Add Teams Channel as an Exchange Mail Contact

Communicate by Email with Teams Channels

Teams supports the ability of users to send email to a channel by publishing special Teams channel email addresses. (The option to generate email addresses is controlled by the Email integration org-wide setting). The addresses used by Teams channels point to hidden mailboxes in a part of Microsoft 365 managed by Microsoft and invisible to the rest of the world, which accounts for the odd email addresses in the domain. To retrieve an email address for a channel, use the Get email address option in the […] menu (Figure 1).

Retrieving a Teams channel email address
Figure 1: Retrieving a Teams channel email address

You can then paste the email address into a message to send it to the channel. Teams uses a connector to pick up the new message and bring it into the channel, and all is well. A fuller explanation of how Microsoft 365 and Teams process inbound messages and deliver them to the target channel is available here.

However, because the email addresses are a little weird, it’s unlikely that people will remember them. If you think that people will want to email a specific channel regularly, you might like to create an Exchange mail contact to make it easier for them.

Creating a Mail Contact for a Teams Channel

Mail contacts show up in the Exchange Global Address List (GAL), so once an contact exists, it’s easy for users to add them as a message recipient.

  • Go to the Exchange Admin Center (EAC) and select Contacts under Recipients.
  • Click Add [+] Mail Contact.
  • Fill in the details for the new contact. Copy the email address for the channel into the external email address field. It’s a good idea to give the contact a display name that clearly indicates its purpose. In Figure 2, I’ve added a “(Teams)” suffix.

Creating an Exchange mail contact for a Teams channel
Figure 2: Creating an Exchange mail contact for a Teams channel

After saving the contact, the object is available in the GAL and can be used to address messages. Outlook clients will take a day or so to pick up the new mail contact in their copy of the Offline Address Book (OAB). However, before the contact appears in the OAB, Outlook users can always consult the GAL to find the new address (Figure 3).

Mail contact for the Teams Channel shows up in Outlook
Figure 3: Mail contact for the Teams Channel shows up in Outlook

Users Can Delete Teams Channel Email Addresses

The only problem is that users can remove the address for a Teams channel, which invalidates the mail contact. Teams is happy to generate a new email address for the channel if requested (it won’t reuse an address), so you’ll have to update the mail contact with the new address if this happens.

Using Teams Channel Email Addresses Elsewhere

Much the same technique works if you want to add a Teams channel email address as a member of a distribution list. It is, after all, a valid email address, and in most respects, can be used in the same way as any other email address.

For more information about Mail Contacts, read the Exchange Online chapter of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. Teams is covered in two chapters – one for the basics and architecture, and the other covers managing a Teams deployment. Together, the two chapters span over 150 pages of invaluable material…

12 Replies to “Add Teams Channel as an Exchange Mail Contact”

  1. And when you email a group that contains a teams email as a contact, everyone gets the email once but Teams gets it twice for some strange reason. Avoid.

    Our use case was we wanted an internal o365 group (allstaff) to send email to group members and also send the email to Teams.

    Created contact. Added to group. Then for the next 6 months all emails went to staff group as intended, but into Teams twice. We eventually removed it, was causing too many issues with adoption of teams for such Comms.

    1. I just tested this (again). I created a new mail contact pointing to a Teams channel. I emailed the address to verify that it worked and that the message was delivered to the channel. I then added the contact to a distribution list and sent another message. A single copy was delivered to Teams. You mention an Office 365 Group, but you can’t add a mail contact to an Office 365 Group because its membership only supports mailboxes and guest accounts. Did you add the Teams channel address as a guest user?

  2. There exists ChannelAddresses tool that allows an Office 365 admin to create as many mail contacts as many mail-enabled channels exist in organization. Each mail contact has an external email address of team and additional custom branded email address ().

    1. Care to give a link to this tool so that I can check it out?

  3. I have tried this several times now. But the next day, the contact is deleted from GAL.

  4. Can you change the domain of a Teams channel? Our company won’t allow the domain name to be added to a Distro list. They want it to come from our internal domain. Can this be done?

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