Using the To: and CC: fields effectively
Email Tip #4: No more carbon, just lots of copies!
Not all emails need to go to all people and knowing whom to include is a valued skill. While the To: field name is self-explanatory, the CC: and BCC: fields are actually archaic terms left over from the olden days of typewriters. These fields mean carbon copy and blind carbon copy, respectively. Although the terms are antiquated, proper use of these fields can be very effective.
Use the following guidelines for the To: and CC: fields:
If action is required by a recipient, put their name in the To: field.
If no action is required but you want to “loop” the recipient into the discussion, use the CC: field.
A reader’s name in the CC: field sends the message that no important action is required on their part.
The use of the CC: field is often overused. The distribution of information is important, but avoid including so many addresses that the email looks more like spam.
Summary: If recipients absolutely need to see the email, put the recipient in the To: field.
When no action is required, use the CC: field.