How to create and use mailing lists on Thunderbird

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  • Creator: Toad-Hall
  • Comment: spelling mistakes and remove anchors as TOC did not allow click to headers.
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  • Reviewed by: jsavage
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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 Mailing List

  • Open 'Address Book'
  • 'File' > 'New' > Select 'Mailing List'
  • Enter a suitable name for the Mailing List.

At this point you have two options:
Option 1:

  • Manually enter the email addresses of your contacts.
  • Type one email address per line.

You cannot sort email addresses in this list in this window. They will appear in the order added.

  • Click on 'OK' when finished.


Option 2:

  • Do not enter any email addresses via this window.
  • Close the window by clicking on 'OK'
  • Select address book with contacts you wish to put in Mailing List.
  • Select to highlight contacts.

To select various contacts: hold down Ctrl key and left click on contacts.
To select a block: Select first contact, hold down 'Shift' key and select last contact.

  • Left click and hold down on selected highlighted contacts to grab.
  • Drag contacts to left and hover over the Mailing List.
  • Release 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 Mailing List

There are two methods producing different results.

Via the Address Book:

On the Mail Toolbar locate 'Address Book'

  • Click on 'Address Book' to open.
  • Select the Mailing List.
  • Click on 'Write' button.

This will open a new Write message 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 on 'Send'

Via a new Write message:

On the Mail Toolbar locate 'Write' button.

  • Click on 'Write' button

A new Write message window will open and on the lsft side there should be the 'Contacts Sidebar'.
If you cannot see the 'Contacts Sidebar', you need to enable it.
'View' > select 'Contacts Sidebar' or use F9 key to toggle the view.

  • Select the address book containing the Mailing list
  • Select the Mailing List
  • Click on 'Add to Bcc' button or other 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 on 'Send'


How to add two contacts who use the same email address

As an example:
in your address book you have two people with 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 by conventional method. So do the following to get them into the Mailing List.

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

Now move both people to the Mailing List. As the email addresses are not the same they will both move to Mailing List. Once in Mailing List, select the Mailing List double click on Jan Smith to edit the email address by removing the 'A'. Click on 'OK'

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