What is BCC in Email?

When it comes to advanced email functions, BCC is an often-overlooked feature that still has a place in our daily communications. Today, 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 email etiquette and remain on the right side of data privacy policies. In fact, when used correctly, it can fulfill a few unique functions not found in instant messengers—helping you to enhance privacy and still keep everyone in the loop.


But what is it and when should you use this email feature? Read on to get all the information you need so you can be sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to employing best practices in your professional communications.



What Does BCC Mean?

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 

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

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.


? 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.