CC vs. BCC Email: What Are the Differences?

CC vs. BCC Email

Did you know that in 2019 email users rose to 3.9 billion monthly active users? If you were under the impression that email is dead, this can’t be further from the truth. For those that are familiar with sending emails, you might’ve noticed two different options to enter in between the “To” and “Subject” lines. 

Those two fields state “CC” and “Bcc”. If you always skip over these two – you are not alone. We are here to clear up CC vs. BCC email because you might need to use one of these options in the future when sending emails

What Is CC in Email?

CC stands for Carbon Copy. In this field option, you can add email addresses of others that you wish to send the same email to. When you add others in the CC field, those email addresses are viewable by everyone else that you send the email to.

What Is BCC in Email?

Blind Carbon Copy is what BCC stands for. Any emails that you add to this field are only viewable to the person sending the email. Unlike CC, the email addresses are not shared with the main recipient or recipients of the email. 

“Blind” means that all the addresses are being hidden. Using this option keeps you from sharing personal email addresses with contacts that don’t necessarily need to email with those you are blind copying into the email. 

Where Do the Words Carbon Copy Come From?

Before photocopiers were invented, people had to use a sheet of carbon paper in between a blank sheet of paper and an original document in order to make a copy. While the document was typed or written on, the carbon paper would transfer everything onto the blank sheet of paper. 

This concept was adapted into the digital world of emails. 

When to Use BCC?

A good time to use the BCC field option is when you are sending mass emails. For example, brand updates, marketing emails, sales emails, etc. 

You always use the BCC option when you want to send multiple copies of the email to contacts that don’t know each other or that wouldn’t want their email shared. 

Another time that BCC can be useful is when doing an introduction via email for a recipient that is not expecting an intro. This allows you to connect people without revealing what their email address is. The recipient at this point can choose to reject or accept the intro. 

When to Use CC?

The best time to use carbon copy is when sending multiple copies of the email to contacts that don’t mind having their email shared. Usually, CC is used when sending emails to people working on the same project, team members, or staff in various departments that need to communicate.

The recipients of these emails are often familiar with each other and might even be expecting an introduction from you. 

Keep in mind that you can use BCC and CC in the same email. Using both fields will allow you to share some email addresses while keeping some confidential and hidden from the primary and secondary recipients. 

Do’s and Don’ts of CC and BCC

Do use CC when you are making sure that someone is kept in the loop with the information in the body of the email. It is ok to use CC like an FYI when you don’t need extra input from that recipient.

Don’t ever use CC in a passive-aggressive manner. When someone doesn’t reply to your email, don’t CC your boss or someone in charge immediately, allow the person time to answer.

Do use CC when you are introducing people that have requested to be introduced to each other. Using this option allows the recipients to see each other’s contact information and you don’t necessarily have to continue being part of the convo once you have made the intros.

Don’t use CC if you are introducing people that are working on the same project as you if you want to stay part of the conversation and not kept out of the loop.

Do use BCC when you are sending out corporate emails to people in other companies or when sending out marketing emails. 

Don’t use BCC when you are sending marketing emails within your own company. 

Do use BCC when you are emailing people that do not want others to know their emails. If you are aware that someone wants their privacy respected, you should always use BCC in those cases. 

Don’t use BCC to sneak in your boss’s email or a superior’s email as a way of “checking” on someone. This can be considered an invasion of privacy in certain circumstances (depending on the content of the email). 

Email Etiquette

Understanding these differences between CC and BCC, you can improve your email etiquette. When sending emails to more than one person, you can take advantage of CC and BCC. Using these fields in an email can truly save you time as long as you use the correct fields.

Learning what is a good email deliverability rate, is another smart business move when you are looking to grow your email list and customer base. 

Feeling Like a CC vs. BCC Email Pro?

Now that you have learned more about CC vs. BCC email, you can make better decisions next time you are sending emails. Instead of skipping over these two areas, you might find it useful to use them. 

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