An email list is an efficient tool for communicating with a group of people. For example, an online business owner could maintain a list of customers and notify them of upcoming promotions, specials and sales. Another good example of a situation where a mailing list would come in handy is for inter-company communication.
Creating a Mailing List
To create a mailing list, first log into your netConsole and click on the Mailing Lists link shown below:
On the page that follows click on the "Create a new mailing list" link or the icon. Doing so will take you to the next screen:
Enter the name of the mailing list you wish to create in the field labeled "Mailing list name: " By default the first 4 options listed below the mailing list name are checked.
Public and Private Mailing Lists
The first of these options, "Allow anyone to subscribe to this list", will make your mailing list a Public list. A public list allows people to freely subscribe and unsubscribe to the list. Only those who are subscribed can post to this list. This is most commonly referred to as a "discussion group".
If you choose to uncheck this box, your mailing list will instead be a Private list. A private mailing list's main function is to restrict subscription to a mailing list, and is most commonly used to distribute messages to a specific group of subscribers. Subscribers to a private list must be added from within the netConsole, either manually or by importing a list of subscribers.
Moderated Mailing Lists
The second of these options, "Allow all subscribers to post to this list", will make your list an unmoderated list. Any subscriber to an unmoderated mailing list may post to it.
If you choose to uncheck this option, your mailing list will be created as a Moderated list. A moderated list allows anyone, subscribed or unsubscribed, to post to the list. However, before the message is posted to all subscribers, it is sent to the moderators of the list for approval. The moderators are chosen from list configuration page.
Moderated/Private Mailing Lists
A moderated/private list is both restrictive on subscription and posting. The only way to add subscribers is through the list configuration page and a moderator (or moderators) approve each post before it is sent. To set up a moderated/private list, uncheck the first two options on the mailing list creation page, or after the list's creation, by clicking the, "Make this list private", and, "Make this list moderated", links located on the sidebar within the mailing list's configuration page.
A distribution list disallows posting from any members besides the list owner and is usually not able to be subscribed to by the general public. To create a distribution list: create a new private list and select, "Ignore posts from this subscriber", when choosing the type of access allowed on the Add Subscriber page for each subscriber you add to the distribution list.
The third option, "Allow users to obtain list traffic using digests", will permit messages sent to the mailing list to be distributed as digests. A "digest" is just an ordered collection of messages from a list, usually sent out regularly depending on the time and traffic volume since the last digest. Digest subscribers thus can read messages as "threads" once daily, rather than receiving a constant trickle of messages.
Archiving list traffic
The fourth option, "Enable archiving of list traffic", will automatically save messages sent to and from the mailing list. These messages are stored in your account in the following directory: /.email/mailinglistname/archive
The fifth option, "Import a list of email addresses into this mailing list", is not checked by default, unlike the other options. If you do choose to check this option, after clicking on the, "Create mailing list" button you will be taken to the page shown below:
Simply fill in the name of the file you wish to upload, for example, "subscribers.txt". Be sure that the file you upload is a plain text file that contains one email address per line. Once you have uploaded the list of subscribers choose the access type you wish to allow them from the drop down menu and click the, "Import addresses", button to finish creating the mailing list.
Mailing List Addresses
When your list is created there are 4 email addresses created as well:
- listname@YourDomainName.com - Where all email messages to be posted are sent.
- listname-subscribe@YourDomainName.com - Subscribes/adds the sender to the your mailing list. This address is disabled if your list is a private list.
- listname-unsubscribe@YourDomainName.com - Unsubscribes/removes the sender from your mailing list.
- listname-owner@YourDomainName.com - The owner of the list.
The list configuration page allows you to manually subscribe/unsubscribe members as well as "blacklisting" (checking the "Ignore-posts" box) members, and setting certain list-members as moderators.
Modifying Mailing Lists
Once you have created a mailing list you may make changes to it by clicking on the name of the mailing list from the main Mailing Lists page. Doing so will take you to a page similar to the one shown below:
Subscribers may be manually added to your mailing list one at a time by clicking on the "Add subscriber" link on the main configuration page of the mailing list, clicking on the link on the sidebar, or by clicking on the icon.You may choose three different types of access for subscribers: "Normal", "Moderator", or "Ignore posts from this subscriber".
A normal subscriber both receives posts sent to the list and may post to the list
If you choose to create a moderated list, a Moderator will have the authority to approve messages sent to the list before they are posted to the rest of the list.
A subscriber with access of type, "Ignore posts from this subscriber", will receive messages posted to the list but will not be able to post messages to the list.
The sidebar within the netConsole on the mailing list configuration page presents you with a number of options.
The most basic options available to you are simply to: create a new mailing list, delete the current mailing list, and add a new subscriber.
You may use these options either by clicking on the appropriate links on the sidebar or by clicking on the appropriate icons: , , on the top or bottom of the screen.
The sidebar also offers you the option to import a list of subscribers. Clicking on this link will take you to a page identical to the one shown above, where a list of subscribers was added during mailing list creation.
One also has the ability to change whether or not the list is private, moderated, archives mail, and sends mail in digests.
Lastly, one may choose to view all subscribers to the mailing list, either by clicking on the link on the main configuration page or the link on the sidebar.