Why Use Mailing Lists Anyway?
- List servers are designed to handle email sent to many recipients, also known as subscrib ers .
- Subscribers have the option to get off of your list. Having the ability to stop getting email from a mail list, also called unsubscribing, is what makes using a mail list different from spamming.
- Limits on the number of recipients in the BCC field per email do not affect list servers.
Are There Different Kinds Of Mail Lists?
Most certainly. Each subscriber on a mail list can be assigned different privileges. It is these different privileges types that allow this.
Distribution List. A distribution-only list means that you the list owner send email to your list address, and then your subscribers each get a copy. If subscribers reply to your list email, or post as its known, the reply get sent to you and not to everyone on the list. If you simply want to send out a newsletter to folks, then that is a typical distribution list.
New lists are always created with these subscriber settings by default.
Discussion List. A discussion list is one that both the list owner and subscribers can send email to the list address, and then everyone on the list gets copies. The PMBx Helpdesk is an example of a discussion list.
How Do People Get Added To, Or Removed From An Email List?
Getting added to a public mail list, like the PMBx Helpdesk, is easy. The Helpdesk has the list address email@example.com. To get on the list, people send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To get off the list they can send email to email@example.com. These -on and -off variations work with any public mail list.
Getting added to a private mail list requires the list owner to manually add subscribers. However, those list subscribers can still get off by sending email to the -off‘ variation of the list address.
How Do I Create My Own Mail Lists?
With PMBx this is easy! First, you have to decide on a list name, also called the list address.
The only thing to remember is that each list address must be unique. There can only be one list with the list address of firstname.lastname@example.org for example. As PMBx hosts many other domain names, though there could be a list address of email@example.com.
As more and more PMBx users implement mailing lists it is unavoidable that address names like firstname.lastname@example.org will be gone quickly. An easy naming convention that I might suggest would be to add ‘my’ to the front of your email address. If your email address then is email@example.com, then you could name your mail list firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you have multiple mail lists, then something like email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc.
Here’s the step by step instructions on how to create and manage your first mail list.
- From the PMBx web site, click on the link to the SPID web mail interface link.
- Login with your PMBx email address credentials.
- When the SPID interface is visible, then click on ‘Create new…’ and enter the name of your list.
- You’ll be presented with three tabs: Main Settings, Digest & Archive, and Subscription
- Enter something in the description.
- Choose the Subscription Policy. If you are not going to allow just anyone to subscribe to your list, the click nobody.
- Choose the Posting Policy. If you want you folks to be able to post back to the entire list without your permission then click on ‘from subscribers.’ If you simply want then to get your post, but you want to intercept and moderate replies, then click on ‘from owner only’ in which case the only email address that can post to the list will be your email address (other email addresses that you have will not be accepted in other words). If you want to subscribe other of your email addresses to send from, but still not let everyone else post back to your list, then choose moderated but set New Subscribers to Prohibit or Moderate All (you will have to approve those posts in the approval box for the list). You’ll manually then enter other addresses that are allowed to post back in the Subscription tab.
- In the Bounce Processor, I suggest that you delete the Warning Message Subject and Text. Bounced deliveries (undeliverables) need to be unsubscribed automatically and this is where you set those settings.
- In the Feed Mode Format you can enter a subject prefix if you want, but this is optional. Every post will have that prefix.
- You can choose to Direct Replies to the List or to the Sender. This won’t matter though if you are only sending out newsletters and not running a discussion list.
That is the list setup. Now lets move on to the Subscriptions themselves. This is where you add email addresses to the list. Only valid email addresses can be subscribed. That means they must be real and active (as far as the List Server can tell anyway). Enter the user email and leave the Feedback set to ‘silently’ then hit Subscribe. You can cut and past email addresses into the box if you want. The import is difficult to use unfortunately and will fail if any of the email addresses are invalid.