Reasons why you should avoid using BCC for emails + Alternative Solution

By standss Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Outlook users BCC emails for two main reasons… sending sales/marketing emails or sending someone a copy of the email without letting the other recipients know. We strongly recommend that you DON’T use the BCC field for either purpose. Why?

  • Your sales/marketing emails will probably get caught in SPAM filters: Stuffing the TO/CC/BCC field with email addresses makes your email look like spam and it might be caught by the SPAM filters, which means your recipients might never receive your email about an important announcement/sale/event etc.
  • Your sales/marketing email might not get read even if it gets past the spam filter (because it looks too much like a sales email to the recipient)
  • If you used BCC to keep a recipient hidden from others, imagine what would happen if the hidden recipient did a reply-to-all! Suddenly the other recipients would be aware that you had been using BCC and depending on the nature of the email conversation, this may be viewed as dishonest or sneaky.

What to do instead of using the BCC field?

Send Personalized Individual emails (Marketing or Sales emails)

Your emails have a better chance of reaching the recipients inbox if it is personalized and addressed to that person.

You can either send the same email to the recipients one at a time (compose a new email and copy paste the content) which would be time consuming… or

You can use an easy mail merge tool like Email Merge for Outlook to send out personalized individual copies of the email to each recipient. Each recipient will get a personalized copy of the email which is addressed only to him/her.

Forward Emails (when you need to hide a recipient from the others)

If you need to send someone a copy of an email without others knowing about it, don’t BCC them on it. Instead send the email out to the “disclosed” list of recipients. Then forward a copy of the Sent email to the “hidden” recipient. Now if the hidden recipient reply’s to the email, the reply will only come to you.

Avoid accidental Reply-To-Alls yourself

If you or others in your organization are dealing with confidential information that you are BCCed on, you might want to also look at Send Guard for Outlook to avoid doing an accident Reply-to-all yourself!

Send Guard has special filters that check emails as you respond to them and as they are sent out.

A special prompt will warn you and ask for confirmation if you reply to an email on which you have been BCCed.

This can avoid the accidental disclosure to other recipients that we referred to earlier.

I hope you find this tip useful.

If you know of other email abuses or ways to avoid email abuses, share it with us by leaving a comment below

Related Posts:

How to create NON-SPAM emails that get opened and read

When to BCC Emails in Outlook

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Categories : EmailMerge for Outlook, Outlook Email Tips, Outlook Mail Merge, Sales and Marketing with Outlook, SendGuard for Outlook, Sending emails

6 thoughts on “Reasons why you should avoid using BCC for emails + Alternative Solution

  1. I can’t verify this for all email applications, but I know that in Outlook, Reply All does NOT include recipients in the BCC field (another reason people use it).

  2. Since when does “reply to all” include BCC recipients? I’ve been using BCC in outlook last 15 years and it’s never, ever happened…

  3. If you are BCCed on an email then chances are the original sender did not want the rest of the recipients to know that you are also getting the email. Now if you do a Reply-All to the email, everyone knows.

  4. If you are BCCed on an email then chances are the original sender did not want the rest of the recipients to know that you are also getting the email. Now if you do a Reply-All to the email, everyone knows.

  5. When a Bcc’d person hits REPLY TO ALL does Outlook allow that? If it does, then the cat’s out of the bag. The reason I use BCC is to send something en masse and keep others emails private. I put my email in the To: field, and then BCC everyone I want to send it to. Even if reply to all is used, the reply goes only to me and recipients’ emails are hidden from one another. the big question is: Does a Bcc’d recipient get to hit Reply to All and does that send it to everyone on the list?

  6. A BCCed person can do a Reply-to-All. It will however only reply to people who were either in the To or CC fields i.e. the Reply-to-All will not go to anyone else who was BCCed. The reason for this is that on the receiving end, none of the BCCed addresses are visible.

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