How to Send a Message to a Distribution List in Outlook

Save time sending emails with an Outlook distribution list

A blank address book with an ink pen sitting on it.

Jacqueline Macou/Pixabay 

Use a distribution list in Outlook to send the same email to a group of recipients. Setting up a distribution mailing list in Outlook is easy. After the distribution list is created, use this list to send messages in Outlook and have them magically go out to all the list members immediately.​​​

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007; and Outlook for Office 365.

How to Send a Message to a Distribution List in Outlook

To send the same email to an entire distribution list in Outlook:

  1. Create a new email message in Outlook. Go to the Home tab and select New Email.

  2. Select To.

    A blank email message in Outlook.
  3. Highlight the distribution list.

    Selecting a distribution list from the address book in Outlook.
  4. Select Bcc.

    Selecting to put a distribution list in the Bcc field in Outlook.
  5. In the To text box, type your email address.

    To use a descriptive name in the To field, put the descriptive name in front of your email address and surround your address with < and >. For example, a message to a Phytocodex list would be Phytocodex <test@example.com>.

  6. Select OK.

  7. Compose the message.

    An addressed email in Outlook.
  8. Select Send to send the email to everyone on the distribution list.

Because your email address is in the To field of the message, you will receive a copy. This does not indicate an error.

More Flexible List Messages

For more advanced list emails including email marketing with personalized messages, turn to a bulk email add-on for Outlook. Outlook's own merge to email function is another option.