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Email Address Netiquette


How to Correctly Use: To:, CC: & BCC: in Email Addressing
TO: CC: and BCC:

Most people know that when they address email using the TO: (default) they are creating a new message. However, they are less sure about the two other options: CC: (carbon copy) and BCC: (blind carbon copy). If you are sending the message to only one address then the TO: option should be used.

Use BCC for Lists

If you are sending the message to multiple addresses then the BCC option should be used so that each person sees only their own address and email harvesting programs do not get the active email list.

Avoid Long Lists of Addresses

Few things are as irritating to me as receiving a message only to find that your email address is listed along many email addresses for a large list of people. This is poor netiquette! On ALL Domain Servers (the transport servers across the nation) sets harvesting programs that capture and sell and use these lists for spam purposes.

Don't Get EWGA Labeled as a Spammer

Spam is an issue of consent, not content. Be sure the people you're sending to has a reason to expect your messages or they're likely to treat your message as spam. You should also be sure that each person will find your mail appropriate, and not a waste of their time. The volume of spam has become so large compared to legitimate mail that it threatens the future of email.

Putting it into Practice

Use BCC: to Hide Address Lists

Blind Carbon Copy (BCC:) will hide the address list from all the recipients.

  • Only the person's own address will appear
  • If your email program insists on at least one TO: address, enter your own. This will also let you see the sent message as your recipients do.
  • Some email programs place the phrase "undisclosed recipients" in the address field instead.

Use General Group Descriptions Instead

You may wish to indicate the general nature of the address list at the beginning of your message so that recipients have an idea of who the other recipients are (if necessary.) Using a generic phrase such as "forwarded to the communication team" lets people know who has received the message without revealing names or address information.

Use CC: to Inform

Carbon Copy (CC) will reveal the address list but is used in place of the To: to indicate that the message is sent to those persons for information purposes only.

Creating and Maintaining Group Lists

When sending message to large groups of people on a frequent basis it is useful to set up a "group" address to save you the effort of selecting all the recipients each time you send a message to the group.

Create a Group List

Your email program will have the ability to do this using a "Group" function in the address book.

  • Create a group for each category you need.
  • Add or copy all the appropriate addresses into each group as appropriate.
  • An address may appear in more than one group.
  • A group may contain anywhere from one to dozens of addresses.

BCC: the Group

Use the Blind Carbon Copy (BCC:) addressing option to select the group address when you want to send a message to the whole group.

Everyone will receive the message listed with that group address, yet no addresses will appear on each message except that of the sender and possibly each recipient only in their own message.

Using EWGA New Website Tools:

As our website conversion project continues next year, perhaps more committee’s and event managers will become more familiar with the eGroup tool functions. A great example this year was the Scavenger Hunt, Match Play Ladder and the Reserve League. Once an eGroup is created (Member Created Group) messages are automatically posted and sent to members of that group. Members of that group control how they are notified from this group and can withdraw anytime they want. Members control how they want contacted.


For more information review the YouTube video Michelle and I did on how to update your profile and managing how eGroups can contact you. Member created groups have Libraries and Announcement tools also. However, the conversation to the new Website tools will take time and many of us are used to the old ways but please:
Stop routing our emails throughout the Internet and to the email HARVESTERS and allowing us to be spammed!

1 comment




Jul 09, 2012 14:53

Yay, NOW I get it! Apple/Mac and other email programs I searched didn't ever explain it like you did, Carlyne. Thank you.