Browse Definitions :

distribution list

What is a distribution list?

In email applications, a distribution list is a list of email addresses that can be mass mailed via automation without having to add members individually.

Distribution lists are used to send emails to groups of people without having to enter each recipient's individual address.

A distribution list is different from an email list in that members cannot reply to the distribution list's name to send messages to everyone else in the group.

What are distribution lists used for?

There are a number of distribution lists in use. The main purpose of distribution lists is to make it easier to send emails to groups of people.

For example, if a user uses distribution lists for their family, they can send one email to the distribution list address and everyone on the list will get the email. This is much easier than sending an email to each individual person on the list.

Another common use for distribution lists is email marketing.

Distribution lists can be used to send mass email messages to a distribution group without having to enter each individual email recipient.

Creating distribution lists can save a lot of time when sending emails to large groups of people. It is also a convenient way to keep track of email addresses.

email marketing segmentation strategy
Distribution lists are commonly used in email marketing.

How to create a distribution list

The process for creating a distribution list varies depending on the email client program being used.

In general, users will need to create a new contact group within their email client address book and add the email addresses of the people they want to include in the distribution list. Once the distribution list is created, they can use it like any other email address.

In Microsoft Office SharePoint for example, users can create a distribution list by following these steps:

  1. Go to SharePpoint and click on the People and Groups link.
  2. Click on the Add New button and select Group.
  3. Enter a group name for the distribution list and a description (optional).
  4. Under Group Settings, choose whether you want the distribution list to be public or private. Public distribution lists can be seen by anyone, while private distribution lists can only be seen by members of the group.
  5. Click Create.
  6. To add members to the distribution list, click on the Add Members button and enter the email addresses of the people you want to include.
  7. Once you have added all the members you want, click OK.
  8. The distribution list is now ready to use in a new email.
comparing SharePoint 2019 vs SharePoint Online
Users can create distribution lists in the standard and online versions of Microsoft SharePoint

Distribution list best practices

Assuming a person is using an email distribution list for email marketing, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure to have permission to use distribution lists by the people who are added to them. It's considered bad form to add people to a distribution list without their permission. It can also get a domain blocked.
  • Don't send too many emails. If a person starts sending too many emails, people will unsubscribe from the distribution list.
  • Make sure emails are interesting and relevant. No one wants to receive a bunch of boring emails.

See also: email spam, broadcast, bounce email, acceptable spam report rate, email virus

This was last updated in June 2022

Continue Reading About distribution list

  • SD-WAN security

    SD-WAN security refers to the practices, protocols and technologies protecting data and resources transmitted across ...

  • net neutrality

    Net neutrality is the concept of an open, equal internet for everyone, regardless of content consumed or the device, application ...

  • network scanning

    Network scanning is a procedure for identifying active devices on a network by employing a feature or features in the network ...

  • strategic management

    Strategic management is the ongoing planning, monitoring, analysis and assessment of all necessities an organization needs to ...

  • IT budget

    IT budget is the amount of money spent on an organization's information technology systems and services. It includes compensation...

  • project scope

    Project scope is the part of project planning that involves determining and documenting a list of specific project goals, ...

  • director of employee engagement

    Director of employee engagement is one of the job titles for a human resources (HR) manager who is responsible for an ...

  • digital HR

    Digital HR is the digital transformation of HR services and processes through the use of social, mobile, analytics and cloud (...

  • employee onboarding and offboarding

    Employee onboarding involves all the steps needed to get a new employee successfully deployed and productive, while offboarding ...

Customer Experience
  • chatbot

    A chatbot is a software or computer program that simulates human conversation or "chatter" through text or voice interactions.

  • martech (marketing technology)

    Martech (marketing technology) refers to the integration of software tools, platforms, and applications designed to streamline ...

  • transactional marketing

    Transactional marketing is a business strategy that focuses on single, point-of-sale transactions.