Send mail to groups of people at IU

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Before you begin

If you're planning to send email to large groups of people at Indiana University, make sure you're aware of the policies and guidelines that may apply. See:

The following sections describe options you can use.

Send mail to multiple addresses

When sending email to more than one recipient, one simple option is to add multiple addresses to the "To:", "Cc:", or "Bcc:" lines. Note the following:

  • Depending on your email system, you may need to separate the addresses by commas, spaces, or (in the case of Microsoft Outlook) semicolons. Other systems require you to put each address on a separate line.
  • When sending email to a large number of people, it's a good idea to place all but one of the addresses on the blind carbon copy ("Bcc:") line of the message. If the addresses are on the "Bcc:" line rather than the "To:" or "Cc:" lines, a reply to the message will go only to the original sender, not the entire list of recipients. When replies go to all the original recipients, each reply is also considered a mass mailing.

Distribution lists

A distribution list, or mailing list, is a collection of email addresses that allows you to email multiple people at once. If you wish to send messages regularly to the same group, you can create a personal distribution list. If you have a very large list, or if you'd like people other than yourself to be able to send mail to the list, you may need to use a mailing list service, such as IU List.

Personal distribution lists

Create personal distribution lists using your email client's address book. For instance, you could create a list named "Family" containing the email addresses of all your family members, and then address a message to "Family" whenever you want to email your whole family at once.

Check the help for your email software for information about creating and using a personal mailing list.

When you create a distribution list using most desktop email programs, it is usually stored only on your computer, and is called a client-side distribution list. When you create a list using Outlook in the IU Exchange environment, it is stored on the mail server, and you can access it from any other computer on the internet. This is called a server-side distribution list.

IU List mailing lists

IU List is a system-independent distribution list management system available for use with all email systems at IU. When you create a distribution list on IU List, you can configure it to control who may subscribe, send mail to the list, and perform other actions. See IU List, distribution lists, and mass mailing.


Salesforce is IU's constituent relationship management (CRM) platform, which includes the ability to send email to various audiences via the Marketing Cloud tool. Departments or other units with a need for mass or automated communications may wish to adopt Salesforce. For more, see the Salesforce Marketing Cloud User Guide.

For a comparison of IU List and Salesforce, see IU List or Salesforce?

This is document amav in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2021-05-26 11:39:05.