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How to Use BCC in Email – A Walk-through Guide

How to use BCC

Want to learn about the BCC feature and how to use it for emails?

You’ve come to the right place.

The BCC address field can be a useful tool to send emails to multiple recipients — provided you know what you’re doing!

In this article, I’ll show you how to use the BCC function correctly. Additionally, I’ll also give you a more straightforward and powerful way to send emails to multiple people.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Here’s a breakdown of the terms I’ll be using in this article:

  1. Recipient: the person who receives your email.
  2. Primary recipient: refers to the main addressee of your email (the person addressed in the “To” field).
  3. BCC/CC recipient: secondary recipients who receive copies of your email (they are not addressed in the “To” field, but “CC” or “BCC”).
  4. Email list/mailing list: a collection of email addresses that you send out an email to.

What Is BCC In Email?

The BCC (“blind carbon copy”) feature helps you send an email to multiple email addresses.

When you enter a recipient in the BCC field, that address receives a blind copy of the sent email. The primary recipient of a BCC’d mail will not be aware of the BCC’d recipient.

But wait, what does that even mean?

In simpler terms, an address included in the BCC field is “blind,” or hidden from every other email recipient. Although a BCC’d recipient can see the direct recipient, they won’t be able to tell who else was BCC’d in the email.

However, while your BCC recipient can’t tell who else has been added, they will know that they were BCC’d in the email.

How?

The BCC label lets them know that they weren’t the only BCC recipients of your email.Gmail interface showing Primary Recipients Lists Gmail interface showing BCC recipient

How Is BCC Different From CC?

Almost every email program and mail app comes with a Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) and Carbon Copy (CC) feature. While both these features help you send an email to multiple email recipients, they differ in intent.

What makes them different?

The difference between the add BCC and add CC field lies in the privacy of the recipient. With the CC feature, the email addresses in the CC field are public to all recipients of the email.

That lets everyone know who else is reading the sent message.

But with the BCC feature, any email recipient in the BCC field is hidden. While everyone can see who is in the “To” or CC line, no one in the “To” or CC line can see the BCC email address.

How To Use The Blind Carbon Copy Feature

Here’s a walk-through guide on how to use the BCC field to send an email to multiple email recipients.

I’m using Gmail, but the process is mostly the same in any email client such as Yahoo Mail or the Microsoft Outlook email client.

Step 1

Log in to your email account and click “Compose” to open the Compose window.Gmail interface showing Compose button

Step 2

Enter the primary recipient’s email address in the ‘To’ field of the new email. You can separate multiple addresses using a comma, space, or by pressing the enter key.

To add recipients to the BCC list, click on the BCC button on the header, as shown below.Gmail interface showing BCC icon

Step 3

Once you’ve clicked the “BCC” button, the BCC field will appear. Add the email ID of each hidden email recipient in the field. Now you can compose the message and click “Send”.Gmail interface showing BCC test email

Note: Here, I’ve included Peter as the main recipient, and I’ve put John on the BCC line.

On receiving my email, Peter won’t know that I’ve sent a copy of the message to John. However, John will see Peter as my primary recipient and himself as a BCC recipient.

When Should You Use The BCC Field?

Here are three scenarios in which the BCC field is useful in an email chain:

1. When You Want To Maintain Privacy

There are instances where you want to respect your recipients’ privacy by not disclosing their email IDs. Alternatively, you simply don’t want the recipients to know who else was added.

This can be when:

  • You are sending emails to a list of multiple recipients, such as the members of a club.
  • Your boss/colleague wants to stay in the loop about an email conversation with a customer, but without their knowledge.
  • Your client wants to receive a notification when you send emails to a third-party, without their email address being disclosed.
  • You are sending a forwarded email to a group and need to keep your boss or colleague informed.

In these cases, it’s helpful to use a BCC list. However, please note that this approach has problems, which we’ll discuss in a minute.

Using the BCC email feature helps you maintain the privacy of your recipients because:

  • Primary and CC’d recipients of the email can’t see recipient addresses in the BCC field.
  • Your BCC’d recipients can’t see the email IDs of other undisclosed recipients in the BCC list. They’ll only see their own email address in the BCC line.

2. When Someone Has Introduced You to Someone

When it comes to introductory emails, it’s polite to include the person who introduced you in your response mail. This notifies them that you’ve followed up on the introduction.

However, adding them to the “To” or CC list makes them a recipient of all incoming messages to the original email.

By BCC’ing them, they’ll know that you’ve responded to the introduction.

The 4 Key Problems With The BCC Method

1. Unintentional Reply All

A BCC’d recipient may accidentally click “Reply to All” instead of “Reply” when responding to your original message.

This broadcasts their response to every address in the email thread, resulting in an embarrassing breach of privacy for the sender and irrelevant emails for the recipients.

2. Creates Suspicion Among BCC’d Recipients

As all your BCC email addresses know that they aren’t the only recipients of your message, it could create a sense of suspicion. They’ll start questioning who else was copied to this mail, making it an inappropriate tool for formal conversations.

3. No Personalization

Whether it’s BCC in the Outlook email client, Gmail, or any other email provider, the BCC feature doesn’t allow you to personalize your emails. When composing an email, the original sender can only personalize it for your main recipient.

Why?

If you add the names of your BCC’d recipients to the email thread, they’re no longer hidden!

But without personalization, your BCC’d recipients will receive an email that omits their names and needs.

It’s far harder to make a connection with someone by simply copying them onto a generic email or adding them to an email conversation that wasn’t written for them. Plus, adding them to the email conversation in secret could make them wonder why you added them in the first place.

4. Error-Prone

Manually adding tons of email IDs to the same email is a tedious and error-prone process.

