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Best Practices for Using BCC in Business Emails 

Best Practices for Using BCC in Business Emails 

Clear communication is critical for the success of a business, and email is one of the most important tools available. Many of us exchange emails every day with supervisors, colleagues, business partners, clients, and more. Not surprisingly, a Radicati study cited by AIIM International reports that 3.9 billion people worldwide actively sent and received emails in 2019¹. While you may think of email as one-on-one business or personal communication, that is not always the case. You can easily send messages to hundreds or thousands of recipients simultaneously. However, you may not want your whole mailing list to see every single address². 

Enter BCC, or blind courtesy copy³. Though originally known as blind carbon copy when typewriters were standard office equipment, the basic premise has not changed³. With BCC, you can send copies of your emails to interested third parties without the original recipients’ knowledge³. While BCC and CC perform the same basic functions, there are differences between the two². First, when you enter users’ addresses as BCC, they are invisible to all other recipients and do not receive any future replies to your conversation². Second, BCC is ideal when emailing large numbers of recipients, because it reduces the clutter you would have with a CC list². In this article, we will cover best practices for when and when not to use BCC in your company’s email communications. 

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One appropriate circumstance for using BCC is customer correspondance². For example, if you send a monthly email newsletter or wish to promote an update to your mobile app, use BCC to keep from broadcasting every recipient’s email address to the entire mailing list². In this instance, BCC helps you maintain your customers’ respect and loyalty². After all, you would not want your customers abandoning you en masse in favor of a competitor. 

While BCC is helpful when emailing thousands of customers at once, it is also practical to use when automating your business processes³. For instance, if you use Salesforce, you can BCC a specially coded email address when interfacing with a client³. When used, this feature sends a copy of the email to your Salesforce account and logs that correspondence to the client’s profile³. Now, everyone in your organization can clearly see what you said to your client³.  This helps streamline your processes, saving time and avoiding miscommunication. 

While BCC is helpful for customer communications and business automation, it also works as a security safeguard. According to the University of Pittsburgh’s human resources department, many viruses and spam programs can easily peruse address books and mail files in search of prospective targets⁴. Therefore, BCC can offer you valuable protection against spam⁴. When you use BCC, it lessens the likelihood that recipients will receive spam messages or viruses from other recipients’ infected computers⁴. This demonstrates the benefits of using BCC in professional email communications. 

Keep in mind that although BCC is helpful in some contexts, you should not use it on every single email. For example, do not use BCC if you think any of the recipients will reply². If you send an email and one BCC recipient accidentally clicks “reply all,” there will probably be some confusion and concern among your To and CC recipients². Since these original recipients “might want to know why you concealed the BCC recipient,” always make sure you have a clear purpose for utilizing BCC². 

BCC is also unacceptable for internal work emails². Even though it may sound harmless to BCC your supervisor or a colleague on a particular email message, this can quickly backfire if the original recipient discovers any negative intent³. For example, whistleblowers might send emails to one party but BCC them to third-party supervisors, in turn creating more problems than they solve³. In short, do not use BCC for internal business communications. 

You must not use BCC for personal emails, either². Since personal email conversations should be respectful and transparent, using BCC in this context suggests that you are deliberately hiding the third party from your recipients². Therefore, you should rely on CC instead of BCC in order to preserve relationships with your professional networks². 

BCC is a useful tool for business communications when used appropriately but can spark misunderstandings and conflict if used carelessly. Remember that a little email etiquette goes a long way. 

Navitend can help you. Call 973.448.0070 or setup an appointment today. 

¹AIIM International. “What Are the Best Practices for Email Management?” by Kevin Craine. Retrieved from
²Indeed. “FAQs About When to Use CC and BCC.” Retrieved from  
³Right Inbox. “How to Use Bcc Appropriately in Email (Ultimate Guide – 2022 Update)” by David Campbell. Retrieved from
⁴University of Pittsburgh. “Using the Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) Feature in Email.” Retrieved from

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