What is CC in Email?

What is CC in Email?

CC in email allows you to send a single message to multiple contacts, and it is particularly useful when you need to keep colleagues, clients, or customers in the loop without necessarily requiring a reply. Email etiquette and team collaboration can use CC to good effect, and here we show you why.


CC Email Definition –  What Does CC Mean?

  • CC stands for Carbon Copy
  • CC is used for contacting multiple people
  • CC is part of correct email etiquette
  • CC can help you collaborate through email


The answer to what is CC in email can be traced back to the very early days of electronic communications. Taking a cue from standard letter writing, CC stands for carbon copy—a method of duplicating handwritten or typed letters using carbon paper. In order to provide users with a familiar term, CC was adapted as a way to send multiple copies of the same email to different email addresses.


In essence, CC in email works in conjunction with the “To” field. Your primary recipient is added in the “To” field, and any other recipients you wish to bring into the conversation can be added to the “CC” field. Using CC in your emails allows you to add any number of contacts that, while not necessarily requiring a reply, may wish to be kept in the loop on anything from meeting minutes to project briefs.


When to Use CC – CC Email Examples

Knowing when to use CC in an email is an important part of good email etiquette and is underpins professional communication best practice. It can also help you save time, allowing you to share information with contacts without constantly having to forward emails after the fact. Here, we’ve listed a few of the most common reasons to use CC in an email.


  • Keeping People in the Loop — Whether a manager or colleague has specifically asked to be CC’d, or you want to share pertinent information with another contact, keeping people in the loop is among the most common ways to use CC.
  • Introducing a Contact — Introducing two of your contacts to each other is another common way to use CC in an email. Simply write your introduction email and then add the contacts you wish to include.
  • Internal Newsletters — The “CC” field is often used when sending internal newsletters or other mass emails within large companies. Using the “CC” field rather than the “To” field often indicates that no response is required in these instances.


It is important to remember not to overuse the CC function when sending emails, and it should also be noted that the BCC field fulfils a separate function. Remember, CC is mostly used to share information that doesn’t necessarily require a reply. Additionally, be as sparing as possible with your usage of CC to ensure you don’t bombard your contacts with useless information.


How to Send a CC Email

CC and BCC


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


Learning how to send a CC email is simple, and most people will already be well versed in its usage. The “CC” field is usually found within your email composition window, below the “To” field and above the “BCC” field. All you need to do is add your primary contact in the “To” field and then include the contacts you wish to share the thread within the “CC” field. You should always double-check you have included the correct contacts in the correct fields, particularly when using both CC and BCC in tandem, as sharing confidential email addresses with others can be problematic.


Top 5 Dos and Don’ts



Use CC to keep people in the loop. It is best used as an FYI when you don’t  need a reply.

Don’t be passive-aggressive with CC. If you haven’t got a reply, then don’t CC the boss instantly.

Use CC to add contacts to an existing email thread or message.

Don’t micromanage projects or staff using CC. If every message is CC’d then working conditions become suffocating and difficult to manage.

Use CC to introduce two or more people. This allows contact details to be shared without relying on you to be part of the conversation.

Don’t share people’s email address using CC if they wish to remain private or their contact details confidential.

Use “reply all” on CC emails when you want to address the entire group.

Don’t “reply all!” on CC emails if you want to speak to a contact privately.

Use CC to share events, updates, or newsletters with colleagues in your company.

Don’t use CC if you are sharing events, updates, or newsletters with people outside your company.


For more information on how to use CC, BCC, what is the difference between them, and other email functions, you’ll find everything you need in our resource section. Alternatively, for the latest news on Spike and a wealth of useful tips and tricks on everything from productivity to mindfulness, check out the Spike blog today.


CC, in its full form, stands for Carbon Copy, a function that allows you to send a single email to multiple contacts. It is often used to keep colleagues and clients in the loop, especially when you want to share information but you don’t necessarily need a reply.

Using the CC function is simple. Usually, you will find the CC field either below or beside the “To” field whenever you compose a new email. Simply add in the email addresses into the field and click send when you have finished your email.

CC is used when you want to send a message to multiple contacts. It is commonly used to share information with other contacts, usually when you do not require a direct reply from the people who receive the email.

You can reply to a CC email in exactly the same way as you would a normal email, however, there are few things to remember. If you want to reply only to the original sender then you should click the standard “reply” button. If you want to reply to everyone on the list, then you should click the “reply all” button. Additionally, CC email etiquette suggests that you generally do not reply to CC emails, so double check before you do.

You can only recall a CC email if you have that specific feature on your email client. For example, Spike allows you to unsend an email for up to 10 seconds after you have clicked send. This works with normal emails and CC emails.