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Queen's University

Help and Support

Contact Groups


Sample:  Email Training Group


Also known as Personal Distribution Lists.



Contact groups are a collect of email addresses that allow the owner of the group to send an email message to multiple email recipients at one time.  The email is addressed to the name of the contact group, not the individual contacts that are part of the group. 


A contact group can have a few address or many address.  The size of the Contact Group is measured in kilobytes, not the number of contacts.  If your contacts consist of just name and email address your group can have more members than if your contacts consist of additional information, like phone numbers, birthdays, etc.  The average number of recipients for a Contact Group would be between 60-120 - depending on what additional information is stored in the contact's information. 


A contact group belongs to the person who creates the group and is only available through their email account.    The owner of a contact group can share it with other people by sending the group to them through email.


Members of a contact group can be anyone from Queen's and/or from any other email service provider.


Contact Groups are stored on the Exchange or Office 365 server. Contact Groups will be synchronized between the server and the Outlook client. Note:  Outlook 2011 for Mac does not sync with the exchange server.  Contact Groups created using Outlook 2011 are only available through the client.


When you send email to a Contact Group, the To: field of the email messages shows the individual email addresses of all members of the list. If you want to hide the membership of the list, use the BCC: field instead of the TO: field.    


For more information see the appropriate Contact Groups tutorial.


Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6 613.533.2000