CC and BCC: The Difference Between Recipient Fields In Emails

CC and BCC

CC and BCC: The Difference Between Recipient Fields In Emails

For those who are new to the world of e-mail, but also for those who still have doubts about the functioning of the recipient fields, in this article we reveal the difference between the CC and BCC entries.

What are? What are they for? How to use them correctly together with the main recipient field? Here we go!

Next to the main recipient of an e-mail, often marked with the item ” To “, which indicates the field in which to enter the e-mail address of the person to whom the message is addressed as a priority, we find the fields “CC” and “CCN ”.

These two acronyms are used to address the message, or the email exchange that has taken place so far, to other people who must somehow be made part of the conversation or aware of the information contained therein.

Let’s see the substantial difference!

CC: Copy Knowledge

The CC field is used by all email providers (libero, Gmail, Outlook, etc.) to allow sending the message to one or more people who must be involved in the discussion in some way.

Thanks to CC insertion, they are allowed to intervene in the conversation or simply to read the information exchanged between the sender and the main recipient.

The acronym is for Copy Knowledge or Carbon Copy, from the English Carbon Copy.

The main recipient (the one in the “to” field) can thus see that the message is addressed to him in the first instance (and he will probably have to provide a reply), but that other people have been included in the conversation and can be simple ” spectators” or decide to participate by answering.

Instead, the recipient of the CC field will know that it is appropriate to be aware of the email exchange and its content, and will be able to decide whether to simply read to keep informed or to intervene with one’s contribution, deciding, in turn, to reply to all or only to some.


couple of examples of using CC in emails :

  • The company’s human resources address communication with the entire marketing department. The email may have the marketing manager as its main recipient and all the employees of that corporate function as “CC” recipients, who are not actually required to reply but simply to receive the message.
  • For a team job, Marta and Andrea are exchanging information to define the strategy for a client. They will use the “To” recipient field to insert their respective email addresses in the replies, while they will use the “CC” to insert all the other members of the working group who need to be informed of the email exchange in progress.

BCC: Copy Hidden Knowledge

The second optional field provided for emails is the BCC field.

Here it is possible to enter the e-mail addresses of those who in some way must be made aware of the information, but whose e-mail addresses we do not want to be visible to everyone.

The reason can be for privacy or simply because we don’t want to let the primary recipient and CC people know that the CCNed person has been informed.

The acronym in this case stands for Hidden Carbon Copy or Hidden Carbon Copy, while in English BCC, the acronym of Blind Carbon Copy, is used.

Filling in the recipient fields

Let’s see a couple of examples of using BCC in emails :

  • I have to respond to a customer who asked me personally for an intervention on his website. To solve this, I asked for support from a colleague who showed me the solution. I reply to the customer (recipient field “A”) telling him how I solved it and insert my colleague in “BCC”, to make him aware of my reply to the customer without the latter seeing the colleague’s email or knowing of his involvement.
  • I receive a complaint communication from a customer to which I respond in person. However, I decide that my boss should be made aware of the email exchange. In this case, I enter the customer’s email in the “To” recipient field, while my superior is in “BCC”. By doing so, the boss will be informed of the email I received and my response, without the customer discovering his email address.

CC and BCC fields: differences

We have seen how the CC and BCC fields are used to address e-mail messages to specific recipients.

Here is the substantial difference:

In both cases, there is the need to inform, to inform someone. Still, with the CC field, we want this involvement to be visible and clear to all participants in the conversation, while with the BCC field we want to hide the email address to other people (recipient and any CC).

We hope we have been helpful! For any further doubts, leave a comment and we will be happy to answer you.

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