E-mailAlright folks. Let’s talk about something that happens to be one of my pet peeves. I know that sometimes we just don’t know certain things or do THIS by accident…

I love (not really) getting an email and there are dozens and dozens of recipients that the email was sent to and the sender did not use the BCC option. So now I scroll through all of the email addresses (I just got one that probably had 200 names in it) and finally get to the message.

This is the problem with sending a mass email to your list and NOT using the BCC option. My email address just got sent to your other contacts and well, it’s not polite to send a mass email so generically (see below for the exceptions). If you really want to make a connection to your email recipients and want a response from them, send them a personal email when possible.

Okay, so let’s go over the rules:

When you compose an email there are three fields: To, CC and BCC

Use the To field when you are:

  • Sending a personal email to just one person
  • Sending an email to a specific group of several people who all know each other, especially when you want them to “reply all” so everyone can get their reply.

Now, CC stands for Carbon Copy. Use the CC field when you are:

Sending an email to a primary recipient and want someone else to simply be aware of the information on the email but there is no call to action for the CC person. For example, when I send an email to a speaker to my events, I will CC their assistant so their assistant knows they have the information or vice versa.

BCC stands for Blind Carbon Copy. Use the BCC field when you are:

  • Sending an email to a mass group and they don’t know each other, put everyone’s email addresses in the BCCTo field and your own email address in the field.
  • Sending an email to a primary person and you may want to copy someone on the email but you don’t want the primary recipient to know you are copying anyone on the email. Use extreme caution with this. Why would you email someone and not want them to know you were copying anyone on it? Sounds a bit sneaky to me. When I want to keep someone in the loop of communication with someone else I will either CC them on the email or forward the email to the second person.

Overall, sending a mass email and putting everyone in the To field is unprofessional and a little annoying to your recipients for the above-mentioned reasons.

Email Etiquette #2 coming soon. We’ll talk about subject lines, signatures, images in your signatures and more. Stay tuned. Thanks for letting me rant a little bit.

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