Don’t Do This When Emailing a Group

Cyndy from Reston, Virginia, just sent this important reminder:

"When sending an email to multiple recipients from different companies, put addresses in the BCC field. Your audience will appreciate the fact that you are cognizant of protecting their privacy.

"To expound on my point, I am not just talking about large email blasts. For example, I recently received an email from a conference organizer that was sent to the 12 speakers lined up for the next day’s agenda. I blanched when I saw all recipient email addresses in the TO field. In listing our addresses in this manner, the sender put our information at risk of being scooped up by anyone desiring to grow their contact database."

Cyndy’s caution is Tip 82 in my "110 Tips for Sending Email That Gets Read–and Gets Results":

"Use BCCs to keep addresses confidential. For instance, if you write to 10 people who do not know one another, send them BCCs rather than revealing everyone’s address in the To line."

So you’ve heard it from both us. Please spread the word to anyone who sends messages to groups outside your company.

Syntax Training


  1. Lynn,

    Good advice!

    (But forgive me–it’s a bad post title! The combination of title and first paragraph had me expecting you to explain in the next paragraph why using the bcc field for a group is a bad idea. I wanted to *why* you would say “don’t do this when e-mailing a group.” But it turns out you agreed with her.)

  2. Amy, you are absolutely right! When I read Cyndy’s email, I thought of it as providing a good caution. That’s why I used the “Don’t” title. But as you noted, she actually told people the right way. My title is misleading.

    Thanks for the useful feedback!


Comments are closed.