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Should you be using CC or BCC?

We’ve all made email mistakes in the past. Maybe you’ve noticed a typo as soon as you’ve clicked send, or forgotten to attach a file even though you specifically said ‘see attached’. Regardless, we’ve all been there.

These mistakes might be a bit embarrassing and require a follow-up email but they aren’t the end of the world. Using the CC and BCC fields in an email incorrectly though, that’s a whole different story and could land you in a lot of trouble.

What’s the difference between CC and BCC?

CC stands for Carbon Copy. When you CC people into an email they will see the email addresses of all the other recipients you’ve sent the email to.

Whereas BCC stands for Blind Carbon Copy. This will hide the email addresses of all recipients so they can’t see who else you sent the email to.

When should you use each one?

CC – This should be used when you are addressing a group of people who all know each other and are taking part in a conversation. This allows recipients to reply to each other and keep each other in the loop.

BCC – This should be used when you are addressing a group of people that do not know each other. If you need to keep their emails private then you need to use BCC. It’s ideal for emailing a group of customers any updates without giving up their emails to each other.

Should you use both at once?

Absolutely! You may need to CC a group of people but want your manager to see that you’ve sent the email. If you BCC your manager in, they will see the email and who you have CC’d, but no one else will see that they have also been sent the email.

This is a great way to update someone that you’ve sent the email out without them being part of the whole conversation. It also means the person won’t be flooded with tons of emails if anyone CC’d in clicks ‘reply all’.

What are the consequences of misusing CC?

One word comes to mind when we think about the consequences of misusing CC… GDPR. Giving up peoples personal data can cause you to be faced with a hefty fine. There have been various cases where companies have been fine six-figures for CC’ing 300 customers instead of BCC’ing them.

So, the next time you need to email a large group of people, make sure you double-check that you’ve included their email into the correct field!

Want to find out more about when you should be using the CC and BCC fields? Call us on 03333 055 055 and talk to one of our experts!


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