ITS Service Desk

How To Send Email to Broadcast Lists

In January 2018, we upgraded our email lists to a new server, namely Google Groups. This article explains how to send email to broadcast email lists.

Old Broadcast Email Form

If you previously used our Broadcast Email form to send email to lists, you'll recall that the first thing you did was select an identity to send your email from. Then, based on that identity, you were presented with a drop down list of email lists that you can send your message to. The new method is the same concept, though the steps are just a little different to fit how Google's tools work.

Sending From Your Email Account

To send an email to a broadcast list, you must first know the email address of that list. To find that address, visit the Email Lists web page. Simply find the address of the list, then go to your Gmail Inbox and compose a message to that address like you normally do.

Sending From A Different Address

Some users need to send email to lists from an address other than their own. Typical examples include:

  • a person sending an email from their boss
  • a person sending an email from a department address

In order to do this, you must first have delegated access to that other account. The above-mentioned Email Lists page also shows you the accounts that you have delegated access to.

To send from one of those accounts, start by viewing your usual Inbox. In the upper right corner, you'll see your photo (or perhaps a silhouette icon). When you mouse over it, it shows your email address. Click that icon and you'll see a drop-down list of all the accounts that you have delegated access to. Click the account you want to send from.

Now you're looking at the Inbox of that other account (i.e. your boss' account or a department account). From there, just click the "Compose" button and send the email just as you normally would.

All messages sent this way will be in the "Sent Mail" folder of the account you send from.

Advantages Over The Old Broadcast Email Form

You may notice quickly that sending a broadcast email this way allows for more capabilities than what was available in the former Broadcast Email tool, features like:

  • ability to format text (bold, bullet lists, etc)
  • ability to make text a link to a web page
  • ability to attach multiple documents (and larger attachments)
  • ability to embed images

Most importantly, all email sent to the new email lists will be filtered for spam and malware by Google, something our old email list server couldn't do.

Only Members Can Send Email To Lists

There is a small difference in how Google handles the ability to send email to lists (versus our old system). Simply put, in order to be able to send email to a list, you have to be a member of that list. Here are a couple of examples where this may be different than in the past:

Example #1 - A department head needs to send email to all students. This means the department head must be a member of the student list, which means the department head will also receive all email sent to the student list (no matter who sends it).

Example #2 - A professor needs to send email to a major/minor list. This means the professor must be a member of the major/minor list, which means the professor will also receive all email sent to the list (no matter who sends it). Furthermore, all faculty are able to send email to any major/minor list, therefore all faculty are on all major/minor lists.

If you prefer not to see any specific emails in your Inbox, click the "More" button at the top of the email and select "Filter messages like these". Using this feature, you can create rules to filter your emails, perhaps putting them in a label and keeping your Inbox clean.

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