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

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

However what about electronic mail distribution lists?

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

On this article, we’ll talk about what electronic mail distribution lists are and what they’re most helpful for, in addition to clarify why entrepreneurs are higher off avoiding them relating to electronic mail advertising campaigns.

Desk of Contents:

What’s an electronic mail distribution record? 

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

For instance, a “Metropolis Council” distribution record may very well 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.

example of an email distribution list
Instance of an electronic mail distribution record (Image Source)

Merely including particular person electronic mail addresses in your electronic mail message’s “To” part doesn’t qualify as a distribution record. It’s essential create the record inside your electronic mail consumer of alternative (extra on that quickly).

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

Email distribution lists vs. subscriber lists
Electronic mail distribution lists vs. subscriber lists

What are electronic mail distribution lists used for? 

Electronic mail distribution lists are mostly utilized in enterprise, sometimes for emailing inner teams and departments. They’re additionally used to permit prospects to speak with a whole group of workers via a single electronic mail handle, corresponding to an “” handle.

In some circumstances, distribution lists are used to ship emails externally (corresponding to to purchasers). For instance, a advertising company would possibly arrange a distribution record for a brand new web site undertaking in order that the design and growth workforce can talk straight with all stakeholders on the consumer’s firm and vice versa.

Electronic mail lists even have a private software. You’ll be able to create lists of members of the family or buddies with whom you talk repeatedly in a gaggle context or to arrange particular occasions (a shock celebration, as an example).

Widespread examples of electronic mail distribution lists 

Just a few widespread examples of electronic mail distribution lists embrace:

  • Management groups
  • Well being and security committees
  • Social membership members 
  • Staff with the identical function (for instance, all salespeople)
  • Whole organizations
  • Buyer contact addresses (corresponding to help@, howdy@, information@, and many others.)

How do I create an electronic mail distribution record?

The steps to constructing an electronic mail distribution record are particular to the e-mail consumer you’re utilizing. Right here, we’ll discover learn how to create a distribution record in each Gmail and Outlook, two of the most typical electronic mail purchasers round.

Creating an electronic 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 handle 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 prime, 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
(Image Source)

If you happen to’re utilizing the compact navigation bar, it’d seem like this:

outlook compact navigation bar screenshot
(Image Source)


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

Why electronic mail distribution lists are unsuitable for advertising campaigns 

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

Electronic mail advertising platforms are a superior instrument for this job. Let’s discover just a few of the methods by which distribution lists are unsuitable for advertising functions.

1. No entry to important insights 

There are tons of metrics to measure and analyze throughout the electronic mail world alone. 

list of email marketing metrics
Electronic mail advertising metrics (Image Source)

The primary drawback that electronic mail distribution lists current is that they provide zero perception into necessary email marketing metrics like:

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

It’s fairly easy—with out entry to this knowledge, you’re unable to assess the efficacy of your email marketing efforts.

Which means you gained’t be capable of perceive what’s working, what’s not, and why. You additionally gained’t be capable of make any knowledgeable adjustments to enhance your outcomes.

2. Automated campaigns are out the window 

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

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

These emails have to be despatched sequentially with pre-specified timeframes in between (for instance, you would possibly need to ship one electronic mail every Monday).

If you happen to’re utilizing an electronic mail distribution record for this objective, you’d must log in to your electronic mail consumer every week, paste the copy you’ve created into your electronic mail message, and ship it out to every recipient.

Observe that not solely is that this very handbook, however you’re additionally sending the identical electronic mail to each recipient without delay. What occurs if new leads enter the funnel at completely different instances (which is what occurs in actual life)?

Electronic mail distribution lists can’t account for this. They’ll’t automate lead nurture campaigns (the truth is, they will’t automate something!), however electronic mail advertising platforms can.

Reply to difficult emails with confidence using our FREE email reply templates!

3. Segmentation is difficult (and sophisticated) 

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

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

At this level, segmentation becomes crucial, and email marketing software makes this course of comparatively easy, permitting entrepreneurs to create as many sublists of electronic mail recipients from their complete viewers as they like.

Electronic mail distribution lists aren’t practically as user-friendly right here.

Sure, you may create a number of distribution lists for various person 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 sales CRM platform and your prospects (miraculously) may be divided neatly into three industries:

You may create three lists—one for every trade—to distribute related content material to.

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

To be able to ship out content material related to the person’s function, you’d then should create particular person distribution lists for every job perform. However what in case you’ve written an article on finest practices for insurance coverage SDRs? 

You get the purpose. Electronic mail distribution lists aren’t as effectively geared up for this type of segmentation.

4. Clients can hit “reply all” 

Electronic mail distribution lists are made for groups—teams of people that know one another.

It’s cheap to anticipate a recipient to answer to all the group. 

For instance, think about a gross sales supervisor sending an electronic mail to their workforce (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 could be useful for others on their workforce, so that they ship that query in a reply-all electronic mail.

This works effectively for inner communications—not so effectively for emailing prospects.

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

Evidently, it is a PR catastrophe ready to occur and is a purpose sufficient in its personal proper to not use distribution lists for electronic mail advertising.

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

One of many main options that distinguishes a advertising electronic mail from an ordinary peer-to-peer electronic mail is HTML formatting.

HTML permits entrepreneurs so as to add pictures, 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 brand experience.

Distribution lists don’t provide this performance, that means you may solely ship plain-text emails.

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

6. You’re doubtlessly violating GDPR guidelines 

The Common Information Safety Regulation (GDPR) is a set of stringent European knowledge privateness and safety legal guidelines designed to guard customers towards knowledge leaks, spam, and different potential threats to non-public info.

Because it applies to the e-mail world, some of the vital issues below GDPR is the notion of consent. It stipulates that:

“[Consent] should be obtained unambiguously and after a full clarification of what you propose 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.’
  • Information topics can withdraw beforehand given consent every time they need, and it’s important to honor their resolution. You’ll be able to’t merely change the authorized foundation of the processing to one of many different justifications.
  • Youngsters below 13 can solely give consent with permission from their father or mother.
  • It’s essential preserve documentary proof of consent.”

Including individuals to an electronic mail distribution record who aren’t your folks, members of the family, or workers (that’s to say, anybody who hasn’t consented to obtain emails) might violate GDPR.

Electronic mail advertising software program protects towards this (relying on the privateness and safety features of the platform) and covers you in different GDPR areas of concern, corresponding to knowledge retention and encryption tips.


Electronic mail distribution lists are tremendous useful instruments for rapidly emailing inner groups, teams, and committees.

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

Electronic mail advertising platforms are superior instruments for such efforts, permitting you to:

  • Monitor necessary electronic mail advertising metrics
  • Automate electronic mail nurture campaigns
  • Simply section audiences
  • Forestall prospects from hitting reply-all
  • Drive click-through charges utilizing sensible HTML design options
  • Shield your self from GDPR violations

Try ActiveCampaign free for 14 days to profit from the entire above and extra.


Author admin

More posts by admin

Leave a Reply