Ever wondered how to create an Outlook distribution list and track every email that you send to each person from the list?  Or how to segment your contact lists so you can reach only the right people? This blog tells you exactly how to create an Outlook distribution list and how to send personalized emails to all your employee distribution lists.

Having the ability to track opens and link clicks will enable you to manage and optimize your internal communications efforts to boost employee engagement. But where do you start?

Ideally, you want to segment your distribution lists (also known as “Contact Groups”) to ensure that your emails reach only relevant parties. Afterall, you would never want to send an email to your entire staff list if the message is only for a specific region or department. 


 Because your future emails would lose all credibility. 

If you’re dealing with dispersed employees from all over the globe, you need to have several distribution lists for each location. After all, it’s important to personalize your message to suit the cultural or regional habits of your employees if you truly want to engage with them.

Mettler Toledo, a precision instrument manufacturer, was able to use internal email segmentation to reduce the number of emails being sent each year. They were also able to use ContactMonkey to increase their open rate by 33% for their most disengaged contact list. Learn more about how they did it. 

Start Segmenting Your Internal Newsletters

Four ways you can segment your contact groups include:

1. By geographic location (ex. Downtown Toronto HQ, North Toronto Office, Dublin Office, Seattle Office, etc)

    • Not only is this important from an office management perspective, this can be particularly handy in case of a disruption or emergency. For instance, scheduled fire alarms, transit closures, or extreme weather accommodations are better announced on a location by location business – especially if you have multiple locations in the same city. 
    • Have offices in different countries? You definitely want them segmented so you can better cover holidays or any national trends impacting work.

2. By job function or department (ex. Customer Support, Account Management, Onboarding, etc.) 

    • This might be a no brainer, but there will be times a message is only relevant to certain employees. Your sales team doesn’t need to know about an announcement for your factory workers, and vice versa. 

3. Hierarchy or seniority (ex. Team Leads and higher, Senior Management, Department Heads, etc)

    • Not every employee needs to receive executive communications- it may suffice to send important communications to managers only. Especially if not every employee has email, this is important to ensure the correct level of management gets the information they need. 

4. Language (Eg. All Spanish Speaking Employees)

    • Another no brainer, but if you have offices all over the globe you want to be sure you’re sending your newsletters in the correct language. Even if English is the default language of your business, if there’s a region (or regions) where the primary language is different you should offer a translated version. People will be more engaged when you speak directly to them. Plus, you minimize the risk of your message being misunderstood or misinterpreted.

Dividing different employees into various Outlook Groups or distribution lists is an effective way for you to manage all the different employee emails you send out to different mailing lists. This is imperative if you’re planning to personalize each email to suit the recipients of a specific country or region.

Send Personalized Employee Emails from Outlook


But how do you actually create Outlook groups or an Outlook distribution list? We’ve got you covered. 

Read on for an exact step-by-step guide on:

  • How to create an Outlook distribution list?
  • How to edit a distribution list in Outlook?
  • How to email your Outlook distribution list?
  • How to send mass emails to distribution lists, personalize them and track them using ContactMonkey!

So, let’s start with the first one.

Start Tracking Your Employee Distribution List’s Opens and CTR

How to Create a Distribution List in Outlook

The first thing you will need to do is open your Office 365 or Outlook 365 app on your desktop and locate your Address Book.

address book for outlook distribution list

After you locate the “Address Book” and click on it, a dialogue box will pop up. Click on the “File” button and from the drop-down menu, hit “New Entry.”

new entry for outlook distribution list

This will lead you to another dialogue box, and all you have to do now is click on “New Contact Group” and hit OK.

new-contact-group for Outlook groups

This will take you to a new window. You can then click on “Add Members,” and hit “From Address Book” from the drop-down menu.


You can then go through and select the Outlook contacts or members that you want to include in your Outlook distribution list from the new pop-up dialogue box. Double click on each name so it appears in the members field.

members list for Outlook distribution list

Once you’ve selected the members from your Outlook contacts, you can then go ahead and name the Outlook group or distribution list.

name the Outlook Groups

After naming the group, click on “Save and Close” to save the distribution list.

save-and-close the Outlook groups

Whenever you need to send a new email to your saved Outlook distribution list, all you have to do is click on “New Email.”

Get Outlook Email Tracking for Your Distribution Lists



This will open up a new dialogue box for you. Type in the name of the distribution list you just saved in the “To” field.

name Outlook Groups

Now you’re all set to send a mass email to your newly created Outlook distribution list.

Okay, now that was easy. But you’re probably still wondering how to edit a distribution list in Outlook.

Send Internal Email from Outlook for Employee Newsletters

How to Edit a Distribution List in Outlook?

If you work for a large company, chances are staff changes are a regular occurrence. New hires, name changes, and promotions happen all the time. That means you’re going to have to add, remove, or edit users in your Outlook distribution list at some point.

You may be wondering how to remove or add someone new to your Outlook groups or Outlook distribution list. Well, the good news is that Outlook distribution lists are easy to manage and edit. And we tell you exactly how to make changes to your distribution list below so no need to fret.