You can:

  • Misspell an email address.
  • Forget to add someone.
  • Mistakenly add someone as a main recipient.
  • Add a BCC recipient in the CC field.


The list is endless!

A Better Approach: How GMass Helps You Send Mass Emails

Using BCC in an email thread is useful when you want to maintain the privacy of recipients, or when you want a colleague to stay informed of a conversation you’re having with someone.

However, using BCC is a risky move as it has a lot of drawbacks, especially when it comes to email etiquette. Instead, using a tool like GMass is your best bet when you want to email several people separately.

What Is GMass?GMass Homepage

GMass is a powerful email outreach software that makes it incredibly simple to send bulk email to multiple recipients from your Gmail inbox.

Its mass email features have made it a popular Chrome extension used by employees of large companies like Google, LinkedIn, Uber, and Twitter.

But GMass isn’t just meant for tech giants!

Individuals in charge of social societies such as clubs, schools, and churches, and anyone else can use GMass to send out mass email to targeted audiences.

If you send bulk email campaigns to multiple people, then GMass can help you.

And it’s a lot easier than using email BCC!

How?

When you use GMass to send mass email to multiple recipients, each sent email is delivered as an individual email. This way, your recipients won’t be able to see other recipients’ email addresses. Click here to learn more.

Why Using GMass Is Better Than Using The BCC Option

Here are some other reasons why it’s better to use GMass over BCC emails:

1. Add Tons of Email Recipients in Seconds

Manually adding hundreds of recipients to your bulk email campaigns in a BCC or CC address list can be incredibly tiring. It’s also error-prone, as you may forget to add someone or mistakenly add the wrong ID to your email.

Luckily, GMass gives you two convenient, error-free ways to include tons of recipients in seconds:

a. Use GMass’ Build Email List Feature

The “Build Email List” feature is GMass’ powerful way to identify email recipients automatically. Instead of manually searching through your address book, just enter a search term, and GMass will instantly pull up all the relevant addressee details from your inbox!

For a detailed guide on how to use this feature, click here.

b. Use Google Contacts

If you’re using Google Contacts, you can select the contacts you want as recipients, and GMass automatically adds them to your address field. It’s a far more straightforward method than manually going through lists of email addresses to identify the right people.

2. Send Personalized Emails

A major issue with BCC’d emails is that they’re devoid of any personalization.

Your only option is to create a general email for all the recipients or sending your BCC recipients an email that only addresses the primary recipient.

As you can’t address each BCC’d recipient personally, you’re sacrificing your chances of making a personal connection with them. Some of them might even mark your email as spam!

Fortunately, GMass offers settings for automatic personalization of your emails. You can add email personalization variables, such as:

  • {FirstName}
  • {LastName}
  • {Company}

GMass uses the recipient’s email address and other data to find the personalization values and automatically adds them to each email addressed to that recipient.GMass interface showing auto first-name detection feature

It also provides you other features such as:

  1. Auto First Name Detection – the software accurately auto-detects someone’s first name from their email address. Using the {auto-first} personalization variable, you can insert a recipient’s first name anywhere in your email.GMass interface showing dependable values
  2. Include personalized links – GMass will enable you to include customized links or URLs in your emails.
    For example, if you have to send unique files to each recipient in an email list, sending email attachments isn’t possible. But you can host these files in your server or a cloud drive like Dropbox or Google Drive and send customized links to those files through GMass.GMass interface showing personalized link
  3. Include personalized images – you can personalize an email by including images unique to each recipient.GMass interface showing personalized email
  4. Customize entire paragraphs of text – you can also personalize large blocks of text in your email message.
  5. Add multi-word names – in addition to {FirstName} and {LastName}, you can use {Name1}, {Name2}, {Name3}, and {Name4} for multi-word names. Name1 corresponds to the first word in the name, Name2 to the second word, and so on.GMass interface showing personalized multi-names feature

Click here for a complete guide to email personalization in Gmail.

3. Schedule Your Emails

You want your emails to reach the right people at the right time.

With GMass’ scheduling feature, this becomes a breeze.GMass interface showing personalized link

You can craft your emails in advance and decide when to send them. Once the time arrives, GMass will automatically send the emails for you. This way, you don’t have to be online when your emails go out.

You can choose from a set of default times or enter a custom date and time to schedule your emails. If you need to reschedule your emails, you can find the related emails in your Drafts folder and edit them there.

Conclusion

Using the BCC feature to send an email to multiple recipients is a thing of the past. It’s impractical, time-consuming, and risky.

Why settle for that when you have modern tools to do the job for you?

With smart mail-merge programs like GMass, you can quickly draft, send, and manage mass emails in seconds.

It has tons of features for all your email sending needs, so why not download the GMass Chrome web extension today and try it for yourself?

4 Comments
  1. Can you still maintain the privacy element? Looks like all recipients will be able to see each others’ email addresses.

    1. Hi Shomi,

      You don’t need to use BCC when using GMass; our software sends your message as an individual email to each of the recipients you have in the “TO” field. As long as you press the RED GMass button, your contacts will not be exposed to each other since each email will only be addressed to 1 recipient. So if you have 50 addresses in the TO field, 50 individual emails will be sent for each of those addresses.

      You can test this out by opening a new compose window and add a couple of email addresses you have access to in the TO field. Draft out a test campaign and click the red GMass button. What GMass will do is send an individual email for each of those addresses in the TO field.

  2. Hello
    I need to send gmass to several people, for which I am using google sheets. But I need to send that same email to one BCC and one CC email also.
    So does that mean that the bcc and cc will receive all the emails send thru to? There are 19 emails.
    thanks

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