Emails to groups of people

If you need to send an email to groups of staff or students, check this guidance.

How to send group email messages

These are the options for sending group messages.

Mass, unsolicited emails

You may wish to send an email to a much larger group of staff or students than is provided for by a mailing list or an email alias (e.g. for all the academic staff at Sussex, all postgraduate students, etc).

If this is the case, you need to go through the internal communications team. We are authorised to email (on your behalf) large groups, e.g. all staff, all students, all finalists.

You should bear in mind, however, that we minimise the use of such mass, unsolicited emails because if we send out too many – on subjects that are trivial or irrelevant – the recipient will not read them and will regard them as annoying ‘spam’.


Mass emails should:

  • be from a University member of staff
  • contain information connected to University business
  • concern something that all recipients need to be aware of, and perhaps act upon
  • not be for commercial gain.

How to submit a mass email

It’s best to talk to us in the first instance, to discuss whether you really need to send a mass email or whether another form of communication might be more appropriate. Email

If we agree to send out a mass email on your behalf, we’ll need to agree:

  • the content of the email
  • the date (and time, if relevant) when the message needs to be sent
  • to whom it needs to be sent (e.g. all teaching and research faculty, all students)
  • the names of anybody who needs to be copied in
  • the subject of the message
  • who it’s from.

Email messages should be short. If you have a large amount of information to send, or want the recipients to view a Word document, for example, add it to your unit’s web pages and include a link to it in the email.

More information

Call ext. 8888, or email

Distribution lists

IT Services provides a central mailing list facility for staff and students.

These are called distribution groups. They are set up to work with Outlook email.

Find out how to set up an email distribution group through ITS.

Email aliases

To access email aliases:

  1. Logon to Sussex Direct using your username and email password
  2. Click the ‘Searches’ tab at the top of the Sussex Direct Page
  3. Click on the ‘Email Aliases’ sub-tab
  4. To search for a specific alias, type in the email ‘Alias’, or the ‘Description’ or select an ‘Alias Type’, then click the button
  5. To get a complete list of all the email lists, do not enter any details in the ‘Alias’, ‘Description’ or ‘Alias Type’ fields. Just click on the button

Sending emails to smaller groups in the right way

Email is such a powerful and useful way of contacting other people that there is a temptation to misuse it.

Follow our best practice guidance on the use of email to make sure you send messages in the right way.

Attempts to use email to send unsolicited material to large numbers of other people is generally a breach of the University Regulations on the Use of Computers and Networks, which may result in disciplinary action.