E-Mail Pro Tip #2: Move to BCC

I receive between 100 and 1,000 business-related e-mails per day. Out of necessity, over the last few years I’ve developed a numbers of systems that help me manage my inbox effectively. This is the second in a series of posts describing the systems I utilize to stay on top of my inbox.

We’ve all done the favour of making an introduction over e-mail. What often follows is a string of e-mails that bear no relevance to the introducer:

Jim: Bob, please meet Alice. You should definitely get to know each other; please take it from here!
Bob: Alice, pleased to meet you, and thanks for the introduction Jim. Can you chat Friday?
Alice: Bob, I’m traveling Friday but can we chat next Monday?
Bob: Sure, that works great. What time?
Alice: 10:30 would be great.
Bob: Great, I’ll call you then. What number would be best?
. . .

Poor Jim is needlessly included in an e-mail chain of 5+ messages that involve scheduling a call that doesn’t involve him. By making use of BCC effectively, Bob can truncate the string of e-mails polluting Jim’s inbox:

Jim: Bob, please meet Alice. You should definitely get to know each other; please take it from here!
Bob: Alice, pleased to meet you, and thanks for the introduction Jim (moving Jim to BCC). Alice, can you chat Friday?

Jim is no longer punished for the good deed of introducing Bob and Alice by way of a simple BCC; Jim can rest easy knowing Bob followed up on the introduction, and Bob and Alice can continue exchanging e-mails about a specific meeting time without needlessly including Jim on those e-mails.

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Comments

  1. John – no, moving Jim to BCC. I’ve made an edit to make that more clear. With the intro out of the way, Jim doesn’t need to see any of the subsequent e-mails from Bob & Alice.

  2. right, thanks. I figured the point was to move the conversation away from Jim. It might not matter which one was moved, in that Alice could answer Bob’s invitation from the bcc: delivery too, and her answer, even if she Replied to All, would not normally go to Jim, just to Bob, the sender. But it would be more polite to treat Alice as the primary conversation after the introduction.