022

What Does CC Mean When Sending An Email?

The term “carbon copy” refers to the fact that receivers in the CC field receive the same email message as those in the To field, as well as any “reply all” responses. Everyone who receives the email will be able to see who has been CC’d.

Only the major recipients of the email should be listed in the To field if you follow email etiquette. That’s because those people are more likely to be affected by the email’s content and to be expected to respond in some way. CC recipients, on the other hand, are usually secondary recipients who are added to the email to keep them updated on what’s going on. These individuals are not obligated to reply or take action.

If you’re requesting a change from someone in one department that will affect someone in another department, you can use CC. The To field should be designated for the person who is responsible for taking action (making the change), while the CC field should be reserved for the person who will be affected by the change but isn’t being asked to do anything.

What Does BCC Mean When Sending An Email?

In email, BCC stands for “blind carbon copy.” As the acronym implies, BCC recipients receive the identical email as those in the To and CC fields. The distinction is that they do not receive responses from the email, and other recipients are unaware of who has been BCC’d. BCC is commonly used for mass emails since it hides recipients’ email addresses from other recipients, protecting their privacy.

In email, what is the difference between CC and BCC?

Through our descriptions of the two phrases, we’ve touched on some of the differences between CC and BCC in email, but let’s dig a little deeper. To begin, both the CC and BCC lists allow all receivers of an email to see the same email. The key difference is that BCC recipients are hidden from the rest of the email’s recipients, whereas CC recipients are not. As a result, CC recipients appear to everyone, whereas BCC recipients appear to no one.

If the “reply all” answer is utilized, CC’d recipients will have access to any responses received for the email. BCC recipients do not receive new emails when responses arrive, so they will only be aware of responses if they are forwarded to them.

If you want to utilize CC and BCC efficiently in email, you should understand how the fields function. Despite the archaic language (does anyone remember what a “carbon copy” or “carbon paper” is these days? ), the fields themselves operate in a clear manner. Simply eliminate the word “carbon” and think of CC and BCC as “courtesy copy” and “blind courtesy copy,” respectively. Then continue from there.

If you include an email address in the CC section, the email will be copied to that address. That implies they’ll receive the same email as the rest of us. The recipients listed in the To and CC fields are visible to everyone. BCC receivers, on the other hand, are hidden from the rest of the world, albeit they will receive the same email as everyone else. They will not receive any replies to that email because they are only included on that one email. BCC only applies to the email on which the BCC recipients were added.

As you can see, the fundamental distinction between CC and BCC in email is the level of privacy provided to recipients.

When Should You Use CC in Email?

So, why would you use the CC field for your emails if the CC field and To fields work exactly the same, the email is delivered to the recipients exactly the same, everyone in those fields can see everyone else in those fields, they all get the replies, and it doesn’t matter if you add someone to the To field or the CC field?

It’s all about email etiquette and making sure the receivers are aware of the expectations. So, if you add recipients to your email’s To field, those are the people to whom the email is specifically addressed. These are the individuals who must react or act in some way. The CC area is then used for recipients who need to be informed about the email’s content. This means that, while the material is essential to those in the CC field, they are not compelled to take any action or respond.

Here’s a brief breakdown of when you should use CC in an email:

  • Keep someone in the loop: keep someone updated on info that doesn’t require their immediate, direct response or action
  • Convey an email’s urgency: CCing higher-level employees in your organization signals the recipients in the To field that the content of the email is important
  • Introduce contacts: use CC to share the email addresses of the people you’re introducing so they can talk directly

As you might expect, CCing people might result in a clogged inbox. In a moment, we’ll go through how to deal with this in our email CC and BCC best practices.

When Should You Email With BCC?

There are numerous applications for the BCC list. Because the email addresses in the BCC field are private, there are numerous ways to use BCC in email to ensure that your and your receivers’ needs are met.

For starters, you can utilize BCC in an email to keep someone informed about a situation without informing everyone else. By inserting the supervisor in the To or CC areas, you can keep a supervisor updated about what’s going on with a specific employee without troubling the employee. If you want to preserve a copy of an email in a different email address without sharing it with everyone on the email, you can use the BCC list.

There are also situations when you want to send an email to a large group of people but don’t want to share everyone’s email address. In some circumstances, you can use your own email address in the To box and the BCC email field to include all of the other emails.

Here’s a basic overview of when BCC should be used in email:

  • Sharing a company newsletter or using a large mailing list: keep recipients private when you’re sending an email newsletter or informational email to a list of people—especially if your recipients don’t know one another
  • Impersonal emails not requiring a response: if you’re sending an announcement or something that is impersonal, BCC is a great option
  • Sharing problematic behavior: sometimes you might want to share an email with another party that should be aware of what’s being said in the email.

As you can see, using BCC in email is an excellent approach to protect your email recipients’ privacy. There are also further reasons to avoid using BCC in email. In the To field of an email introduction, for example, you’ll want to include both recipients. If you’re responding to such an introduction, you can move the person who made the introduction to the BCC field so they know you replied but don’t get overwhelmed with all of the responses.

Best Practices for CC and BCC in Email

By now, you should have a decent understanding of how to use CC and BCC in email to keep your emails clean and effective. These tools, however, are easily abused. In this section, we’ll discuss how to use CC and BCC in email to make your messages clearer and more efficient without getting yourself into trouble.

Don’t Use CC as an FYI

The CC section allows you to include anyone in your emails, and it’s frequently used to keep individuals “up to date.” However, if individuals CC’d start getting overwhelmed with replies they don’t need, this usage of CC can produce congested inboxes and serve the opposite goal. To avoid this, include all recipients in the To field, as well as a brief explanation of why you’re sending the email and a reminder that no action or response is required.

If certain recipients must respond or take action, add them to the To box while leaving the others in the CC field. You should still provide information in the body of the email about who you’re CCing on the email, why you’re CCing them, and that they don’t need to do anything.

Important Note: If you’re using an email marketing provider that charges you per email sent, those CC’d recipients will be included in your total. That implies you’ll be paid for every individual you add to your email’s CC list. Something to consider.

Expand an Email Conversation with CC

One of the most effective applications of the CC field in email is to widen an email discussion to include those who can add value to the topic. If you’re the email’s initial sender, you should definitely ask for permission to add additional recipients from the existing receivers. By requesting permission, you can avoid violating the privacy regulations we just discussed.

Use BCC Carefully

BCC is a complex feature that should only be utilized with caution. It’s a terrific email feature for protecting your recipients’ privacy, but it’s also quite easy to abuse. Furthermore, if you misuse it, you risk breaking privacy regulations.

Several privacy regulations have been implemented recently, including GDPR in the EU, PIPEDA in Canada, CCPA in California, and others. These privacy regulations specify how you can acquire, store, and exchange personal information such as email addresses. The use of CC and BCC in email can be viewed as revealing recipient email addresses without the knowledge of the people listed in the To field, which can get you in trouble if you’re subject to privacy rules.

Be Respectful

This is true for both CC and BCC email addresses. Always be respectful while dealing with your email and recipients. This involves not sending superfluous emails, not filling recipient lists and clogging inboxes, and not disclosing personal information and chats with others without their permission.


Now that you know the distinctions and similarities between CC and BCC in email, you may write emails that follow good email etiquette to ensure that all recipients receive your messages and that they are professional.

In a nutshell, CC allows all recipients to see the recipient list and their email addresses, as well as receive all email responses. BCC recipients will not receive responses because they are hidden from each other and the other recipients.

A short comment on “reply all” as an added bonus: in most cases, don’t.

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