How Do I Configure My Listserv?



All faculty, staff and student organizations (with faculty/staff advisors) can create Listservs (mailman mailing lists).

*Please note: Your Listserv is edited and maintained through the Listserv web interface. If you are off-campus and need to access the Listserv web interface, you will need to connect to the campus network using the Virtual Private Network (VPN) or a browser in Horizon. If you are on-campus, you may continue to access the Listserv web interface as normal.

Mailman maintains settings for your listserv. These settings control who can post messages, who can subscribe, whether people have to send an extra confirmation message when they subscribe, etc. Mailman also stores an info message, the welcome message (each new subscriber receives), the list of subscribers, and a few other files. Almost all the settings are on the administration web pages for the list. Below are instructions for setting a few of your lists' configuration settings.

Editing the Introductory Description & Welcome Message 

Introductory Description

The "Introductory Description" is the text that appears on the list's home page. 
Example: SeaWeed - UNCW Student Ultimate Frisbee Club

Welcome Message

The "Welcome Message" is a custom message that people receive via email when they subscribe, in addition to the standard list information. 

  1. You can edit this text by writing it in a text editor or word processor and cutting-and-pasting the text into the administration web page. On the administration web page, click the General Options link near the top and scroll down to the "An introductory description" box. Paste the info message in this box.

  2. Then scroll down to the "List-specific text prepended to new-subscriber welcome" box, and paste the new welcome message text. The welcome message comes with some standard list info. Whatever you put in this box will be added to the start of (i.e., "prepended to") the message. 

  3. Click the "Submit Your Changes" button at the bottom of the page.

Setting the One-Line Description of Your List 

  1. The "General Options" page for the list contains the "terse phrase identifying this list" box containing the one-line list description. Add your text, and click the "Submit Your Changes" button at the bottom of the page.

Setting the List Password 

  1. Near the top of the page, click the "Passwords" link to open the "Change list ownership passwords" page. There are two passwords: administrator and moderator. The moderator password is a password that only allows "approving" email messages held for moderation. The administrator password allows management of all mailing list options.

Including the Listname in the Subject Line 

  1. In the middle of the "General Options" page, put your list name in the box that says Prefix for "Subject Line of List Postings." Put brackets around your list name, so it stands out from a message subject. For example: [SeaWeed] 

  2. Now, every message distributed through your list will have this in its "Subject" lines. For example: 

    Subject: [SeaWeed] Ultimate tournament this weekend hosted by UNCW. 

  3. Click "Submit Your Changes" at the bottom of the page.

Controlling How Replies Are Addressed

  1. When responding to a list message, subscribers can reply by default to either the whole list or just to the person whose post they're answering. You can set the default to either.

  2. On the "General Options" page, go to the box that says, "Where are replies to list messages directed?" Choose "poster" (the person who originally sent it in), "this list" or "explicit address." 

  3. Click "Submit Your Changes" at the bottom of the page.

Archiving Messages

  1. At the top of the "General Options" page, click on the "Archiving Options" link. Choose the settings you prefer (if you choose to archive, please use "private" for security reasons).

  2. The list administrator is responsible for ensuring the Archived content is not confidential or sensitive if they enable the Archive functions. Please contact the Technology Assistance Center if you need help restricting or deleting archived content.

  3. Click "Submit Your Changes" at the bottom.

Moderate Messages and Prevent Spam


Spam on the Lists

If list administrators are having issues with spam, change the following settings in Privacy Options/ Sender Filters:

  1. Change "Action to take for postings from non-members for which no explicit action is defined" to "Discard."
  2. If "Should messages from non-members, which are automatically discarded, be forwarded to the list moderator?" is set to "Yes," deleted messages will be forwarded to the administrator/moderator to make them aware of any missed message so they can reach out to the sender.

Emergency Moderation

Occasionally, the listserv may get very chatty. By default, all member posts and replies go to everyone on the list (similar to reply all). Therefore, this can lead to many unnecessary messages asking to unsubscribe or stop hitting reply all.

Under "Additional settings" on the main page about 3/4 down, you can turn on "Emergency Moderation." With this in place, ALL messages (even those from administrators) will require approval. An email will be sent to the administrator for the disposition of the message. Some administrators use this by default because they want to control what goes out on their list

If you need further assistance, please submit a service request or CHAT with TAC.

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Article ID: 32567
Mon 6/26/17 8:48 PM
Fri 6/23/23 12:26 PM