How To Send a Mass Email and Hide Recipients

how to send a mass email and hide recipients cover image with envelopes and a rose

You need to send an email to a bunch of people, but you’re worried about keeping their emails private. It’s pretty scary to think you might accidentally share everyone’s email addresses with the whole group. You also want to make sure you don’t come off as unprofessional when you do this. 

Figuring out how to send a mass email and hide the recipients might seem complicated, but it’s not. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through two simple ways to do just that. Plus, we’ll talk about the good and the bad of each method to help you decide the best approach for you.

Method 1: Use Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) in Your Email Client 

If you want to send an email to many people without showing each person’s email address to others, the quickest way is to use BCC. 

BCC stands for Blind Carbon Copy. When you put email addresses in the BCC field, each recipient can see only their own email address and none of the others. 

This helps maintain privacy and keeps your emails in line with email etiquette

Here’s a simple guide on how to use the BCC feature.

These steps are pretty standard across most email platforms, but always check your specific email client for any unique instructions:

  1. Open your email client and start a new email by clicking on the button that usually says “Compose,” “New Email,” or something similar.
  2. Look for the BCC field. It might not be visible right away. If you don’t see it, there’s usually a button or link to click that says “BCC” or “Show BCC.” Click on that, and the BCC field should appear.
  3. Enter the email addresses in the BCC field. Just like when you’re addressing any email, separate each email address with a comma.
  4. Compose your email. Write your subject line and message just like you would for any email, and hit send once you’re done. 

Pro tip: Always fill out the “To” field when using BBC. For example, you can use your own email address. This is a neat trick to make the email look tidy and intentional to ISPs. Otherwise, your message will look suspicious and may end up in the spam folder. 

How to Send Mass Emails Individually in Gmail 

Using the BCC feature in Gmail is pretty straightforward. 

Follow these steps: 

  1. Start a new email thread. Log in to your Gmail account and click on the “Compose” button to start a new email.
  2. Open the BCC field. By default, you’ll see the “To” and “Subject” fields. To add the BCC field, click on the “Bcc” button on the right side of the “To” field. 
Where to find the Bcc button in Gmail.
Where to find the Bcc button in Gmail
  1. Add your recipients in the BCC field. Type in the email addresses of the people you want to send your email to, separating each address with a comma.
Recipients in the BCC field
Recipients in the BCC field
  1. Fill out the “To” field. You can put your own email address here to reduce the risk of your email getting flagged as spam. 
  2. Write your email. Add your subject, compose the message as usual, and hit send. 

Watch out for Google’s limits

Gmail has limits on how many emails you can send per day and how many recipients you can include in a single email: 

  • If you’re a free user, you can send a maximum of 500 emails every 24 hours — for example, 5 emails to 100 recipients. 
  • For Google Workspace users, the limit increases to 10,000 emails per 24 hours. 
  • You can send an email to a maximum of 100 people at a time. 

How to Send Mass Emails Individually in Outlook 

Outlook’s BCC functionality works in almost the same way. 

Follow these steps to get started: 

  1. Create a new email. Click on the “New Email” button. It’s usually at the top left corner of your Outlook window.
  2. Locate the BCC field. In the new email window, you’ll see the “To” field. Next to it or under it, depending on your version, you should see the “Cc” and possibly the “Bcc” fields. If you don’t, click on “Options” at the top of your message, and then choose “Bcc.”
outlook bcc
Where to find the BCC field in Outlook
  1. Add recipients. Click in the “Bcc” field and start typing the email addresses of the recipients you want to include. 
  2. Compose and send your email. Write your subject line and message just as you would for any email. Then, hit the “Send” button. 

Does Outlook have sending limits, too? 

You bet! Outlook applies limits to manage the system’s load and prevent abuse, such as spamming. 

The most recent numbers are: 

  • You can send a maximum of 10,000 emails per day. 
  • The maximum number of recipients you can include in a single email (across To, Cc, and Bcc fields) is 500​. 

Use Distribution Lists to Make Your Job Easier 

Distribution lists act like a shortcut for sending emails to multiple people at once. Instead of typing out each email address every time you want to send a message to the same group of people, you can create a distribution list. 

