Use Categories to Send Messages to Distribution Lists

This article applies to recent versions of SmarterMail. View articles for SmarterMail 15.x and earlier.

Although SmarterMail does not have a distribution list feature, users can create categories and assign contacts to categories in order to easily send messages to a select group of email addresses. For example, if you are working on a project with a dozen people in your contacts list, you can assign them to the same category (such as "Project X"). This allows you to easily filter through your contacts list to find and email only the contacts assigned to the Project X category.

Follow these steps to assign a contact to a category:

  1. Log in to SmarterMail as a user.
  2. Click the Contacts icon. A list of your contacts will load in the navigation pane.
  3. Click the desired contact, and that contact's details will display in a pop-out window. 
  4. In the pop-out window, scroll until you see the Categories card. Here, all current categories that have been created will be displayed, each with a toggle.
  5. To assign a contact to one or more categories, simply activate the toggle for each that you would like to assign the contact to. NOTE: If you need to create a new category, close the pop-out window. Then click the Categories icon in the bottom button bar and select New Category. Type the new category name in the text field. Once you re-open a contact's details the new category will appear on in the Categories card.
  6. Once you've enabled your categories for the contact, be sure to click Save.

There are a couple of different ways to send messages to all contacts within a category: one is from the Contacts area, another is from the new message compose window. 

To send a message to all contacts within a Category from the Contacts area:

  1. Click the Contacts icon. A list of contacts will load in the navigation pane.
  2. Next, select the Source you want to show. This could be My Contacts, Global Address List, etc. Hide all other sources as needed.
  3. Underneath your list of Contact Sources -- e.g., My Contacts -- you'll see a list of your existing Categories. 
  4. First, you'll want to hide all Categories EXCEPT the one(s) you want to email. 
  5. Once all unnecessary Categories are hidden, click the Select button.
  6. Next, click the Select (0) button. From the dropdown, select Select All. 
  7. Click the Select (x) button, where X is the number of contacts that are selected. 
  8. From the menu, select Send Email. This will open a new message addressed to all of the contacts in the selected category.
  9. Compose the email and click Send.
To send a message to all contacts in a specific Category from the new message compose window:
  1. From the Email area, click the New button to start a new message.
  2. When the new message compose window opens, you'll see the Recipients icon next to the To: text filed. Click on that icon. (If you click on the Cc and/or Bcc labels, you'll see the Recipients icon appear next to those fields as well.)
  3. The Recipients modal opens. Here, you can use the List dropdown to select which contacts you want to possibly email. The List dropdown includes your Sources (e.g,, My Contacts) as well as all Categories that you've created. 
  4. To email all contacts for a specific Category, use the dropdown and select the Category you want to use.
  5. All Contacts that are part of that category are displayed. Each has a toggle so you can select them individually if you only want to email SOME of the contacts in that category, or click the Select All button to list them all as recipients of your message.
  6. Whichever you choose, click the Save button to close the Recipients modal.
  7. You can now compose your message as needed.
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I have followed these instructions for Distribution List and everything worked until Step 4 when I click Send Email it does NOT open up a new email window!!!
Vicki Bos (8/26/2014 at 7:21 AM)
There is no "save" button in the "master categories" window. SmarterMail v10 running on Firefox.
Myrna Kasser (12/31/2014 at 5:19 PM)
Hi Myrna. To assign a contact to a category you'll want to be sure that you're clicking on the Categories tab, located next to the Additional Info tab. This is where a list of your current categories will be shown. You'll only click on Master Categories if you need to add a new category. If you're doing that, you'll click Ok and then Save to save the contact entry.
Andrea Rogers (1/5/2015 at 8:35 AM)