What Are E mail Distribution Lists For Advertising and marketing?


Common communication together with your clients (current and future) is essential to income improvement, particularly within the B2B world.

After all, there are a number of methods for this communication to happen in immediately’s setting: telephone calls, e mail, textual content, personal Slack channels, social media messaging, and so forth.

However what about e mail distribution lists?

Have they got any half to play on the earth of e mail advertising and marketing and buyer communications?

On this article, we’ll focus on what e mail distribution lists are and what they’re most helpful for, in addition to clarify why entrepreneurs are higher off avoiding them with regards to e mail advertising and marketing campaigns.

Desk of Contents:

What’s an e mail distribution record? 

An e mail distribution record is a gaggle of recipients inside your e mail shopper. You’ll be able to deal with your e mail to the distribution record, and everybody on the record will obtain your e mail with out you having so as to add all of them individually. 

For instance, a “Metropolis Council” distribution record might be used to ship messages to all council members, and the sender would merely want so as to add this distribution record because the recipient somewhat than every particular person.

Merely including particular person e mail addresses in your e mail message’s “To” part doesn’t qualify as a distribution record. You want to create the record inside your e mail shopper of alternative (extra on that quickly).

Whereas e mail distribution lists are useful in sending common emails to a gaggle of recipients, they aren’t the identical factor as subscriber lists in e mail advertising and marketing platforms, nor are they an acceptable substitute for this type of opt-in mailing record.

Email distribution lists vs. subscriber lists
E mail distribution lists vs. subscriber lists

What are e mail distribution lists used for? 

E mail distribution lists are mostly utilized in enterprise, usually for emailing inside teams and departments. They’re additionally used to permit clients to speak with a complete group of staff by a single e mail deal with, corresponding to an “[email protected]” deal with.

In some circumstances, distribution lists are used to ship emails externally (corresponding to to shoppers). For instance, a advertising and marketing company may arrange a distribution record for a brand new web site venture in order that the design and improvement crew can talk straight with all stakeholders on the shopper’s firm and vice versa.

E mail lists even have a private software. You’ll be able to create lists of relations or mates with whom you talk recurrently in a gaggle context or to prepare particular occasions (a shock birthday celebration, for example).

Frequent examples of e mail distribution lists 

Just a few widespread examples for e mail distribution lists embrace:

  • Management groups
  • Well being and security committees
  • Social membership members 
  • Workers with the identical position (for instance, all salespeople)
  • Complete organizations
  • Buyer contact addresses (corresponding to [email protected], hi [email protected], [email protected], and many others.)

How do I create an e mail distribution record?

The steps to constructing an e mail distribution record are particular to the e-mail shopper you’re utilizing. Right here, we’ll discover how one can create a distribution record in each Gmail and Outlook, two of the commonest e mail shoppers round.

Creating an e mail distribution record in Gmail 

Distribution lists should be created in a separate Google app known as Contacts. 

  1. Navigate to the highest right-hand nook of the Gmail app and hit the Apps icon (9 dots).
google apps icon
  1. Choose Contacts from the drop-down record.
screenshot of available google apps
  1. Inside Contacts, click on the Create Label button on the left-hand facet of the window and identify a brand new label (that is the identify of the record).
creating a label in google
  1. Choose the person deal with you’d like so as to add to your distribution record within the Contacts record.
adding contacts to an email distribution list in gmail
  1. Hit the Handle Labels button up high, choose the Label to use to those contacts, and hit Apply.
creating a distribution list in gmail

Creating an Outlook distribution record

Within the Outlook app, it’s a bit completely different.

  1. Navigate to the Folks icon.
outlook people tab screenshot
(Picture Supply)

Should you’re utilizing the compact navigation bar, it’d appear like this:

outlook compact navigation bar screenshot
(Picture Supply)


  1. Click on on My Contacts
  2. Choose New Contact Group
  3. Title your new group
  4. Click on Add Members
  5. Choose the folks you need to add to your Outlook e mail distribution record
  6. Click on Save & Shut

Why e mail distribution lists are unsuitable for advertising and marketing campaigns 

E mail distribution lists are nice, however they’re merely not designed for gross sales and advertising and marketing campaigns.

E mail advertising and marketing platforms are a superior device for this job. Let’s discover just a few of the methods wherein distribution lists are unsuitable for advertising and marketing functions.

1. No entry to necessary insights 

There are tons of metrics to measure and analyze inside the e mail world alone. 

list of email marketing metrics
E mail advertising and marketing metrics (Picture Supply)

The primary downside that e mail distribution lists current is that they provide zero perception into necessary e mail advertising and marketing metrics like:

  • Open charges
  • Click on-through charges
  • Forwards
  • Bounce and unsubscribe charges

It’s fairly easy—with out entry to this information, you’re unable to assess the efficacy of your e mail advertising and marketing efforts.

Meaning you received’t be capable of perceive what’s working, what’s not, and why. You additionally received’t be capable of make any knowledgeable modifications to enhance your outcomes.

2. Automated campaigns are out the window 

One of many massive causes entrepreneurs use e mail advertising and marketing instruments is the power to automate campaigns.

For instance, an inbound marketer may want to design an e mail nurture sequence the place prospects who’ve downloaded an e book (and handed over their e mail addresses) will obtain a sequence of useful and informative emails—guiding them of their decision-making course of and in the end ending in a free trial or demo.

These emails must be despatched sequentially with pre-specified timeframes in between (for instance, you may need to ship one e mail every Monday).

