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The importance of distribution lists

And how to benefit from their automated management with the help of software

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Why are distribution groups necessary?

E-mails are still the most commonly used means of communication in today’s business world. Reports show that every day about 121 e-mails reach the inbox of an average office worker. In return, each employee sends out around 40 messages himself.1

In many cases these e-mails are sent not only to one person but to a whole group of people. Especially when essential information has to be shared with a number of colleagues, it is important to make sure that everyone who needs to know about the topic is included in the distribution group.

During larger projects or in repeated cycles within an organization where new information needs to be distributed among the same people regularly, these mailing lists are often manually saved by the employee who sends out the e-mails. Additionally, there are distribution lists kept by the IT department including, for instance, all employees of a business unit, a division, or a department.

1 | https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2019/05/shocking-truth-about-how-many-emails-sent/

The problems of manually kept distribution lists

While it does make sense to have ready to use e-mail lists, there are two fundamental problems with these being created and maintained manually.

Firstly, identifying all relevant employees for a mailing list and adding them to it is a tedious process that requires a lot of time.

Secondly, due to personnel turnover and people changing their position in the company, distribution groups tend to become obsolete rather quickly. This in turn can cause new difficulties and miscommunication, for example when information is not received by the right people because of changes in the workforce. For manually kept distribution lists to always be up to date, it would be necessary to immediately communicate all modifications in staff along with the necessary updates to any of these lists to the IT department. While this may still be feasible in small companies, it can be challenging, if not close to impossible, for mid- and large-sized corporations.

Thankfully nowadays, there is another possibility to maintain e-mail lists in an organization: Software that automatically updates distribution groups. This kind of software offers various benefits that make life considerably easier.

Benefits of distribution group software

There are several software solutions for the management of dynamic groups out there. While they all strive to facilitate the maintenance of distribution lists and consequently the work routine for many, they come with differing features offering varying benefits. These may include the following:

Interface to numerous data sources

Software for mailing lists should easily be connected to several types of data sources including leading HR systems such as SAP HCM, SAP SuccessFactors, Workday, or Oracle HCM. Consequently, data is directly retrieved from there and therefore, always up to date. Additionally, the software can be linked to databases, directory services and even flat files such as Excel. 

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Dynamic criteria

Members of an e-mail list are identified based on configurable conditions. Every employee who matches these conditions is then added to the respective group and consequently receives the e-mails. Since configuration of the dynamic criteria can be done completely without any coding, the IT department does not necessarily have to be in charge.

E-Mail distribution

The software offers the option to launch e-mails directly from there. Subject line, content, and attachments can freely be adjusted so that you can use the program in a similar way as a standard mailing software. Moreover, individual e-mail templates can be used enabling you to comply with corporate identity guidelines. Checking the delivery status of your e-mails should also be possible.

Managing access and users

Software for distribution groups offers its own user management. This does not only enable a detailed configuration of features but also the authorization of access to specific data and actions for every user within the program.

Synchronizing mailing lists with target systems

Synchronization of distribution lists generated with specific software can be performed automatically and time-controlled with e-mail systems such as Active Directory/Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Office 365 or IBM Notes. This way, it is ensured that you always access and use the most recent version of your distribution list.

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Data synchronization

Software for mailing lists can also update HR data on the user objects in the Active Directory. Once you have defined the attributes which need to be amended (e.g. department, building, project team), the software carries out the changes automatically. No need for the IT department to do any more manual work.

Distribution groups accessible via e-mail address

Dynamic distribution groups can be accessed via e-mail address. That means these mailing lists do not have to be synchronized with the mailing system but can be reached by sending an e-mail to a specific e-mail address. The software then sends out a message to each member of the respective distribution list. This also reduces the need for groups in the Active Directory as well as memberships of each user.

How to use distribution list software

Distribution group software makes it easy to create and maintain mailing lists. For instance, when a company needs a distribution list containing all fulltime employees of a specific employee group from different locations, the criteria can easily be determined within the software. Consequently, all employees belonging to this particular group are added to the list and receive e-mails in the future. Changes in HR data, for example a colleague switching departments, are noticed by the software and the distribution groups are updated automatically.

The software does not only reduce the IT department’s workload, it can also be useful for the HR and organization department. For instance, it can be used to inform employees working in a specific building about ongoing construction or to let all first responders within the organization know about an upcoming refresher course. The criteria can be defined within the software and the right distribution list is created without any further actions necessary. The possibility to not only send out e-mails but to also see who received them additionally provides documentation of the information transmission to everyone who needs it.

The importance of distribution lists

Are you tired of outdated mailing lists and the struggle of trying to keep up with all the changes happening in your organization manually? Make these problems of the past with Ingentis distribution.list. It is an easy to use software solution that helps you manage your dynamic distribution groups and security groups in an automated way and offers all the advantages mentioned above.

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