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How do I send a group email?

Wedding invitation, diary and calculator

Email is a great way to send a message to lots of people all at once. This could be useful if you want to send some digital photos to your friends and family - or forward a message to a list of people. There is no need to send an email to each person individually.

Andrew Stucken | 9th September 2010

There are three ways of sending emails to more than one person.

1: Put all the recipients in the ‘To’ field

To do this, open your email program and create a new message. Simply type in the addressees - the people receiving the message. Use a semi-colon to separate them, like this:

john.doe@webaddress.com; fredbloggs@exampleaddress.co.uk

and so on.

2: Use the ‘Cc’ field

Short for ‘carbon copy’, Cc-ing is another way of sending a message to more than one person. You might choose this option to send the message to secondary recipients – people you will probably not expect to reply, but who you want to see the message. Their addresses will be visible to the other recipients.

To use the ‘Cc’ option, type the main addressee(s) in the ‘To’ field as above. Put these secondary recipients in the ‘Cc’ field in exactly the same way, again using semi-colons to separate multiple addresses.

3: Use the ‘Bcc’ field

The letters ‘Bcc’ stand for ‘blind carbon copy’ and as the name suggests you can use this method to invisibly copy an email to people. In other words, any addressees in the ‘Bcc’ field will receive the email - but none of the other addressees will know.

In some email programs like Outlook Express, you may need to take one extra step the first time you use ‘Bcc’. Go to the ‘View’ menu and click ‘All Headers’ – this will add a ‘Bcc’ field to your email address options.

Clicking ‘All Headers’ brings up the ‘Bcc’ field:

Once enabled, type the address(es) in the ‘Bcc’ field. Again, separate recipients via semi-colons. In the above example, neither of the two addressees will know that the other has received the email. The person creating the email here is making himself the main addressee. This is not strictly necessary, but is common practice as an email with no addressee showing can look suspicious. It also enables you to see how it to looks to the recipient.

Whichever method you use, if you regularly send an email to the same set of people you can create a group in your virtual address book.

Is there a limit to the number of emails I can send in this way?

It depends on your internet service provider (ISP). Some ISPs might limit the number of addressees to 500, or 100, or cap the amount of data which can be sent. To send a message to a really large number of people, you might want to divide up the addressees among several emails.


Andrew Stucken

Andrew Stucken

Andrew cut his journalistic teeth with the local press, and has since moved on to writing for major national websites specialising in technology and money-saving. He has also written for The Times and other national newspapers.