In Outlook, a contact group (formerly called a distribution list) is a collection of email addresses that you can use to send an email to multiple people at once.
You can create a contact group from scratch, or you can add contacts to an existing contact group. You can also add contacts to a contact group directly from an email message.
Outlook users regularly send emails to specific people like the project team, core team members, professors, students, group club members, friends, and many other related groups of people.
Currently, what is the process?
Enter the name or email address of the person individually to the To, Cc, or Bcc line, sounds like no problem.
But there is one issue.
- If you forget some members in the queue.
- If the list of huge what is the alternative?
Contact Groups Vs Distribution Groups Vs Distribution Lists in Outlook
In general, you can use these terms interchangeably since they serve the same purpose for the most part.
For older versions of Outlook, distribution lists were used. However, they were later changed to groups.
This is because, as they are easier for most users to understand and use than distribution lists.
Create a Contact Group in Outlook [Distribution/Email List]
Microsoft Outlook offers you to create a Contact Group/Distribution List/ Email List/ Email Group (whatever you name all are the same) to manage dozens of team members and send specific email messages designed for them.
How To Make Outlook Group?
If you’re looking to make a group in Outlook, there are a few things you’ll need to do.
First, open Outlook and click on the “Contacts” tab. Next, click on the “New Contact Group” button.
A new window will open asking you to name your group and add members.
To add members, you can either type in their email addresses or click on the “Add Members” button to select them from your contact list.
Once you’ve added all the members you want, click on the “Save” button. And that’s it! You’ve now created a group in Outlook.
- Open Outlook >> Click Home Tab >> New Items >> More Items >> Contact Group
You can also get there using a keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+L.
- Contact Group window dialog box appears, now it’s time to do some homework.
- Name your group (for instance – Black Friday Sales). As soon as you name the group, the window automatically names itself.
On the Contact Group tab, in the Members group, click the Add Members list and then choose how you can add the member:
There are three ways you can add members.
- From Outlook Contacts
- From Address Book
- New E-mail Contacts
From Outlook Contacts & From Address Book
Both options are technically the same, after clicking on the options (Outlook contacts/address book), you will be forwarded to the address book,
You will get a massive list of contacts in your contacts, simply double-click on the connection you like to add to the group, and the name automatically added to the member below: refer to snapshot
Click as many members as possible, you like to add.
After adding members, you can see the email address list on the board, Click Save, and close on the left-hand corner of the page.
You can also remove any member, if by mistake added, by selecting that member and clicking Remove Member from the tab.
From New E-mail Contacts
Once you have added the required members already in your address book, there must be some more members you need to add to the group.
For that, New E-mail Contact options come into play.
How does it work?
When you like to add members through new email contacts, that means your members are not added to your contacts list.
Simply click to Add Members >> New email contacts >> you will be directed to (Add new member form)
For new contacts, enter the name you’d like to display for them in the window, insert in their email address, and click OK, [It is recommended to always check – add to contacts option], it will save your new entry into your contacts.
Click OK, and your contact is added to the list of the group, and finally, Click Save and close.
What if, you need to add multiple email address which is not on your address list? New email contacts are a good option but not for multiple emails, for that you need something else.
You can create a contact list in excel, and import the list in outlook (refer to the article – How to Import Contacts from Excel to Outlook?)
How to Add Members to the Existing Group?
After saving the group the same is saved in the contacts on your computer, for more editing like adding more members or selecting an existing one, you have to find the group.
- Open Outlook
- Click on people from the navigation section
You will find your group, double click on the group, you can further add members.
How to Create Email Group in Outlook Web
If you manage a group of people who need to regularly communicate with each other, you can create an email group in Outlook.
This will allow you to send one email to the group and have it delivered to everyone in the group.
You can also use this feature to create distribution lists in Outlook Web.
Let’s dive in and understand step by step method:
- Step 1: – Open Microsoft Outlook 365 web, and click on the People icon from the left navigation of your screen. That will take you to a new webpage with your contacts.
