[Microsoft 365] Let’s create an internal mailing list with “Distribution List”

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A mailing list (ML) is convenient when you want to send an email to multiple members at once.
In the case of an organization, if you create a mailing list for each department, attribute, and project, you will be able to deliver emails to all members.

Microsoft 365 mailing list feature


If you want to send an email to members of the same department, it would be inefficient to add each person individually.

As the number of destinations increases, mistakes due to human error are more likely to occur.

A mailing list is useful when you want to specify the members of a specific group as recipients.

In Microsoft 365, you can create a mailing list dedicated to your organization on the mail service “Exchange Online”.

Group “distribution list” for mail distribution in the organization

Mailing lists that can be created in Microsoft 365 are called “distribution lists”.

In a nutshell, a distribution list is an email address for mass sending.

Create one ghost address and add members in multiple organizations as recipients.

When sending an email to a distribution list, there is only one email address, but copies are sent to all registered members and delivered to their individual inboxes.

Distribution lists can be displayed in the global address book of members within an organization, so if mailing lists for each department or project in charge are created and made public, any internal user can use them simply by selecting from the address. can.

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Features similar to mailing lists


There are many different user groups in Microsoft 365, and it can be difficult to distinguish between them.

When you think about creating a mailing list, you may have had the experience of wondering which one to create.

Let’s organize the functions and features of each group.

security group

A group for setting access permissions to SharePoint Online, etc.

This group doesn’t have email functionality to begin with, so it can’t be used as a replacement for a mailing list.

Email-enabled security

It is the above security group with mail function added.

It is possible to distribute mail to all members, and it can be used in the same way as a distribution list.

However, since the original purpose is to grant access rights, we recommend creating a distribution list if the purpose is only to distribute emails.

Microsoft 365 group

A group for collaborating on Microsoft 365 tools.

Adding members automatically adds access to resources assigned to the group.

One case:

  • Outlook Calendar
  • Document library in SharePoint Online
  • Planner tasks

Released as an upward compatible feature for distribution lists, it is also possible to upgrade distribution lists to Microsoft 365 Groups.

The difference with distribution lists is that emails sent to Microsoft 365 group addresses go to shared inboxes instead of individual inboxes.

The usability is a little different from the distribution list that arrives in your personal inbox, but you can search in the shared inbox and see the history before you joined.

How to create and manage Microsoft 365 distribution lists


A distribution list is a common mailing list that can be used within an organization, and it is convenient to create it for each department or project.

Not only the global administrator but also the user specified as the owner can perform maintenance,

  • Departmental mailing lists are managed by the organization’s global administrator
  • The project mailing list is managed by the project leader
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It is possible to change the operation method for each mailing list.

General administrator work procedure

This section explains the procedures for creating and managing distribution lists for the general administrator of the organization.

Distribution list creation

First, let’s create a distribution list.

* It may take some time for the created distribution group to be reflected.

  1. Go to the Microsoft365 admin center ( https://admin.microsoft.com/ ) and sign in with your admin account.
  2. Click Teams & Groups > Active Teams & Groups.
  3. Select the Distribution Lists tab.
  4. Click Add Group.
  5. Select Deploy and click Next.
  6. Enter a name and description for your distribution list and click Next.
  7. Sets the distribution list email address.
  8. If you don’t want to receive emails from external addresses, uncheck “Allow users outside your organization to send emails to this distribution group”.

Add member

How administrators add members to distribution groups.

  1. Go to Microsoft 365 admin center.
  2. Click Teams & Groups > Active Teams & Groups.
  3. Select the Distribution Lists tab.
  4. Select the distribution list you want to add members to.
  5. Click “Members”.
  6. Click View and manage all members.
  7. Click the “+” to search for the member you want to add.
  8. Select members and click Add.

Add owner

Set any user as a distribution list owner.

  1. Follow the steps 1 to 5 in the previous section to display the members of the distribution list.
  2. Click View and manage all owners.
  3. Click the “+” to search for the member you want to add.
  4. Select members and click Add.

Distribution list owner workflow

Non-administrators cannot access the Microsoft 365 admin center, but distribution list owners can manage their mailing lists from Outlook on the web.

Distribution list maintenance method in Outlook.com

  1. Sign in to Outlook.com.
  2. Click Settings (the gear icon in the upper right).
  3. Click Show all Outlook settings.
  4. Select General > Distribution Groups.
  5. Click the email address you want to work with from Distribution Groups I Own.
  6. Click Membership to change membership.
  7. To add a member, click “+” to search for the member and click the name to add it to the list.
  8. Click Save to save your settings.
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Article Summary

  • Creating a mailing list for each organization or attribute has merits such as improving work efficiency and preventing erroneous transmission.
  • If you create a group for the purpose of mail distribution in Microsoft 365, “distribution list” is recommended
  • Distribution list can be maintained by global administrator and owner

Also, if you want to collaborate with members of a distribution list, upgrade to “Microsoft 365 Group” and you can share files, schedules, tasks, etc.

Get flexible collaboration that fits the way you work with Microsoft 365.