Distribution Groups

On this page

  • What are Distribution Groups?
  • What are the key features of Distribution Groups?
  • Requesting a Distribution Group
  • Managing Distribution Groups (FAQs)

What are Distribution Groups?

Distribution Groups (sometimes called distribution lists) are a way for users to communicate by email to a list of members associated with a particular activity or group. It is a single email address used to deliver email to all addresses of the members of the group. Members can be from a school, department, and in some cases members from partner institutions and external organizations.

You need to use one of these apps to manage and use a Distribution Group:

  1. Outlook desktop app
  2. Outlook online

What are the key features of a Distribution group?

Delivery management:

This feature controls who can and cannot send messages to the group. By default, all members of a group, whether inside and outside the University of Sussex, can email that group.

Manage delegates:

This feature controls who can send mail for the group. Delegated members can Send as or Send on-behalf of the group.

- Send as allows the specified delegate to send email as the group. In this case, from the recipient’s perspective, the email will appear to be sent by the group.
- Send on behalf allows the specified delegate to send email on behalf of the group

Message approval:

This feature allows messages sent to a specific distribution group to be screened by a group moderator prior to being distributed to all members of the group.

Membership approvals

This feature sets the rules for how users join and leave the group. By default, only group owners can add members – requests to join will be automatically declined, and anyone can leave the group without group owner approval.

Requesting a Distribution group

What information do I need before I can request for a Distribution group?

  1. Name of the Distribution group
  2. Description of the Distribution group

Note: Only University of Sussex users can be made owners and moderators of a distribution group.

How do I request for a new Distribution group?

  1. Open a new ticket with IT Service
  2. Sign-in with your username@sussex.ac.uk (eg, ano1234@sussex.ac.uk)
  3. In the Self-service portal click Request a Service
  4. Click New Distribution group
  5. Read - IT Services Authorized Use Policy for Distribution Groups
  6. Fill form
  7. Click Review & Submit

Managing Distribution Groups

This section applies to Owners, Members and Moderators

How can I email a Distribution group?

Use your email application, such as the Outlook Desktop app or Outlook Online, and address your message to the distributiongroup@sussex.ac.uk, where distributiongroup is the Distribution group’s name.

For example, if your group name is filmbuffs, address your email to filmbuffs@sussex.ac.uk

How can I manage a Distribution group that I am a listed owner of?

  1. Go to https://outlook.office.com/
  2. Select Settings > View all Outlook settings > General > Distribution Groups
  3. Under the ‘Distribution Groups I own’ pane
  4. Select the group you want to edit
  5. Select Edit
  6. Make changes to the following management settings as required
    1. General
    2. Ownership
    3. Membership
    4. Membership approval
    5. Delivery management
    6. Message approval
    7. Email options
    8. MailTip
  7. Select Save to save your changes

How can I manage group membership? (This section applies to group owners only)

  1. Go to https://outlook.office.com/
  2. Select Settings > View all Outlook settings > General > Distribution Groups
  3. Under the ‘Distribution Groups I own’ pane
  4. Select the group you want to edit
  5. Select Edit
  6. Make changes to the following sections
    1. Membership
    2. Membership approval
  7. Select Save to save your changes

Adding members to a Distribution group

Internal members: Owners can add and remove internal members from the University of Sussex to a Distribution group. This applies to users with the @sussex.ac.uk domain extension.

External members: Owners are required to email itservicedesk@sussex.ac.uk if they wish to add or remove external members to or from a given Distribution group.

Membership approvals:

Joining a group - By default, only group owners can add members. All requests to join will be automatically declined.

Leaving a group – Anyone can leave a group without group owner approval

How can I see the list of Distribution Groups that I am a member of?

This section only applies to University of Sussex users.

  1. Go to https://outlook.office.com/
  2. Select Settings > View all Outlook settings > General > Distribution Groups
  3. Under the ‘Distribution Groups I belong to’ pane
  4. See list of Distribution Groups that you belong to

How can I approve a message sent to a Distribution group if I am a designated Moderator for that group?

This section applies to internal University of Sussex users only.

If moderation is enabled for a distribution group, then the designated moderator(s) will receive an email notification with the ability to Approve or Reject a message sent to the distribution group. The moderator can click Approve or Reject, as intended.

Messages are held for 5 days pending the action of a moderator – after which the message is declined, and the sender is notified. By default, only senders will be notified when their messages aren’t approved

Group moderators – There can be more than one moderator for a given Distribution group

Note: Distribution group owners can specify senders who don’t require message approval

Important: Moderator approval functionality only works in the Outlook desktop app for Windows based systems and Outlook Online. This feature does not work on the MacOS-based Outlook desktop app or the native MacOS mail client.

How can a member Send as or Send on behalf of a distribution group?

Important: Distribution Group owners will need to request these permissions from the IT Service Desk. A member is given permission to either Send as or Send on behalf of but not both.

Send as or Send on behalf of using Outlook desktop app

Important Tip: You will need to make a configuration change to your Outlook desktop client to Send as or Send on behalf of a Distribution Group.

Configuration change to your Outlook app (One time only):

  1. In Outlook, click on the File menu
  2. Click Account Settings and click Account Settings again from the drop-down menu
  3. Click to Select your email account from the list of accounts (username@sussex.ac.uk)
  4. Click Change
  5. Uncheck the box for ‘Use Cached Exchange Mode to download email to an Outlook data file’
  6. Click Next
  7. Click Done
  8. Close and re-launch the Outlook desktop app

Important Tip: Use the same instructions below to Send as or Send on behalf of. Depending on the permissions set, Send as or Send on behalf of.

When recipients receive the email, the From: field will indicate that the email was sent by the Group name itself, as in the case of Send as, or for example John Doe on behalf of Group name as in the case of Send on behalf of.

  1. Launch Outlook desktop client
  2. Click Compose to compose a New Email
  3. Click the From field and select Other email address
  4. Click From
  5. Click the drop down under Address Book to choose All Distributions lists (Groups)
  6. In the Search box type the name of the Distribution group, select to highlight the group, and Click OK
  7. Click on the Send Using drop down to choose your email address, and Click OK

Send as or Send on behalf of using Outlook web app

Important Tip: Use the same instructions below to Send as or Send on behalf of. Depending on the permissions set, Send as or Send on behalf of.

When recipients receive the email, the From: field will indicate that the email was sent by the Group name itself, as in the case of Send as, or for example John Doe on behalf of Group name as in the case of Send on behalf of.

  1. Open Outlook online by visiting https://outlook.office.com/
  2. Click New message
  3. At the bottom of the message contents box click on the ellipsis and select Show From
  4. Click From and select Other email address
  5. Type the name of the Distribution group you intend to Send as or Send on behalf of
  6. Add recipients, subject line, and message contents

How do I request the closure of a Distribution group when it is no longer required?

Open a ticket with IT Services and request to close a distribution group.

Please note that only group owners can request for a Distribution group to be closed.