That said, there’s also a handy little thing called dynamic distribution groups which update automatically when your contact list is updated. Dynamic distribution groups include filters using tags, such as “job title” or “location” so you don’t have to manually update your distribution lists every time someone’s position changes. Dynamic distribution groups can only be created in Microsoft Exchange.

Method 1: Editing a Distribution List in Outlook

Go to your Outlook 365 app and open it.

Click on “New Email.”


In the dialogue box that appears, write the name of the Outlook Group or Outlook distribution list you want to edit.

Enter the group in the “To” field and right click on it. This will lead you to a new drop-down menu and you can simply select the “Edit Contact” option from here.


This will take you to a new window, showcasing all the members within that specific Outlook Group or Outlook distribution list. To remove someone, click on the name of the person you want to remove and then click on “Remove Member.”

If you want to add a new member, simply click on “Add Members” besides the “Remove Member” button and you can add anyone else you want to include in the distribution list.


Method 2: Editing a Distribution List in Outlook

Go to your Outlook 365 app and click on “New Email.” This will open up a new dialogue box.

All you have to do now is hit, “Address Book” and click on the menu button under “Address Book.”

Make sure you select “All distribution lists” or “All Contacts” from the drop-down menu. This will take you to all distribution lists or Outlook groups you’ve created.


Click on the one you want to edit. Easily add and remove members from a specific Outlook distribution list or Outlook contact group. Easy enough, isn’t it?

How to Share Your Outlook Distribution List by Email

But what if you want to send your distribution list to a colleague? You can send it as an attachment to them!

Click on “New Email” after opening your Outlook 365 app on your desktop. From the new pop-up window, click on “Attach Item” and then select “Outlook Item” from the drop-down menu.


A new window will pop-up and you can scroll down the options to click on “Contacts.” This will show you  a list of all your distribution lists or Outlook groups and you can select the one you want to attach by double-clicking on it.


Your Outlook distribution list or Outlook group will then show up as an attachment and you can send it to whoever needs to access the list.


So now that you know how to create, edit, manage and attach your Outlook distribution list, are you ready to start tracking it?

How to Send Mass Emails to Distribution Lists, Personalize Them With ContactMonkey

When it comes to sending emails internally, many principles of traditional outbound marketing hold true. One of those principles is that emails customized with the recipient’s name are 26% more likely to be opened and read.

That said, traditional marketing tools don’t really cover internal emails. Since you don’t have to convert your employees to leads, marketing email trackers are more distracting than helpful.

So how do you know if your internal emails or employee newsletters are being read?

We’ve noticed that a number of internal communications professionals want to build strategies that are effective, boost employee engagement and showcase their communications efforts to executives. But they lack the tools to measure and track their efforts.

We’ve effectively put a stop to this problem. With ContactMonkey, you will be able to use Outlook distribution lists to reach out to all your employees anywhere in the world – and track the resulting engagement! 

Our team can even walk you through step by step on how to use a distribution list in Outlook so you can send your newsletters with confidence.

Advantages of Using ContactMonkey Internal Comms Tool for Your Outlook Groups or Outlook Distribution List

1) Personalization

Who doesn’t love personalized messages? I know I’m more likely to open a message that says, “Hey Filza” in the subject line rather than something generic.

Send directly to your existing Outlook distribution lists or dynamic distribution groups. Having IT troubles accessing your lists or maybe they are outdated? Simply upload and send directly to a CSV file. 

Uploading CSV files will also enable you to supercharge email personalization for each region, department and employee!  

Show me how to supercharge my newsletters!

2) Track Engagement: Open Rates, Click Rates and More!

Another advantage of using your distribution lists with ContactMonkey is that you’re actually able to tell who engaged with your internal emails.

You can get stats on who opened your email, when, on which device and at what time. You will also know which links employees clicked on the most and which ones received zero engagement.

You can use this information to optimize all your internal emails and use subject lines that actually work to boost employee engagement.

Smart Analytics Dashboard  

Track emails on an individual employee or overall campaign level all within Outlook. Use real-time email metrics to identify your team’s best performing subject lines, links and most engaging content.

Highlight engaged and disengaged offices on a global level with our geolocation engagement map. Easily share downloadable reports with your team.  

Track My Employee Lists for Free

3) Send Responsive HTML Emails


With ContactMonkey, you also have the ability to create and send responsive HTML newsletters to your Outlook distribution listsCreate responsive HTML email newsletter templates with an easy to use drag-and-drop email template builder

Our plugin gets rid of all rendering issues, such as messed up padding or margins in Outlook or images not showing up at all in your recipients’ inbox.

Send Responsive Internal Newsletters

4) Get Real-Time Employee Feedback with ContactMonkey’s Internal Email Tracking Tool

internal email tracking and employee feedback

With our new features for Outlook now you can add social reactions, pulse surveys, and like buttons to the content in your internal emails by simply dragging the respective block anywhere you want in a pre-built or new HTML template.

You’ll find these blocks in your email template builder that is part of ContactMonkey for Internal Comms.

So, what are you waiting for? Start tracking your internal distribution lists from Outlook today! Book your demo and witness how ContactMonkey helps you send personalized messages to your lists, track every open and link click. Click on the button below to book your demo today!

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