How to create and use mailing lists on Thunderbird

A mailing list is a sub list of an address book. An address book can have more than one mailing list.
Any contact in an address book which has a valid email address can be placed in a mailing list.
A mailing list is used to send one email to a group of contacts.

Create a mailing list

  1. Open the Address Book.
  2. Select File > New > Mailing List.
  3. Enter a suitable name for the mailing list.
  4. At this point you have two options:
    • Option 1:
      1. Manually enter the email addresses of your contacts.
      2. Type one email address per line.
        You cannot sort email addresses in this list in this window. They will appear in the order added.
      3. Click OK when finished.
    • Option 2:
      1. Do not enter any email addresses via this window.
      2. Close the window by clicking OK.
      3. Select the address book with contacts you wish to put into a mailing list.
      4. Select to highlight contacts.
        • To select various contacts: Hold down the CtrlCommand key and left click on the contacts.
        • To select a block: Select the first contact, hold down the Shift key and select the last contact.
      5. Left click and hold down on the selected highlighted contacts to grab.
      6. Drag the contacts to the left and hover over the mailing list.
      7. Release the mouse button to drop contacts into the mailing list.

If the contacts were not already in the associated address book, they will also be entered into the associated address book.
The image below shows an example of a new mailing list called 'Test'. It is a mailing list in the Personal Address Book.

Mailing List add contacts

Create email using a mailing list

There are two methods producing different results.

Via the Address Book

On the Mail Toolbar, locate 'Address Book'.

  1. Click Address Book to open it.
  2. Select the mailing list.
  3. Click the Write button.

This will open a new Write message window, and each contact in the mailing list will appear in a separate To field. This allows you to remove a name, if desired.
You may also need to manually select Bcc for each email address, as your contacts may not want you to distribute their email address.
Enter the Subject; Compose the email and click Send.

Via a new Write message

On the Mail Toolbar, locate the 'Write' button.

  1. Click the Write button.
    A new Write message window will open, and on the left side there should be the 'Contacts Sidebar'.
    • If you cannot see the Contacts Sidebar, you need to enable it.
      • Click View > Contacts Sidebar or use the F9 key to toggle the view.
  2. Select the address book containing the mailing list.
  3. Select the mailing list.
  4. Click the Add to Bcc button or another option.

Mailing Lists

This will add the mailing list as the mailing list name. You cannot see individual contacts. This saves you from needing to change eg. To to Bcc, but you cannot edit any names from that email using this method.
Enter the Subject; Compose the email and click Send.

How to add two contacts who use the same email address

As an example:
In your address book you have two people with the same email address.
a) Bob Smith has email address: thesmiths @ domain.
b) Jan Smith has email address: thesmiths @ domain.

These two people are perfectly OK in an address book, but to get them into a mailing list will not work using the conventional method. So do the following to get them into the mailing list.

In the Address Book, select one of the people and edit their email address. In the example I put a letter A in the front.
Jan Smith has the email address Athesmiths @ domain.

Now move both people to the mailing list. As the email addresses are not the same, they will both move to the mailing list. Once in the mailing list, select the mailing list and double click Jan Smith to edit the email address by removing the 'A'. Click OK when finished.

Now you should have two people sharing the same email address in the mailing list, and if you go back and check the address Book entries, you will find them correct.

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