Email Distribution Lists at LuxSci

Published: May 21st, 2013

We are frequently asked how to create and manage email distribution lists at LuxSci.

Distribution lists are email addresses, like “allstaff@your-domain.com” that accept inbound email and then forward (distribute) those messages to one or more different email addresses, so that everyone on the list gets a copy of the message.

At LuxSci there are three ways to setup a distribution list, each having its own particular benefits.  These include:

  1. Email Aliases distributing to multiple arbitrary addresses
  2. Groups of people in your account 
  3. Custom rules that forward email only under certain circumstances

Email Alias Distribution Lists

Creating a Distribution List using an email alias is the most natural method, as well as being the easiest to setup and manage.  To create one, your account (or domain) administrator would:
  1. Login to LuxSci
  2. Proceed to the Email Alias Management area.
  3. Click on “Add New Alias” on the left.
  4. Specify the email address of the Alias / Distribution List for inbound email to it
  5. Choose “Forward to Address/List” and paste in a list of all of the recipients to the list
  6. Press “Create Aliases”

That’s it — this distribution list will be live on our system within a couple of minutes.

Once you have one or more distribution lists like this, you can manage them easily using the bulk email alias management tools:

  • Subscribe: Add one or more email addresses to selected distribution lists
  • Unsubscribe: Remove one or more email addresses from selected distribution lists
  • Correct: Change a recipients email address to a new address across all selected distribution lists
How many recipients can your Alias Distribution List have?
These distribution lists can have up to 25 recipients, or the number of users in your account plus 10, whichever is larger.  So, a 10 user account could have lists of up to 25 recipients; a 100 user account – 110 recipients.
If you need more than this, you can contact Sales for special arrangements.
How many Aliases can I have?
You can have a number of email aliases equal to 100 plus 10 times the number of  users in your account.  so a 10 user account could have 200; a 100 user account could have 1100.
Can I manage Alias Distribution Lists via an API?
Yes, our API allows you to create alias distribution lists, delete alias distribution lists, and download reports on what lists you have in effect.

Distribution to Groups of People in your Account

LuxSci has a nice feature for making and managing user groups — WebAide Groups.  You can define groups of users for:

Distribution Lists for WebAide Groups can be created from the WebAide Group Interface itself by any user with permission to make Email Aliases in your account.  However, as these user groups contain only users in your account, the distribution lists based on them can send email only to users in your account.  The nice benefit is that these distribution lists auto-update as you add and remove users to/from your user groups.

How many recipients can your WebAide Group List have?
There is no limit here.  These lists can be as large as needed to support all members of your Groups.
How many Aliases can I have?
You can have any number Aliases for WebAide Group Lists.
Can I manage WebAide Group Alias Distribution Lists via an API?
No, these are configurable only via the WebAide Group user interface.

Distribution Lists that Forward Email Conditionally

For example, if you want to only have your distribution list forward email if it is from an address in a specific domain or from someone in a list of addresses, or if the subject contains special text.  Here is what you do:

  1. Create a new email user with the address that the list should have
  2. Create an email alias that has an “unguessable” address (e.g. “23749287429@your-domain.com”) which forwards email to the list of addresses desired (your distribution list).
  3. Create a “Custom Email Filter” in the user account that you created in step #1.  That filter can match the criteria that you require for forwarding email to your group, and if it does match, forward the email to the “hidden” alias that you made in step #2.

This method is advantageous as it is simple, it catches email BCC’ed to your distribution list address, and it allows you to manage the actual distribution list with the full power of the email alias management tools.

You could tweak this recipe in a couple of ways:

  1. No separate user: Instead of creating a user dedicated to your mailing list address (which may cost extra), you create an email alias for your mailing list address and forward that email to one of your actual users (instead of step #1).  Then you do step #3 in that actual user’s account, but add in the criteria that only messages to your mailing list address are forwarded to the hidden real alias.  This saves you the cost of an extra user, but you will not be able to forward email messages BCC’ed to the mailing list in this way, as you won’t always be able to match that in your filter criteria.
  2. No exposed alias: If you are worried about people discovering your “hidden” alias address and sending there directly  then you can put the list of recipient address directly into your Custom Email Filter (as it can also forward to a list of addresses). This will work well, but will make it more difficult to manage the list of recipients in the future as the Custom Filters Tool does not have the expansive distribution list management features that are included in the Email Alias Manager.

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