I recently received an email claiming I should stop “harping” about using BCc. I giggled.
Being this is a pretty focused site on proper business and technology etiquette, I guess one could say I do “harp.” Based on conversations with other business folks and website visitors, I discuss many of the same topics from different angles.
They then literally scolded me for not mentioning how to find the BCc: in their email program. How can I recommend readers do a certain thing without telling them how?
They could have used the help tab in their software. Or visited their email software provider’s support pages, right?
By the way, no scolding is required. If any of my site visitors want a topic covered, all they have to do is ask (nicely), and I am happy to accommodate.
BCc: is a Privacy Tool
Using BCc: is primarily used not to expose the email addresses of your contacts to those they may not know. Yes, it can also be used to “hide” who you are copying on an email, but more times than not, folks who do that do so for less than professional reasons.
Here are the basics of using what was initially known as the Blind Carbon Copy tool, now more commonly known as Blind Courtesy Copy. Blind meaning that other recipients do not see the names or addresses of others noted in the BCc: field.
Where is the BCc:? How do you find it?
Part of the problem is that most programs do not make the BCc: intuitively findable or visible. For example, the email software program I use is PostBox. All I have to do is right-click by the Cc: field, and then I can check the BCc: option to be available for that particular email.
The BCc: isn’t easy to find for all the other programs, and you have to search for this option.
Start a new message, then:
- In Outlook, if BCc: isn’t showing, create a message, and from the View menu, click BCc: Field.
- In Outlook Express, click View >All Headers.
- BCc: on Mac mail: Open a new email. In the bottom left of the title block is the Customize button. a menu opens, click on “BCc Address Field.” This will appear in all future emails.
What about @yahoo.com, @hotmail.com, or @gmail.com? Why are you using those freebie accounts for your business email? Stop that right now.
Use your website domain email or get a domain and use it for email. It is inexpensive, and you need that to build your brand.
When to use BCc:
The primary use of the BCc: feature should be used when emailing many contacts who do not know each other. You do not want to publish their email addresses without their permission or expose them to strangers.
For more, read my article: Don’t Brush Off Privacy!
If you would like to contribute to “How to Find the BCc:” on software or platforms I’ve not mentioned, you can send me the steps and add your tips and suggestions here. I will be pleased to add your information to this article.
Learn and Respect Privacy
After all, it is your responsibility to learn to use all your email software program features. Furthermore, each user’s responsibility is to understand the technology they are participating in to engage in an informed and courteous manner.
Part of that includes unnecessarily exposing your contact’s email addresses to strangers.
I hope I wasn’t too harpy.