Email List Overview
There are over 100,000 email lists where communities of Internet users
share information and advice with each other. They may also be talking about your
company's products and services.
- A mailing list provides an easy way for a large group of people to have an ongoing
discussion via email.
- Most mailing lists are subject oriented
- "Someone" must establish the mailing list and have it "hosted" at
some list_server. The "creator" of the mailing list is usually referred to
as the list administrator.
- Mailing list software is often used to automate many of the list's functions such as
joining a list and relaying emails to all list members
- The mailing list will have an email address such as
- Users must then subscribe to the list in order to receive the content
of the mailing list. Subscribing is often done via an email command sent to the
list_server software. For example:
| to: listserv @ hosting-site.com
from: your_email @ your-site.com
subject: (you can leave this blank)
- As you subscribe, the very first message you receive will probably be a canned welcome
message that the list_server send to all new subscribers. Save this
welcome message. This message tells you what is the purpose of the list, what's
allowed to be posted to the list, and most importantly, how to unsubscribe when you want
- At this point you might also begin receiving a flood of frequent email depending on the
volume of the email list. You should definitely make a filter rule in your
email client to handle all this new email. See my Effective Email
Techniques for information about email filter rules.
- It is suggested that you "listen to the list for a while, before you jump in and
participate (this is called "lurking")
- Some lists are allow any member to send message to the rest of the group
(Discussion-style) On other mailing lists, the mail administrator may be the only
person allowed to post messages, much like a newsletter broadcast (announcement-style).
Sending an email to a mailing list
- Businesses can use mailing lists as a way to make announcements, send newsletters, or
host product discussion groups.
- Mailing lists are especially useful for timely information and distributing information
to a large number of people.
- Mailing lists can have some of the best information about a topic, because all the
participants have made a commitment to receive all the messages being posted to the list.
Unlike the newsgroups, something can be done about individuals who are abusing the
groups' discussion... If enough people complain, the all-powerful list administrator has
the ability to remove any individual who is not welcome on the list anymore.
- Searching for a mailing list? try PAML,
For more information see.