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Email Recipients: Do's and Don'ts

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

How do you determine who to include in your emails? Simple, include the people who need to be informed.

Alright, I think my work is done.

In all seriousness, it can be difficult to determine who to send an email to and who to CC and BCC. Below are some tips and guidelines designed to help you get into the “email writing zone”.

  • Single someone out. Think about who the email is addressed to and include their name in the greeting to catch their attention.

  • To CC or not to CC, that is the question. It’s a good practice to ask yourself, “Will everyone listed in CC benefit from this knowledge?” If the answer is no, then get more specific and find out who exactly you need to include.

  • Sharing is, sometimes but not always, caring. Remember to BCC when you need to respect the privacy of the individuals involved. Not everyone wants their address shared with your contacts list. Keep in mind that if they Reply-All, it will not include everyone who was BCC’d on the email distribution list as well. So if you need to make sure that sensitive information is not replied back to, it may be better to forward the email to those recipients separately.

TIP: Add the email address last, to prevent from sending accidentally. We know we’ve all done this and subsequently experienced a mini heart attack.

  • Reply All is not your BFF. Only click Reply All if everyone in the thread needs to know your response. We don’t want to clog up everyone’s inbox unnecessarily. Some people are too quick to “Reply-All” while others only reply to the sender leaving everyone else wondering what’s going on. So how do you determine whether to include others or not? Take a moment to consider who is on the email thread and whether or not everyone on the thread will benefit from your reply.

We’ve all made the above mistakes in our email writing careers. And unless you’ve accidentally CC’d your boss while complaining about him to a co-worker, you’ve probably recovered quickly from any blunders. It’s all part of the learning process and finding your unique voice and style. So why should we keep trying to improve our email copy? Because despite Hollywood getting our hopes up about futuristic technology, it’s 2020, and email does not seem to be going anywhere. The better we are able to communicate the quicker we will be able to resolve problems and grow our businesses. So let’s build our image as effective email professionals who get the job done. Happy emailing!

Thank you for reading! There will be more to come in this series of Email Tips. In the meantime, check out our other blog posts.

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