Information Services Division


Email Groups of People

When you want to send email to more than one person at a time there are a number of options available.

The simplest way to email a small group of people is to add multiple names to the To: or the cc: field. But this is not practical if the number of people you wish to email is more than a handful.

If the group of people you want to email is always the same, then setting up a distribution lists is a much better solution. Here are the options:

A Contact Group (local distribution list)

A contact group is a type of distribution group that allows you to create and manage your own list of members including non-UCL recipients.


It is an excellent way to maintain personal lists of groups of people that you selected. It is possible to share your contact group with other UCL members.


This type of list is not strictly a distribution group (or mailing list). It does not have an external email address e.g. list@ucl.ac.uk so this type of group cannot 'replied to' or emailed to.

View guides for creating a Contact Group (local distribution list).

A central distribution list

A centrally managed distribution list will be provided with an email address e.g. list@ucl.ac.uk of your choice so it can receive email from external users.


It can be managed by yourself but also others. Members can be viewed by any member of UCL.


The downside of this type of list is that it currently cannot contain external recipients

View more about central distribution lists.


A Mailman list

If you would like a distribution list that can manage external email address as well as internal. The Mailman List would be a more suitable option.

Contact the IT Services for information on lists that need to scripted e.g. large, frequently changing lists and information on getting your intranet group added into the Global Address List (GAL).

The IT Services can also provide information on mail merges. There is a recipient limit of 10,000 every 24 hours, so some consideration is required if you are performing them.

View more about Mailman lists.