Addressing an email message would seem like a very straightforward task, but sometimes it’s not. In order to properly address an email, it’s important to know your options and when to use them. The three options when addressing and email message is ‘To’, ‘Cc’, and ‘Bcc’.
Use ‘To’ when you are directly sending a message to someone. This is the best option for an individual person or a team of people working together or discussing something. All email addresses in the ‘To’ field will be fully visible to every email recipient in the email headers.
Use the ‘Cc’ (carbon copy) function to send the message to another party who the email is not directly addressed to, but still needs to visibly be kept in the loop. The direct recipient will know who else received the message because the ‘Cc’ addresses will still show up in the email headers.
Use ‘Bcc’ (blind carbon copy) when you want to send a message without disclosing it to the direct or carbon copied recipients. Any email address that is in the ‘Bcc’ field will not be visible in the email headers.
Notice the headers above don’t have a ‘To’ field and although it was sent to a large group of people, only one email address shows up – my own.
It is especially important if you are running an email list or newsletter that you send your messages out with ‘Bcc’ unless your list requests otherwise. You can be violating the email privacy of your subscribers when you use the ‘To’ and/or ‘Cc’ functions.
Since some email clients require a direct recipient (‘To’) – then use your own email address and you will also receive a copy of the message sent out to the subscribers.
If you’re forwarding chain mail (which will be discussed in a later section), you should also use the ‘Bcc’ function.
Although you may trust everyone on your subscriber list or address book, it doesn’t give you the right to openly disclose anyone’s email address without their permission.
I’ve actually been added to new email lists or address books because of people sending bulk mail using the ‘To’ and ‘Cc’ function when sending email. Some of the more unscrupulous recipients will mine the email addresses and sell them to other people because they know they are valid and working addresses.
So when addressing your email messages, give it a little extra thought and be courteous to those who trust you enough to give you their email address.