Mailman Mailing List Self Help

These FAQs self-help information is for existing Mailman mailing lists. If you wish to create a new mailing list, please do so in Google Groups. How to Create a Google Groups Mailing List


How can I create a new mailing list?

UCSC Mailing Lists can be created by faculty, staff, and students using UCSC Google GroupsCreating new mailing lists using Mailman, has been suspended. All mailing lists should be created in Google Groups. How to Create a Google Groups Mailing List


How do I administer my existing Mailman list?

Once the list is created you will be sent an initial password. Go to the following address and enter that password:

https://lists.ucsc.edu/mailman/admin/listname
where listname is replaced with the actual name of your list. For example, if the name of your list is sluglist, you would go to https://lists.ucsc.edu/mailman/admin/sluglist.

Once you've logged in, change your password to a new password. You also have a lot of options as to how you want the list set up. You can add people to the list in the "Membership Management" section. Most of the changes you'll be making will probably be in the "General Options" section, which is the first page of the administrative interface.

When you are done, click on "Logout " to end your session.


How can I change the person who administers the Mailman list?

In the "General Options" section of the admin interface, change the e-mail address in the second box, which is labeled: 'The list administrator email addresses'. Be sure to click the "Submit Your Changes" button at the bottom of the page.

mailman list administrator


Should I make the Mailman list private?

There are several privacy settings that can be changed in the "Privacy Options" section of the admin interface.

mailing list privacy options

Most lists should have the following options set:

  • Advertise this list when people ask what lists are on this machine? – Yes
  • What steps are required for subscription? – Confirm and approve
  • Is the list moderator's approval required for unsubscription requests? – No
  • Who can view subscription list? – List Members
  • Show member addresses so they're not directly recognizable as e-mail addresses? – Yes

Another important privacy option can be found under "Archiving Options." If you set the archive to "private", only list members will be able to view the archive. However, as a public institution we are required to make our deliberations accessible to the public upon request. Understand that posts made to "private" lists may come under public scrutiny at some point.


How can people subscribe to the Mailman list?

If your list is public, people can go to https://lists.ucsc.edu/mailman/listinfo/, choose your list, and enter their e-mail address to subscribe.

mailing list subscribe screen

To change the subscription settings for your list, go to the Privacy Options section.


How do I add subscribers (members) to my Mailman mailing list?

  1. Log in to the list's administration page at: https://lists.ucsc.edu/mailman/admin/listname
    where listname is replaced with the actual name of your list. For example, if the name of your list is sluglist, you would go to https://lists.ucsc.edu/mailman/admin/sluglist.
  2. Go to the Membership Management section.
  3. Go to Mass Subscriptions.
  4. Select the option of subscribing addresses or inviting them to subscribe. Subscribing them will add them to the list immediately. Inviting them to subscribe will send them an email message and they will have to confirm that they want to be added to the list.
  5. Choose whether or not to send a Welcome message to the addresses that you are adding.
  6. Choose whether or not to send notifications of new subscriptions to the list owner.
  7. After choosing your preferred options, enter the email addresses (one per line) in the box provided. If you want to include a name with each address, make sure each line is in the following format:

    Joe User <joeuser@ucsc.edu>

    Note: Don't forget to include the brackets around the email addresses
    You can also choose to upload a file that contains your subscribers. The file must be plain text. The names and email addresses should be in the same format specified above. Do not upload a Word or Excel file. It is also not a good idea to copy and paste addresses from Word or Excel into the subscription box as this often results in hidden space characters being included at the end of the address, causing the email address to be invalid.
  8. If you want to include additional text to be added to the top of your invitation or the subscription notification (welcome message), include it in the box provided. The text will be added above any custom text specified in the welcome_msg setting under General Options.
  9. When finished, click the "Submit Your Changes" button.

How do I remove subscribers (members) from my Mailman mailing list?

  1. Log in to the list's administration page at: https://lists.ucsc.edu/mailman/admin/listname where listname is replaced with the actual name of your list. For example, if the name of your list is sluglist, you would go to https://lists.ucsc.edu/mailman/admin/sluglist.
  2. Go to the Membership Management section.
  3. Click in the box in the first column (the "unsub" column) next to the address of each subscriber you want to delete.
  4. When finished, click the "Submit Your Changes" button.