- Step 2: – In the People tab, click on All contact from the left panel, then click on Add to list drop-down list, and click on New contact list.
- Step 3: – Enter the name for the contact list, which will be further added to all contact lists.
- Step 4: – Click on All contact lists, you will get the added contact group here, select that and click ‘Edit’ to add members to the list.
- Step 5: – In the “Add email addresses” section of the window, type the initials of the person’s email address that will open the list of email addresses added in your Outlook or type in your contact’s email and click “Add” to add it to the list. To remove an email address from the list, click the cross icon on the right side of the address. Once you’re done making the changes.
- Step 6: – Add the description required in the description box and Click Save to create.
Your contact list is ready. You can update the contact list by heading over to the All-contact lists section in the People tab.
How does Outlook Send Emails to Contact Group?
Use a contact group (formerly called a “distribution list”) to send an email to multiple people—a project team, a committee, or even a group of friends—without adding each name to the To, Cc, or Bcc line individually.
As usual, creating an email for the group or individual is the same, type the group’s name into CC: or BCC:
A particular group name entry automatically adds all the members of the group, you can double-cross by clicking on the plus sign before the name of the group.
After clicking on the plus sign, the group member’s email address is split, and you can check a separate entry.
Click send and all your members get the messages. That’s the beauty of Outlook.
How To Merge Two Contact Groups in Outlook
Case Study: I worked in a multinational company (project section), and my job was to coordinate with the team members in different segments.
Execution team, billing team, and majoring team, the work of all the teams is different at some stage but when the billing of the executed work starts, there must be clean coordination amount all three team members.
So instead of dealing with the teams separately, Management decided to merge all teams.
For, transparency and proper communication all three groups required a single gateway.
How To Combine Distribution Lists?
There are three simple ways to send the message to the merged or combined group with a single click.
During creating a mail, you can simply type the name of all the groups into To: CC: or BCC, when you click on the plus sign of both groups, all the email addresses expand, and the mail is sent to all the members.
You can create a new group while adding members you can simply add that specific group (instead of any member), that way you add all group members in a single group, name your new group, and the process of mailing is well aware.
In the third option, you can edit one group and add another group directly, refer to snapshot – while editing the billing group, and adding more members, I simply added the group with other members, that’s a beautiful example of merging or combining the distribution list.
You can also copy all the members of one group and add all those members by name to another group, that also works but is quite lengthy.
Keyboard Shortcut to Create Contact Group in Outlook
To create a Contact Group List in your Outlook Contact folder, you can directly use Keyboard Shortcut Ctrl+Shift+L.
Create a Contact Group in Outlook (FAQs)
What is the outlook contact group limit?
Microsoft recommends that Contact Groups are no more than 50 to 70 contacts in length. You can also add further members ion the group, but it might be possible that you get some technical glitch.
How Outlook Contact Group Export to Excel [Application]?
To export a certain contact group from Outlook to Excel, Open contact and double click on contact group, click the File tab >> Save As
- Select the folder that you will save this contact group into;
- Enter a name for the exported contact group into the File name box;
- Click the Save as type box, and select the Text Only from the drop down list;
- Click the Save button.
All contact in the group is exported into text format, you need to transfer the data into Excel File now:
Open Microsoft Excel Blank sheet, Click File >> Open >> Browse
Click on the All-file drop-down list available on the second box behind the File name and then select All Files (or Text Files). Find your saved file which is visible now then Click Open.
In the popping-up Text Import Wizard dialog box, make sure the Delimited option is checked, and then click the Finish button. All the contact of the group is now exported into Excel File.
How to Export Contact Group in Excel from Outlook Web?
Open Outlook Web >> Click All contact Groups >> Select the contact group available in the list >> Click on Manage from the top right corner of the screen >> Select Export contacts.
Finally, Click Export contact and all the contacts of that particular group are exported into an excel file directly.
In summary, A contact group allows you to create a consolidated, named email list of contacts. You begin by setting up a group and then adding members to it.
When you create a contact, you can choose whether to make that person a member of one or more groups. You can then view group members’ information in one place.