Get your Emails to works for you – 2

Use cc and bcc with discretion

Continuing on our theme that “the meaning of communication is the response you get”.

Are you getting the results you wanted from your communications, can you be more influential? Can you get better outcomes from negotiations and meetings? Expanding on emails.

Use cc and bcc with discretion

There are three address fields in Outlook; To, cc, and bcc.

I have included some guides on them in this article because they are often used incorrectly. Here are some hints that will help your emails get read rather than ignored or deleted.

The fields:

To: The “To” field addressees are those who are directly and primarily involved in the subject of the email or the recipient of the information/ attachment. Include names in this field if you are delivering or requesting information

cc: or “Carbon Copy” is a mode used when sending information to someone, but that you do not need a response.

bcc: or “blind carbon copy” is the least understood address field. The “blind” part means that the addressees included in this area are not seen by any recipient other than the originator.

cc: The cc field should contain contacts that can benefit from the information that you are sending to the primary contacts. Sophisticated MS Outlook users run rules on their inbox that puts cc items into a “read this later” folder. So, if you want a response from this person put them on the “to” line, otherwise your message likely will not be read on time, if ever. Be respectful on others’ Inboxes, and time, and make a conscious effort to keep the cc list as short as possible

bcc: Blind carbon copies are the weapon of choice for office politics, but they also have some good applications when you are sending information to a wide variety of contacts.
Note again that the address list of bcc recipients is not seen by anyone. Use the bcc field when sending information to ad hoc distribution lists or in any situation where it is unnecessary for recipients to see other addressees that received the same message. eg a mass mail out to your suppliers.

Correctly used cc and bcc are useful tools. Use them incorrectly and your emails may be dreaded and discarded

Liz Cassidy, founder of Third Sigma International is an author, Speaker, Trainer and Executive Coach dedicated to facilitating results in the businesses, professional and personal lives of her clients. For more information http://www.thirdsigma.com.au

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