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Administrating Mailing Lists

By Jos van Doorn
Posted Wednesday, November 24, 2004

So you have subscribed to a lot of mailing lists. You want to announce your newsletter. That's why you did it. But what about the administration?

Let's talk about mailing lists as found in eGroups. What goes for them also goes for the mailing lists found in other services.

To start with you could save all pages of the mailing lists that you've found in eGroups. That way you can check whether you're subscribed to them.

After subscribing to a mailing list you'll get a welcome e-mail. In that e-mail you'll find instructions about posting announcements etc.

That's a thing that needs to be saved. It always comes in handy to check whether the rules of the mailing lists have been followed.

Read the welcome e-mail and find the e-mail address for posting announcements. Copy this e-mail address to a text file.

This is how announcements are made:

1. It's always done by e-mail. Address the e-mail to yourself.

2. The subject of the e-mail is the name of your newsletter

3. Write the e-mail addresses of the mailing lists in the BCC field. The e-mail addresses are separated by semi colons

Here is an example of such an e-mail. It's an example of an e-mail I've send away to announce my own newsletter.

To :

Subject: ACAD Newsletter

BCC :;AardvarkMarke;AdvertExpressEzine-;asti1-subscribe@listbot. com;

Body : Subscribe to ACAD Newsletter if you want to learn AutoCAD and AutoLISP. The newsletter has a lot of useful information. Subscribe for FREE. Send an e-mail to:

Using the BCC field is very handy. It saves a lot of time in sending out e-mails. You can send out the whole lot at once.

The recipients of the e-mail will not see who else received the e-mail. That's not mentioned on the e-mail they receive.

In the example only a few e-mails are specified. In reality send out my announcements to a loot more e- mail addresses.

Use NotePad from Windows for making the text file for announcing your newsletter. Make three separate text files: week, bi-week, and month.

Being subscribed to a lot of mailing lists has a big disadvantage. You'll receive a lot of e-mails. The e- mails will fill your e-mail account quickly.

The first thing to do is open a separate e-mail account for the e-mails from the mailing lists. Most of the e- mails you'll just delete.

You can go a step further. Remember the home page of Yahoo! Groups. There is a link with the words "My Groups". Click on that link.

A page is displayed. On the page are all groups mentioned to which you subscribed. You can make changes to your subscription there.

The number of members of the mailing list is on the page and also the delivery options. Click on the link saying "Edit Delivery Options".

Now you can change the delivery options. There are four delivery options:

1. Individual Emails
2. Daily Digest
3. No Mail/Web Only
4. Unsubscribe

As you subscribe to a mailing list the first option is active. Individual e-mails will be send to you. That will fill your e-mail account quickly.

Choose for daily digest to receive less e-mails. When you do e-mails are bundled and put in one e-mail. That e-mail is send to you.

But the third option is the best option. You're still subscribed to the mailing list. But you don't receive e-mails no more.

The last option is a sort of double option. To unsubscribe you can also send an e-mail to the mailing list.

There is another big advantage to the My Groups page. You can see whether you can post messsages to the mailing list.

If you can post messages to the mailing list then a link saying "Post" is displayed. You can click on that link. An e-mail screen appears.

I don't know about you. But I only want mailing lists for posting announcements. So if I can't post to the mailing list right away I unsubscribe!

This is all the administration that's needed for mailing lists. Keep it simple. Don't save too much. You don't want to spend days on your mailing lists.

About the Author
Jos van Doorn is an AutoCAD specialist, AutoLISP programmer and ACAD newsletter publisher. The newsletter is * for people who want to learn more about AutoCAD and AutoLISP. It's FREE. To subscribe:


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