OR

  1. Log in to the list's administration page at:  https://lists.ucsc.edu/mailman/admin/listname where listname is replaced with the actual name of your list. For example, if the name of your list is sluglist, you would go to https://lists.ucsc.edu/mailman/admin/sluglist.
  2. Go to the Membership Management section and then to the sub-category Mass Removal.
  3. Choose whether or not to send acknowledgement of the removal to the user being removed.
  4. Choose whether or not to send a notification of the removal to the list owner.
  5. Enter the email addresses you want to remove (one per line) in the box. Do not include names with the email addresses.
  6. When finished, click the "Submit Your Changes" button.

Note: If you wish to remove all subscribers from your list, there is that option on the Mass Removal page. That option only works if you choose not to notify the users and owners.


How can members change their Mailman list settings?

To change their settings, list members will need to go to https://lists.ucsc.edu/mailman/options/listname where listname is replaced with the actual name of your list. For example, if the name of your list is sluglist, you would go to https://lists.ucsc.edu/mailman/options/sluglist, and enter your e-mail address and mailing list password (not your Blue password) to enter the member options login page.

list settings screen


How do I discontinue an old Mailman list?

Before deleting a list:

We recommend that you, the list administrator, do the following two things:
1. Let your list members know that the list is being closed, so they will not be surprised if they get a bounce when sending email to the deleted list.

2. Make a copy of the membership of the list to keep as a backup in case you need those addresses in the future. To have Mailman send you a copy of your list members, send an email to the Mailman system as follows:

a. Address the email to listname-request@ucsc.edu (where listname is replaced with the name of your list)
b. The body of the message should contain two words: who your-password
Substitute your own list admin password for “your- password”. Do not include your email signature or anything else in the body of the message.

The Mailman server will send you an email containing a list of all of the members of your list. Save that email as a backup.

To delete your list:

In the administrative console click on the link labeled:
“Delete this mailing list (requires confirmation). “

Your logon password to your list admin console will be required to confirm the delete.

Deleting your list can not be undone, so select this option only if you never want to use your list again. If your list has archives, you will need to decide whether the archives will be deleted as well.

Your list name will not be re-used.


What is the forwarder used for my Mailman list and how does it work?

The actual address of your mailman list is mylist@lists.ucsc.edu. A Google Group named mylist@ucsc.edu has been set up as a forwarder, with mylist@lists.ucsc.edu as its only member. For convenience in addressing emails to be sent to the list, this causes email addressed to mylist@ucsc.edu to be forwarded to mylist@lists.ucsc.edu, and in turn to be delivered to all members of the mylist@lists.ucsc.edu Mailman list. Where possible, avoid use of the mylist@ucsc.edu forwarder address to prevent problems caused by Google's offer of unsubscribe.


How do I set my Mailman list to allow list members to unsubscribe?

Log in as the administrator for your Mailman list, under "Privacy options", "Subscription rules" select "No" for the option "Is the list moderator's approval required for unsubscription requests?". This will allow people to unsubscribe at will which is a best practice for mailing lists. For more information look up the law "Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003" (CAN-SPAM) which requires that people be able to unsubscribe from a mailing list.


How do I use a Mailman list for a very large mailing (over 2000 recipients)?

If you are new to Mailman and want to do a very large mailing, please contact the Email Service Manager to discuss options by contacting the ITS Support Center. There are alternatives to Mailman at UCSC for sending large mailings and the service manager can advise you.

The following administrative settings are required before your Mailman list is used for a very large mailing. Log in as list administrator, set the following:

1) Set the list to be moderated. (In "Privacy options", "Sender filters" click "Yes" to moderation.) This will prevent everyone on the list from being able to post to it.
2) Allow users to unsubscribe. (In "Privacy options", "Subscription rules" click "No" to "Is the list moderator's approval required for unsubscription requests?" This is required by law if addresses outside of UCSC are included in the list.

When composing an email to send to the list format the email as follows:

1) Put the actual list address, example mylist@lists.ucsc.edu, in the bcc field
2) Do not put the mylist@ucsc.edu forwarder address anywhere in the email. The forwarder is a Google Group, and as such Google offers people the opportunity to unsubscribe, which fails an frustrates people.
3) If possible use a Google Apps Only account for the reply-to address so the sender's personal email account won't be inundated with replies.