How to send group emails from your iPhone

UPDATED: Now works with most email services and eliminates the Invalid Address dialog box. Thanks to commenter YF, Luke for the fix.

Ever wanted to send an email or photo to a pre-defined group of contacts on your iPhone? This trick will let you create unlimited email groups (or distribution lists).

It’s a good thing the iPhone now has cut-and-paste, as it makes this trick a lot easier to implement. Here’s hoping the iPhone engineers don’t take three more revisions to add group emailing.

This trick was inspired by a workaround I found for Gmail back when it didn’t allow us to create groups or distribution lists (See: Creating distribution lists in GMail).

To begin, go into the Notes app in your iPhone and type all the email addresses you wish to include in the group, separating each with a comma.

UPDATE: Use the following format when typing your e-mail addresses to avoid the Invalid Addresses dialog or AOL/Comcast mail server errors.

name1<email1>,name2<email2>,name3<email3>,namen<emailn>

Screenshots for article on using email groups in iPhone Mail

Alternatively, you can type this list in your computer, copy it into the body of an email and retrieve it in your iPhone. The reason we need to type the addresses and copy them is because you can’t type commas in the email field of the Contacts app.

Select all the addresses and copy them to the iPhone‘s clipboard:

Screenshots for article on using email groups in iPhone Mail

Go into the Contacts application and create a new contact for your distribution list. Type the group’s name into the contact’s Company field. Use something simple to type later on, such as GF for your family group or GW for your work group.

Screenshots for article on using email groups in iPhone Mail

Paste the addresses you copied before into the contact’s email field and, if you like, change the field’s label to a custom value like “group mail.”

Screenshots for article on using email groups in iPhone Mail

Go into your Mail app and create a new message. Type the group name in the To: field until it shows up in the list below, then select it:

Screenshots for article on using email groups in iPhone Mail

The group’s name will now show up in the To: field.

Screenshots for article on using email groups in iPhone Mail

Type your message and send it. The following dialog will pop up. Ignore it and hit Send once more:

UPDATE: With the updated instructions this dialog will not pop-up! Nor will you receive an error message from your ISP’s mail server.

Screenshots for article on using email groups in iPhone Mail

Presto! Instant distribution lists on your iPhone. The beauty of this trick is that it works anywhere you use the Mail app… so you can now send multiple photos to multiple contacts at once.