FAQ: Email List Manager

From Gruff Goat Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

What is an Email List Manager?

An email list is simply a stored list of email addresses used to send a single email to many persons simultaneously. A server just automates this process. Gruff Goat's email list server is called Ezmlm-idx.

Is this Spam?

No. On a legitimate mailing list, addresses are included only with the full permission of the address' owner. Spam occurs when email messages are sent without the address owner's permission.

Why use an Email List Manager?

Only one email address is needed in order to send a message to an ever-changing list of subscribers. Also, automation allows the management of mailing lists by handling subscriptions, messages, and list configuration via email. Once a list is set up, virtually all operations can be performed remotely by email. Importantly, an email list manager allows list members to subscribe and unsubscribe themselves.

What Types of Email Lists Exist?

There are four basic email list types

  1. Open Discussion - open subscription/open posting
  2. Open Announcement - open subscription/approve posting
  3. Closed Discussion - approve subscription/open posting
  4. Closed Announcement - approve subscription/approve posting

Open means that anyone may perform the action. Approve means that only the owner or an approved moderator may perform or allow an action.

Which Type is Best?

Most lists that you create should probably be either Open Announcement or Closed Discussion. The Open Discussion list is not allowed on our servers due to the high likelihood of spam.

What does Open Mean?

Open means that anyone may perform the action. No additional input is required of the list owner. This also reduces the control exercised by the list owner.

What does Approve Mean?

Approve means that the list owner or moderator will receive notification of list activity before it occurs and must approve the activity. Approval is done via an email response.

How do People Subscribe to and Unsubscribe from the List?

There are four ways to join an existing list.

  1. The person may send an email from their email address to listname-subscribe@domain.com or listname-unsubscribe@domain.com. Where listname is the name of the email list and domain.com is the domain of your organization.
  2. The person may manage their list subscriptions via a web page (requires creation of the page)
  3. The list owner may send email to listname-subscribe-user=joindomain.net@domain.com or listname-unsubscribe- user=joindomain.net@domain.com. Where listname is the name of the email list, user=joindomain.net is the email address to manage with @ replaced by =, and domain.com is the domain of your organization
  4. Persons may be subscribed to the list during the initial setup of the list.

Email Address Confirmation

Generally, it is required that every email address by verified. This is done by sending a verification email to the subscribing address. See Email List Address Verification to view a sample email.

How does the Owner Post Messages to an Announcement List?

Send a regular email from your subscribed email address to the list address.

How do Subscribers Post Messages to a Discussion List?

Any subscriber may send a regularly formatted email message to listname@yourcompany.com.

What is a Message Index or Archive

The mailing list is capable of maintaining an index and archive of all messages sent through it. This can be very useful for reviewing previously sent messages or catching up with a list just joined.

The messages index may be retrieved by sending email to listname-index@yourcompany.com. The specific messages may be retrieved by sending email to listname-getv#@yourcompany.com. Where listname is the name of the email list, domain.com is the domain of your organization, and # is the number of the message to retrieve. The number of the message to retrieve may be determined from the index.

What Information do I Need to Start a List?

  1. List name
  2. List type
  3. Email address of list owner and moderators
  4. Reply policy (reply to sender or reply to list)
  5. Maintain message archive? Yes or no.
  6. Short description of list (10 words or less)
  7. List description
  8. Any initial subscribers
  9. Include subscription management on the web site? Yes or no.

Who created the Email List Manager?

Email list servers have been in use since about 1981 but the first truly automated server was created by Eric Thomas in 1986.

Where is the email list manager located?

The manager is located on the same computers that host our email servers.

What about email address privacy?

Generally, the addresses are as private as the list owner chooses to make them. This is referred to as the list’s Who Policy. The Who Policy may be set such that:

  • Anyone may see the addresses of all subscribers
  • Subscribers may see the addresses of other subscribers
  • Only the owner may see the list of subscribers.

Unless the subscribers have a very clear need to view all other subscribers' addresses, the Who Policy should be owner-only.