What is BCC in Email?

BCC in email allows you to send a single message to multiple contacts and keep the email addresses you add confidential. In essence, BCC works like CC, only any email addresses you add into the BCC field will not be shown to the recipients.


Despite the fact that we’re now more reliant on instant messengers and team chat than ever before, BCC can help you and your colleagues observe proper BCC email etiquette and remain on the right side of data privacy policies. Here’s how.


BCC Email Definition

  • BCC means Blind Carbon Copy
  • BCC is used to send multiple copies of the same email to different contacts
  • BCC can help you maintain privacy and confidentiality
  • BCC can help you send marketing emails and newsletters


BCC can be traced all the way back to the invention of email itself and is one of the earliest features that we still recognize today. BCC is an extension of CC (Carbon Copy), taking its name from the practice of using carbon paper to transfer original letters onto separate sheets of paper—therefore creating a quick and simple copy. The blind part of BCC, however, is unique to email.


Today, when asking what BCC in email is, we can think of it as a way to send a single message to multiple contacts—giving you a purely electronic way of copying your emails. However, where BCC differs from standard CC is that, whenever you enter email addresses into the BCC field, those email addresses will not be shared with the recipients of your email. The “blind” part of BCC essentially hides any email addresses you enter into that field from the contacts you send your message to.


When to Use BCC — BCC Email Examples

Knowing when to use BCC is an important part of good email etiquette, and also provides the correct way to protect your contact’s details when sharing information. There are a number of reasons to use BCC, some of which we’ve listed below.


  • Mass Emails — These can include marketing emails, brand updates, sales emails or any other type of message that is sent to multiple recipients who share no association with each other.
  • Introductions — Sometimes, it can be useful to use BCC in an email introduction that neither recipient has requested or is expecting. Using BCC, you can connect people without revealing their email addresses, making an initial introduction that either recipient can choose to either accept or reject.
  • External Emails — BCC can be useful when sending external emails to clients, customers, or even colleagues in other locations. If you need your boss to be part of the thread without revealing a specific email address, then BCC is what you need.


There may be other occasions when you need to use BCC in an email, however, you should always be careful not to use BCC where CC would be better. Remember, BCC should only be used when your priority is protecting the email address of at least one of your recipients.


Sending a BCC Email

CC and BCC


  • You will find the BCC field either beside or below the “To” and “CC” field
  • Click to compose a new message
  • Add email/s into the BCC field
  • Click send


Learning how to use BCC couldn’t be easier–simply add the email address or addresses to the BCC field that is usually found below the “To” and “CC” fields. Once you’ve done this, you can send your email in exactly the same way as you usually would. You should always double-check that you have entered the correct email addresses in the respective field, as sending a CC rather than a BCC email can sometimes have damaging consequences in professional settings and goes against most definitions of good email etiquette.

Top 5 Dos and Don’ts



Use BCC to respect the privacy and confidentiality of other contacts.

Don’t use BCC if everyone is already familiar with one another and you need to communicate with each other.

Use BCC to deliver marketing or corporate emails to people from other companies.

Don’t use BCC when mailing marketing or corporate emails internally.

Use BCC when you want to remove someone off a main thread. This is useful when you’ve been introduced to someone by another contact.

Don’t use BCC when initially introducing people. They won’t have access to the email addresses they need!

Do use BCC to discreetly loop in a manager or supervisor in case of problematic communications.

Don’t use BCC to “check up” on someone by secretly including the boss!

Wherever possible, be transparent with your use of BCC and ensure you keep contacts informed.

Don’t use BCC too often!


For more information on when to use BCC, CC, and many other email features, check out Spike’s resources section where you’ll find plenty of useful advice on both basic and advanced email functionality. In addition, keep up with the latest Spike news and office productivity to team collaboration tips by checking out the Spike blog today.


The BCC email definition is related to the definition of CC. Put simply, BCC stands for Blind Carbon Copy, and it takes its name from letter writing conventions of the past when a piece of carbon paper was used to make duplicate letters.

Using BCC to send emails is simple. Just add the contact/s into the BCC field that is usually found either beside or below the “To” and “CC” field when you compose a new message. BCC works by hiding the email addresses of any contacts you include in that field.

BCC allows you to send a single message to multiple email addresses while keeping the contacts you add confidential. When you send a BCC email, any contacts you add to the BCC field will not be shown to the recipients.

BCC email etiquette and data privacy laws are the two main reasons. BCC email etiquette is important when you are introducing people who do not know each other. Data privacy, on the other hand, is important when sending our mass or marketing emails using mailing lists.

While the BCC function hides email addresses from the recipient, there are still ways to trace back the message. BCC email “reply all” would allow you to reply to everyone in the group who is included in the original mail, including BCC contacts.