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Email for Groups

If you need to send to a large group of recipients or share an email account, the following options are available at CUMC.

Mailing List (also called listserv): often used for mass communication or discussion groups, this is a way to send messages to one email address and have it received by everyone who is "subscribed" to the list.
  • While those that manage the list must have a CUMC or Columbia email address, subscribers can have any address.
  • Messages addressed to the mailing list are typically sent to all subscribers immediately, though some lists require pre-approval or only allow certain senders.
  • General sending and receiving can be done using any email client. Those in your group that are designated as the list's Owner, Editor or Moderator(s) manage it using a web-based program called listserv.
If you are considering using an external vendor for mass emails please see important information at the bottom of this page.

Shared Mailbox: for multiple users who need to check and respond to messages sent to a general email address, or want to use a common calendar for scheduling.
  • Those who need access to a shared mailbox must have their own CUMC email account and use Outlook or Web Outlook.
  • Messages sent to the shared mailbox go to its Inbox; those managing it will not automatically receive its messages in their own CUMC email account.
  • Individuals who want to send from the mailbox's email address must also have Send As access.
  • Those with Full Access can use Outlook to grant different levels of access to other CUMC email users on the mailbox's individual folders, calendar(s), etc.
Contact Group (also called Distribution List): a self-created group of contacts for the convenience of sending messages, meeting requests, etc. to multiple email addresses at once.
  • These can be created in Outlook for any grouping of email addresses/recipients you would like.
  • Typically the list will only appear on the computer within Outlook, though it can be sent as a standalone file to be saved in other computers/email programs.
Broadcast Email: the CUMC Broadcast Email Policy provides information on sending an important message to the CUMC community.

Mailing Lists and Shared Mailboxes must first be requested via an online form, and are created by CUMC IT. Contact Groups can be created at any time in Outlook, in Contacts under your CUMC email account.

Be sure to review in-depth information on the Mailing Lists and Shared Mailboxes pages as well, or see Microsoft's instructions for Contact Groups on Windows and Macintosh.

Mass Emails and External Vendors
While it is possible to use an external vendor for a mass email, CU and CUMC spam filters may score these as junk, causing them to end up in your recipients junk folder. To prevent possible issues:
  • If you are communicating to a fairly static list of people in your department or otherwise internal to CUMC please consider using an internal mailing list or Contact Group in Outlook.
  • Some issues may be prevented by making sure the mass mailing from an external vendor uses @cumc.columbia.edu email addresses for CUMC affiliates, rather than their "virtual" @columbia.edu address.
  • Work with your Certified IT Group to request whitelisting for the vendor before sending out an email. Technical information about the sending address can be marked to bypass the spam filter.

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Last updated 11/13/2017