Should you’re utilizing an e mail distribution record for this goal, you’d have to log in to your e mail shopper every week, paste the copy you’ve created into your e mail message, and ship it out to every recipient.

Observe that not solely is that this very guide, however you’re additionally sending the identical e mail to each recipient directly. What occurs if new leads enter the funnel at completely different occasions (which is what occurs in actual life)?

E mail distribution lists can’t account for this. They’ll’t automate lead nurture campaigns (in truth, they will’t automate something!), however e mail advertising and marketing platforms can.

Reply to troublesome emails with confidence utilizing our FREE e mail reply templates!

3. Segmentation is difficult (and complicated) 

Even for mid-sized enterprises, opt-in mailing lists can simply quantity within the tens of hundreds.

Fifty thousand folks aren’t all going to be all for the identical content material. They’ve completely different motivations for purchasing, completely different use circumstances in your product, and completely different expectations for a way you talk with them.

At this level, segmentation turns into essential, and e mail advertising and marketing software program makes this course of pretty easy, permitting entrepreneurs to create as many sublists of e mail recipients from their complete viewers as they like.

E mail distribution lists aren’t almost as user-friendly right here.

Sure, you possibly can create a number of distribution lists for various consumer segments, however that solely works in case your viewers is cleanly divided by a single attribute. Let’s elaborate.

Let’s say you’re a gross sales CRM platform and your clients (miraculously) may be divided neatly into three industries:

You might create three lists—one for every business—to distribute related content material to.

Nonetheless, you even have a number of completely different consumer sorts. For instance, you may need Gross sales Improvement Reps, Account Executives, and Gross sales Managers all utilizing your product, and this construction exists in all three industries.

In an effort to ship out content material related to the consumer’s position, you’d then should create particular person distribution lists for every job operate. However what when you’ve written an article on greatest practices for insurance coverage SDRs? 

You get the purpose. E mail distribution lists aren’t as effectively outfitted for this type of segmentation.

4. Prospects can hit “reply all” 

E mail distribution lists are made for groups—teams of those that know who one another are.

It’s cheap to count on {that a} recipient may have to reply to the whole group. 

For instance, think about a gross sales supervisor sends an e mail to their crew (utilizing a distribution record) informing them of an upcoming team-building occasion. One of many gross sales brokers has a query concerning the occasion’s location and realizes that the reply to their query may be useful for others on their crew, in order that they ship that query in a reply-all e mail.

This works effectively for inside communications—not so effectively for emailing clients.

There’s an expectation that you just’ll shield their id and privateness when a buyer supplies you with their contact particulars. However by sending out advertising and marketing emails utilizing a distribution record, you enable anybody on that record to answer to everybody else.

For sure, it is a PR catastrophe ready to occur and is a cause sufficient in its personal proper to not use distribution lists for e mail advertising and marketing.

5. E mail distribution lists are usually plain-text solely 

One of many main options that distinguishes a advertising and marketing e mail from a normal peer-to-peer e mail is HTML formatting.

HTML permits entrepreneurs so as to add photos, CTA buttons, and a wide range of different eye-catching design components to their emails.

Plain-text vs HTML emails
Plain-text vs HTML emails

Efficient use of those design cues can drive click-throughs and conversions and supply a extra constant and cohesive model expertise.

Distribution lists don’t supply this performance, which means you possibly can solely ship plain-text emails.

Now, let’s be clear, there are occasions when a plain-text e mail is higher (for instance, chilly gross sales e mail outreach), so it’s not that HTML is a must-have for all use circumstances. However once we’re speaking about, say, a advertising and marketing publication, being able to show promotional banners, photos of merchandise you’ve gotten on sale, and thoroughly designed CTA buttons is a big benefit.

6. You’re probably violating GDPR guidelines 

The Common Knowledge Safety Regulation (GDPR) is a set of stringent European information privateness and safety legal guidelines designed to guard shoppers in opposition to information leaks, spam, and different potential threats to private data.

Because it applies to the e-mail world, one of the crucial important concerns below GDPR is the notion of consent. It stipulates that:

“[Consent] should be obtained unambiguously and after a full clarification of what you intend to do with the information. Particularly:

  • Consent should be ‘freely given, particular, knowledgeable and unambiguous.’
  • Requests for consent should be ‘clearly distinguishable from the opposite issues’ and introduced in ‘clear and plain language.’
  • Knowledge topics can withdraw beforehand given consent each time they need, and it’s important to honor their choice. You’ll be able to’t merely change the authorized foundation of the processing to one of many different justifications.
  • Kids below 13 can solely give consent with permission from their dad or mum.
  • You want to maintain documentary proof of consent.”

Including folks to an e mail distribution record who aren’t your pals, relations, or staff (that’s to say, anybody who hasn’t consented to obtain emails) might violate GDPR.

E mail advertising and marketing software program protects in opposition to this (relying on the privateness and security measures of the platform) and covers you in different GDPR areas of concern, corresponding to information retention and encryption tips.


E mail distribution lists are tremendous useful instruments for shortly emailing inside groups, teams, and committees.

However whereas they’re splendid for inside communications, they’re actually not appropriate for gross sales and advertising and marketing. 

E mail advertising and marketing platforms are superior instruments for such efforts, permitting you to:

  • Monitor necessary e mail advertising and marketing metrics
  • Automate e mail nurture campaigns
  • Simply phase audiences
  • Forestall clients from hitting reply-all
  • Drive click-through charges utilizing good HTML design options
  • Defend your self from GDPR violations

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