Create a contact group (distribution list) in Outlook

Content
  1. Send one email to multiple people and save time
  2. Set up a mailing list in Outlook
  3. Add members to an Outlook contact group
  4. Create a new contact in the distribution list
  5. Share a contact group in Outlook
  6. Import an Outlook contact group that you have shared with you via email

Send one email to multiple people and save time

Outlook uses contact groups to store distribution list members. After you create a contact group and add contacts, create one email and send it to the contact group. This way everyone on the mailing list gets the same message and you save time.

The instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, and Outlook for Office 365.

Set up a mailing list in Outlook

To create a contact group in Outlook, create a list and choose where to save it. Here’s how:

  1. Open Outlook.

  2. Go to the tab House and choose New elements .

  3. Select Additional elements > Contact group . Or click on Ctrl+Shift+L .

  4. in the window Contact group place the cursor in the text field Name and enter a name for the mailing list.

    To send an email to a mailing list, enter the name of the list in the text box To who new message box.

  5. leave the window contact group Open.

Add members to an Outlook contact group

After you create and save the group, add the contacts to the mailing list.

To add contacts to a contact group:

  1. in the window Contact group go to tab Contact group .

  2. Select Add members > From Outlook Contacts .

  3. In the dialog box Select members: contacts select a contact and select Members to add this contact to the distribution list.

    If the contact is not in the list, search for a contact by name or email address. If you still can’t find a contact, select the drop-down arrow The Address Book and choose another list.

  4. Repeat step 3 for each of the contacts you want to add to the mailing list.

  5. Select Okay .

  6. in the window Contact group select Save and Close .

Create a new contact in the distribution list

To add recipients not in your Outlook address book to a contact group:

  1. Go to Outlook People and double click on the mailing list.

  2. in the window Contact group go to tab Contact group and choose Add members > New email contact . ,

  3. In a text field Display name enter a name for the contact.

    If you don’t know the contact’s name, enter their email address or enter a nickname.

  4. In a text field E-mail address enter the email address of the new contact.

  5. If you do not want to add a new member to the address book, uncheck the box Add to contacts .

  6. Select Okay .

  7. in the window Contact group select Save and Close to save changes to the mailing list.

Share a contact group in Outlook

Are there other people who would benefit from your mailing list? Instead of creating the same contact group from scratch, you can share a contact group with them. It’s as easy as sending an email attachment.

To share a contact group:

  1. Go to page prospects people .

  2. Double-click the distribution group you want to share.

  3. in the window Contact group go to tab Contact group and choose forwarding group > As an Outlook contact .

    Select In internet format (vCard) to attach a text file with the names and addresses of group members.

  4. Send a message to the person you want to receive the mailing list from.

  5. Select send .

Import an Outlook contact group that you have shared with you via email

If someone created a distribution list in Outlook and emailed it to you as an Outlook contact file, import the list into your address book and use it as your own.

  1. Open a message that contains an attached Outlook contact file for the group.

  2. Select the drop-down arrow for attachments.

  3. Select Open .

  4. in the window Contact group go to File > Information .

  5. Select Move to folder > Copy to folder .

  6. In the dialog box Copy element to select folder Contacts .

  7. Select Okay .

  8. With your mailing list in place and ready, you can start sending messages to your members.

If you want more control over your mailing lists, use contact categories to build elegant mailing lists.

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