Use BCC Sparingly

“BCC” is a useful e-mail tool. When you want to make sure that a group of individuals is kept in the loop about an event, a meeting, or a piece of information “bcc” is a way to get out your message without everyone having to see a long list of recipients. And sometimes, it is useful when you don’t want the recipients to know who else is on the list.

But “bcc” has a time and a place. For example, if you are using e-mail as a way to elicit feedback on something, a personally addressed e-mail to each individual is much more likely to get results. Using “bcc” is a way for every recipient to think that someone else might have more valuable contributions to make.

Similarly, if you are using e-mail as a relationship building tool, personally addressed e-mail messages (which are customized), are much more effective. They are much more likely to be read and they are much more likely to demonstrate to the reader that you were actually thinking of them.

Obviously, the trade off is time (though there are some very good e-mail services which enable you to customize e-mails that you send out–e.g. I use Vertical Response and I’ve heard good things about Constant Contact). But if you are trying to impress a general counsel with the fact that you are thinking about them, sending them an article that is directly relevant to what they do is much more effective than sending out a blast e-mail to everyone on your list.