This list gets its own name, and when you send an email to that name, everyone in the list receives the email.

And if you have privacy concerns, you just include the name of the list in the BCC field like before. 

How to Create a Distribution List in Gmail

In Gmail, what we usually call “distribution lists” are known as “Contact Groups.” The feature lets you group multiple contacts under a single name. 

Here’s how you can create one:

  1. Open Google Contacts. Navigate to in your web browser or choose “Contacts” from the Apps menu in Google Chrome. 
Choose “Contacts” from the Apps menu in Google Chrome
Choose “Contacts” from the Apps menu in Google Chrome
  1. Create a new group. Look for the “Labels” section on the left side of the screen. Then click on “Create label.” This is essentially your new group. 
  2. Name your group. A pop-up will appear, asking you to name your new label (group). Choose a name that clearly represents the group of people you’ll be emailing. 
Create and name your group in Gmail
Create and name your group in Gmail
  1. Select contacts. Go back to your main Contacts list. Check the boxes next to the names of the people you want to add to your group. 
  2. Add the contacts to your group. Look for the label icon (it might look like a tag) near the top of the screen and click it. A list of your labels (groups) will appear. Select the group you just created and those contacts will be added to it.
Add your contacts to a group
Add your contacts to a group

How to Create a Distribution List in Outlook 

It’s easy to create distribution lists in Outlook. Each list can hold up to 100,000 contacts. 

These are the steps to follow: 

  1. Access the people section. In the left sidebar of Outlook, you’ll find the “People” icon. Click on it to go to your contacts page.
  2. New contact group. On the Home tab, look for the “New contact list” button. It should be a drop-down next to “New contact.” Click on it to start creating your distribution list.
  3. Name your group: A new window will pop up. Choose a name that clearly identifies the purpose of the group, like “Monthly Newsletter.” Add a description and click “Create.” 
Create a new group in Outlook and give it a name
Create a new group in Outlook and give it a name
  1. Add members. You can add people from your Outlook Contacts or enter email addresses manually. After you’ve added all the members to your distribution list, click “Save & Close.”

Method 2: Use an Email Marketing Tool 

Email marketing tools are specialized platforms designed to help you send emails to large numbers of people all at once. 

Unlike standard email clients like Gmail or Outlook, which are great for daily communication and smaller email groups, email marketing tools offer a suite of features tailored for mass emailing and email broadcasts

These features include the ability to:

  • Manage and segment large mailing lists.
  • Keep your emails out of the spam folder. 
  • Design professional-looking emails with templates.
  • Track your email performance, including opens and clicks.
  • Ensure compliance with privacy regulations, such as GDPR.

If you don’t already have an email marketing tool, check out our reviews on Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and ConvertKit

How to Send Mass Emails Individually Using an Email Marketing Tool

There’s no shortage of email marketing platforms. Each one has its unique features and targets a specific audience. Do a bit of research to find one that’s right for you. 

Once you’ve created an account with your favorite service provider, follow these steps to send your broadcast without compromising anyone’s privacy: 

  1. Create an email list. Look for the option to create a new list and add contacts. You can usually import contacts from a file or manually enter them. Make sure you have permission to email these contacts.
  2. Design your email. Most tools offer templates to design your email. You can customize these templates with your own text, images, and brand colors. But remember that plain text emails are more likely to land in the primary inbox because they look more like personal communication rather than promotions. 
  3. Send or schedule your email. You can choose to send your email immediately or schedule it for later. Scheduling is handy if you want your email to arrive at a specific time or day when open rates are higher
  4. Review your results. Your email marketing tool will provide analytics, such as how many people opened your email, clicked on links, or unsubscribed. You can use this information to improve your future emails.

When to Use BCC 

After learning how to send a mass email and hide the recipients, let’s help you figure out which method works best for your situation. We recommend using BCC in the following situations. 

When to use bcc
The best reasons to use BCC for mass email

You Need a Quick and Easy Solution 

Using BCC is perfect when you need to send a message out fast without fussing over details. It’s right there in your regular email; no extra steps required. 

