Use the “BCC” field for Mass Email

Please use the “BCC” field when sending mass email!

I often receive forwarded emails from my Mother or friends who like to share the latest funny or inspirational message they have seen making its way around the web. And I sometimes enjoy being included, but there is a better way to send mass emails to your group of friends without violating the confidentiality of their personal email addresses.

Sending an email to a large group of people using the “To:” field in a message is like writing your friends’ phone number or address on a public bathroom wall! Why would you share someones private email address with a group of strangers when many of them will also forward the same addresses to even more strangers? A better solution is to use your email program’s BCC function.

BCC means Blind Carbon Copy. It provides a way for you to send messages to groups of people without disclosing their email addresses to the group. You can place your own email address in the “To:” field and put your group of friends in the “Bcc:” field.

Here are just a few good reasons to use the BCC field:

  1. CONFIDENTIALITY: Using BCC protects the recipients’ private email address from being spread to strangers
  2. SPAM: Using BCC helps prevent your friends from receiving spam.
  3. CLEANER CONTENT: Using BCC keeps your sent messages cleaner since it removes many extra lines of email addresses from the content
  4. FASTER SENDING: With less content, messages can be downloaded and sent faster

How to use the BCC field:

  1. Webmail:In most email clients, the BCC field is already visible. Create a new message in webmail browser, click BCC.
    1. Gmail and Yahoo Mail!: click add BCC.
    2. Hotmail: click Show Cc & Bcc.
  2. Outlook Express: To activate the BCC field in Outlook Express, create a new message and choose “View…All Headers”.
  3. MS Outlook: To activate the BCC field in MS-Outlook, create a new message and choose “View…BCC”.

Of course there are good reasons to send a carbon copy (cc:) of an email to others such as:

  • You need everyone to know each others email address
  • The email group needs to collaborate or respond to each other via email

Be considerate and also let me know other good reasons to use the BCC field and I’ll add them to the list! Contact me through my email form here…

Share this article with your friends and family if you need to encourage them to use BCC. Click on the sharing icons below, or send them this short link:

About Brian Loebig

Owner of, author of, and part-time Technology Manager for the Alliance for Performance Excellence, Brian has over 15 years of experience working in the quality improvement, human services and technology fields as an administrator and consultant. Brian has also worked as a practitioner and administrator in the corrections, substance abuse and human services fields with a special emphasis on technology. He continues to work with numerous community-based non-profits as a web technology consultant, board member and volunteer. Feel free to .
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9 Responses to Use the “BCC” field for Mass Email

  1. Your topic is superbly awesome. I’m so happy with the information. I was seeking this topic,Thank you so much, please hold writing such articles.

  2. Concerned Admin Assistant says:

    I am currently in a disagreement with my boss. We need to send out mass emails as event reminders, etc. The recipients aren’t necessisarily members of our org, we just somehow got their email. What she wants me to do is put one recipient in the To: and the rest in Bcc. This is aparently how it’s “always been done here”. But in the mass mailing I did yesterday, I put OUR email address in the To: field. I upset her very much when I said it was bad netiquette to put in the To: because the other 100 recipients would all get his email showed to them and Joe would have no idea that his email address was shared with so many people. She basically told me to shut up and do what I’m told. But I am actually very concerned about our contacts’ privacy. Any advice? I even offered to put my own personal address in the TO: but she wouldn’t budge. I could put made up emails in there but she would see the bounces.

    • BrianL says:

      You are correct Elaine. It is definitely good netiquette to keep ALL names in the BCC field. Many email programs allow you to leave the “To:” line blank which then shows up as “undisclosed recipients” to everyone who gets the message. To leave one email address in the “To:” field totally violates that persons confidentiality and opens that person up to spam, email spoofing, and even targeted malware. It is actually BEST practice and more professional to send out messages from an organization using a low cost email newsletter service like,,, etc. (Send your boss a link to this blog article) 🙂

      • Concerned Admin Assistant says:

        Well, she’s not my boss anymore, lol. she let me go because of my “strong opinions”. especially on this issue. lol. BTW we were set up with Mail Chimp but she didn’t like that we couldn’t include attachments and thought it too much trouble to convert our .pdfs into mail chimp mailings.

  3. BrianL says:

    Wow, sorry to hear about your job loss, but it sounds like it is their loss! 🙂 One benefit of converting a PDF to an industry standard email newsletter is that a company can track email open rates and lots of other newsletter statistics. If there is limited staff available to condense the newsletter to an email format they could upload the PDF to Google docs each time and then embed the Google Doc/PDF into their website. One of my church clients does this: Then, the email that is sent out using MailChimp, Comm100, Emma, Constant Contact or other could be very simple and point readers to the full newsletter on the website. This would also increase visits to the company website! Additional links in the newsletter could include the company Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, donation or product pages. I just recommended this approach to the Red Cross of Central VA. Good luck on the new job hunt!

  4. Had Enough says:

    My boss requires that I blind copy her on EVERY email that I send out to clients or the people I supervise. It’s really demoralizing that I am not allowed to do even the most minute aspect of my job without her oversight and it seems unethical to boot.

    Sounds like my boss is a lot like Concerned Admin Assistants horrible boss.

    • BrianL says:

      That does seems like micro-managing. However, bosses can legally and ethically review any emails sent by employees from their work emails for work purposes. Have you told your boss how that practice makes you feel? Perhaps you could ask her why she wants to be copied on your communications so that you can offer an alternative arrangement that doesn’t feel like big brother oversight.

  5. Pingback: What Is The Use Of Bcc In Email | Nomora1

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