TO, CC and BCC

Anand Jagadeesh
3 min readMay 21, 2023

Emails are one of the most common forms of communication in the modern world. Whether you are sending a message to your boss, colleague, client, or friend, you want to ensure that you use the appropriate email etiquette and avoid any confusion or misunderstanding.

One of the most important aspects of email etiquette is how to use the fields cc and bcc in your email header. These fields determine who will receive your email and how they will be notified. Here are some tips on how to correctly use to, cc and bcc in emails.

To: This field is for the main recipients of your email. These are the people who you expect to read your email and respond to it. You should only include the people directly involved in your email’s topic or purpose. For example, if you are sending an email to request a meeting with your team, you should include all the team members in the TO field.

CC: This field stands for carbon copy. It is for the secondary recipients of your email. These are the people you want to keep informed about your email but do not need to reply to or take any action. You should use this field sparingly and only when necessary. For example, if you are sending an email to update your client on project status, you might CC your manager or supervisor to keep them in the loop.

BCC: This field stands for blind carbon copy. It is for the hidden recipients of your email. These are the people who you want to receive your email, but who you do not want the other recipients to see. You should use this field very carefully and only for specific reasons. For example, if you are emailing a large group of people and do not want to expose their email addresses to each other, you might bcc them all. Another example is if you are sending an email to someone and you want to secretly copy someone else on it, such as a lawyer or a mediator.

AND…

Some general rules for using to, cc and bcc in emails include always including a subject line that summarizes the main point of your email, always addressing your recipients by name or by a polite salutation such as Dear or Hello, and always using clear and concise language that is respectful and professional, always end your email with a courteous sign-off such as Sincerely or Best regards.

It is important to proofread your email before sending it and check for any spelling or grammar errors, and avoid the usage of cc or bcc to avoid confrontation or accountability. If you have something to say to someone, say it directly and openly.

Never use bcc to gossip or criticize someone behind their back. This is unethical and can damage your reputation and trustworthiness.

Never reply to an email that has many recipients unless it is absolutely necessary. This can clutter up everyone’s inboxes and annoy them.

By following these tips on how to correctly use to, cc and bcc in emails, you can communicate more effectively and professionally with anyone you email.

And here’s the link to my article on the tricks I use to write a better email: https://anandjagadeesh.medium.com/ajs-job-o-logics-and-that-s-an-email-2bf1fabaf907

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Anand Jagadeesh

⌨ Writes about: ⎇DevOps, 🧠ML/AI, 🗣️XAI & 💆Interpretable AI, 🕸️Edge Computing, 🌱Sustainable AI | 💼Global Grad. @ VCC | 🎓MSc AI @ UoStA '22 | anandj.xyz