Start a new topic (not a PM) with a customer not yet in Discourse

Continuing the discussion from Start a new conversation with a customer not yet in Discourse:

We use a private instance of Discourse for project management and IT development collaboration and coordination.

We would like to create a few categories with Mailing List Mode ON for the client to communicate with us via Email. For example:

  • Category: Mailing Lists; Subcategory: Leads; incoming email:
  • Category: Mailing Lists; Subcategory: Design; incoming email:

Certain groups will be created in Discourse with individual access to such categories, e.g. Leads group, Design group, etc.

We would like to have two scenarios working:

Scenario 1. The client emails to, and a new topic is created in the Leads category as a result. The members of the Leads group can now see the topic, reply, and the replies will be sent back to the client, who will receive regular emails from - they will keep interacting with the Leads group through that email address, via the means of emails (not joining Discourse).

Scenario 2. We would like to create a new topic in the Leads category and have the client receive an email from

While it seems like Scenario 1 is exactly the way Discourse Mailing List Mode works, I’m not sure if Scenario 2 is possible, and if not, if there is a workaround.

Please advise.

P.S. We don’t want to use PMs because:

  1. We will have more than one groups in Discourse access to the mailing list categories
  2. We would like to link to the topics in the mailing list categories from the topics in other categories.