Sticking with BCC means you won’t have to spend time figuring out something more complex, especially if sending mass emails isn’t something you do often. Just type, BCC, and send.

You Want to Send Your Message for Free

If your goal is to send a message to a group of people without spending money on email marketing tools, use BCC. It’s a straightforward way to reach out without dipping into your budget.

Many email marketing platforms also have a free plan, but they tend to be limited in one way or another. 

You’re Not Ready to Learn a New Tool 

If the thought of navigating a new email marketing tool feels overwhelming, sticking with BCC is a wise choice. This way, you can accomplish your goal while still using a familiar tool. No need to learn new software or juggle another login. 

You Want Your Contacts in One Place 

When you migrate to a mass email service provider, you have to import your contact list from scratch. You’ll also have to keep the new copy in sync with the contact in your email client. This setup can quickly become confusing, resulting in duplicate or missing contact in either environment. 

So, if your list is small and you contact them regularly, you can avoid the hassle of managing two lists by sticking to BCC. 

When to Use an Email Marketing Tool 

If any of these situations apply to you, starting with an email marketing service is a smart move.

When to use an email marketing tool
The best reasons to use an email marketing tool for mass email

You Don’t Want to Risk Your Deliverability

Deliverability means making sure your emails actually reach the inbox. 

Sending too many emails from your regular email account can make you look like you’re spamming. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) might then mark your emails as spam or block them entirely. Either way, your message won’t reach its audience, and you’ll end up looking unprofessional. 

Email marketing tools are designed to improve deliverability. They manage technical settings and follow best practices that help your emails get through. 

You Need a Scalable Solution  

If building an audience through email is your goal, you’re going to need a tool that grows with you. Regular email services have their limits and strict rules to prevent spam, which can hinder your growth.

As your email list expands, managing it can turn into a challenge. Email marketing tools can handle lists of any size, and they adjust to your needs. 

For example, they let you break down your list into smaller, targeted groups based on common traits. This is called segmentation, and it lets you send messages to suit each group. The right email segmentation strategy boosts the chances that your audience will engage with your emails.

You Want to Send Personalized Messages 

Imagine you want to send an email that greets each person by name or includes details specific to them, like their recent purchase.

This technique is known as email personalization, and it’s something you can’t achieve with standard email setups. 

Email marketing tools step in to fill this gap. They let you customize your messages for each person on your list. This personal touch can make your audience feel valued and more likely to respond positively to your emails.

You Want Extra Features  

Beyond sending emails, marketing tools offer features like analytics, A/B testing, and email automation. These extras can enhance your email campaigns, provide insights into what works best, and automate tasks to save time. 

You can also use templates to create visually appealing emails. Many platforms offer templates for just about anything — newsletters, promotions, announcements, and more. Plus, you can customize these templates to fit your brand, so your emails feel uniquely yours.

You Have to Follow GDPR Requirements 

Compliance with GDPR and other privacy laws is non-negotiable when sending emails. Email marketing tools help ensure you’re following these rules by managing consent, providing easy opt-out options, and keeping your mailing lists secure. This way, you’ll have a layer of protection for both you and your recipients.

Discover the Growth Potential with Market-Leading Email Deliverability

At Campaign Refinery, we go far beyond the limitations of using BCC for mass emails, making sure your messages are both targeted and welcomed.

We’re the go-to service for high-volume senders who value their emails landing in the inbox, not the spam folder.

When you join Campaign Refinery, you’ll enjoy:

  • Unrivaled deliverability rates. 
  • Effortless tag-based segmentation.
  • An intuitive and robust automations builder.
  • Exclusive access to SOPs and educational content.
  • An impeccably clean email list containing only valid addresses.
  • Pre-designed campaign templates for both inspiration and efficiency.
  • The opportunity to be part of a community of high-volume, reputable senders.

Getting started is a breeze. A quick chat with our experts is all it takes to set you on the path to email success.

Take the first step towards better deliverability and growth. Apply to join Campaign Refinery today!

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