By Amy Kardel Director Clever Ducks

Email is the lifeblood of small business and an important technology productivity booster. One of the best ways to prevent email overload is to properly address email. By sticking to the standard conventions for who goes in the “To” and who goes in the “CC” line, you can help the recipients of your emails save time. In turn, you will also cut down on emails back to you, which saves even more time.

To: For the main recipient(s) of the email, who are expected to reply or actEmail Mastery how to use business email

CC: (Carbon Copy) Is for FYI recipients who are not expected to reply or act. 

The rule is that anyone in the “To” field should expect to take an action, such as a response by email or an action. Those addressed in the “CC” field are only being kept informed and should not expect to take any action, including a reply.  There may be multiple people in either field, of course.

You should also remember that “CC” email addresses can be seen by all of the parties and thus all parties know who is privy to the email. This can spare the organization a lot of confusion when used properly. 

For example:

CC You may want to use the CC field when you ask your IT Administrator to create a new email address and you need to let Human Resources know the request was made.  The action is by IT but the task needs to be known to HR. By including HR by CC they know it is handled and need not reply.

This simple distinction can really help save time in the daily deluge of business emails by setting expectations. So take the time to thoughtfully address your emails and your recipients will thank you for it.

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