Many times, in either a personal or business situation, you’ll need to write a letter to someone and also send a copy of it to another person. This is a relatively simple procedure when using electronic communications such as email, because you are able to send an email to all recipients at one time with just one click of the Send button. In the case where you are sending a hard-copy letter to someone, it’s a bit more challenging to send a copy to an additional recipient, because the process is not automated like it is with sending multiple copies of email messages and a few extra steps and considerations are required.
Include the CC Annotation
Write the letter you want to send to the primary recipient and another person. Type "cc" and the name of the second person at the bottom of the letter below your name and signature. CCing someone in a letter is the conventional way of sending them a copy. The initials "cc" stand for "carbon copy" and are a holdover from the days when typists made copies of letters by using a sheet of carbon paper between two sheets of paper on a typewriter.
Make Two Copies
Make two copies of the original letter. Mail the original letter to the primary recipient. Make copies of the letter for every person who will added to the "cc" line. Save one copy of the letter for your personal files. Both the primary and secondary recipient will have the information you wrote in your letter and both will know that each received the letter.
Mail the Original Letter
Make one copy of the original letter you signed. You will use this copy of the letter to send to an additional recipient that you do not want the original recipient to be aware of. Mail the original letter to the primary recipient and the copy to the cc'ed recipient.
Use BCC for a Blind Copy
In carbon copy letter etiquette, you use the annotation "bcc" when you do not want the primary recipient to know that someone is receiving a copy of his letter. The initials "bcc" stand for "blind carbon copy." Attach a compliments slip to a copy of the original letter with the bcc annotation. Mail this to the second recipient after making a copy for your personal file. He or she will receive the copy letter in secret.
If you are writing a letter of complaint to or about a business, it may be helpful to send a copy to your local Better Business Bureau. Your complaint may be taken more seriously.
Depending upon the situation, it could either be helpful or troublesome to use "cc" or "bcc." Consider carefully whether you want both parties to be aware of the information in your letter and whether you want the primary recipient to be aware that the letter you sent to him is being shared with another party.
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