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"How-to" information for list owners and list subscribers.

Table of Contents

Topic Overview

Information regarding newly created lists

  • you are not subscribed to the list, even though you are the owner. You must subscribe yourself.
  • no one is subscribed to your list
  • you MUST be able to receive email from If you or your ISP have spam whitelist, junk mail, or other filtering you need to allow  through the filter. List management will NOT respond to whitelist challenge/response questions. If you do not respond to our email, your list could be removed.

Sending to the List

To send to your list, use your normal email program to send to
Example: for list "clocks" send to

If you send often, create a nickname for the list in your address book to avoid typing the whole address.

Know Your Email Address

When Listserv rejects emails or commands or you cannot manage your list from the web, there is usually a mismatch between your sending email address and the address that Listserv has in its owner configuration or subscription information. A common situation is to have one email inbox which receives email for several incoming email addresses (e.g.,, However, your outgoing mail will likely always use the same value in the From: line. You should use that value as your Listserv owner address, and for all Listserv subscriptions. Any difference between Listserv's data and your (or a subscriber's) From: line can cause problems. To avoid this situation:

  • examine the From: line of your or a subscriber's outgoing mail (send something to yourself if you're not sure)
  • use that value in any Listserv configuration or subscriptions
If you request that people subscribe themselves to the list, you usually don't have to worry about this issue for your subscribers.


Listserv Security

Listserv controls access with an email address/password combination that it manages. Listserv does not know about your Syracuse University netid or any other account, and Listserv passwords are exclusively linked to an email address. Further, passwords are not linked to a list or to you personally. While we commonly say that a person (yourself!) owns a list, lists are actually owned by an email address(es). Therefore, when your email address changes, you will likely lose the ability to manage your list (you may still be able to login using your old email address and password, but if listserv asks for email confirmation of a command- which it does for the most sensitive operations- you will be unable to complete the confirmation). Bottom line: your email address and associated listserv password are the key to managing your list, and should be guarded like any other personal account. YOU CANNOT GIVE YOUR PASSWORD TO ANOTHER PERSON in order to transfer list ownership. Note that this is also true for subscribers and their ability to manage their subscriptions.

Managing Your List

While you can manage lists using email, we recommend using the web and thus the following information is largely for using the web.

  • Go to the web page This has links for several activities: creating new lists, managing existing lists, deleting old lists, on-line Listserv documentation, and access to public and private list archives.
  • Choose the link "List Management Interface". A Login Page will appear and you will be required to login. Create a password for your list owner email address if you don't have one (do this from the main Listserv page
  • All further web instructions assume you have logged in as above and are at the "List Management Dashboard" page. If you own any lists, they will appear under a blue bar toward the bottom of the page.
  • You will generally want to click on the blue [software011:Configure] link below the list you are choosing.

Create Your Personal Password (all list owners need one)

If you have a personal Listserv password, skip this step. Otherwise, whether you intend to manage lists from the web or via email, you will need to create and register your personal password. This takes only a few minutes and you only need to do it once for each owner address you use (most owners have a single address). Both and the Login Page have a link to get a LISTSERV password for this server. This brings up the Register Password Form. Enter your list owner address and a password (enter it twice) and submit the form. Watch for confirmation email from Listserv: you may confirm your password via a web link, or reply to the message with the word OK in the text of the message. This confirmation must be done successfully before Listserv will register your password. Once registered, go back to the Login page and complete the login with your new password.

Common List Management Activities

Managing (Adding/Searching/Changing /Deleting) Subscriptions Individually

  • You should now be at the List Management Dashboard.
  • Click on the "Configure" link below the list you wish to manage. Any operations you perform will apply to that list only.
  • Under the blue bar at the top of the page, choose menu item  "List Management>Subscriber Management"
  • Go to the "Add new subscriber" box and enter the email address and name of someone you want to add to the list, then click on the "Add to listname" button. If you want to add yourself enter your address and name. The subscription to the list will be created and a message will appear near the top of the page confirming that the subscription has been added.
  • You can also find, change (edit), or delete subscription information. Chose the appropriate boxes to search for a subscription, and if it is found, you can change it or delete it. You can search for fragments of a name or address as well as the entire name or address.

Adding/Deleting Subscriptions in Bulk

  • If you want to add several subscriptions to the list, you can do them one at a time by repeating the above steps for each one, or you can do them all at once using Bulk.
  • Before you can use Bulk, create a text file with the subscription information for new list members. You can do this in a word processor or a spreadsheet. The file should contain the email address, first name, and last name of each user, separated by one or more blanks, one user per line. The order is important. It must be email address first, then the name. Make sure you save it as a text file.
  • Click on the Bulk tab. Use the Browse button next to the Input File box to select the file just created. Choose the appropriate function. See Listserv - Adding Many Subscribers at Once (Bulk Load) for more information on bulk loading.
  • Click on the Import button. Subscriptions will be added and a confirmation message will appear.

Reviewing the List (obtaining a list of subscribers)

  • Option 1: on the page for managing subscribers (see above), go to the bottom of the page and choose either of the links following the text "Review List Members:"
  • Option 2: After you have selected a list, choose menu item "List Management >List Reports>Subscriber Reports." You can change any subscriber information here.
  • Most lists are configured so that list members CANNOT review the list. This avoids "drive by" harvesting where someone subscribes to a list, gets the list membership, leaves the list, and then spams the list.

Changing the List Header

  • PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE THE LIST CREATION DATE. This can cause unintended consequences, including the removal of a recently created list.
  • The list configuration (header) contains settings that govern list operation. You can change any of these and add new settings. A common need is to add or change list owners or editors.
  • From the List Management Dashboard page, click on [software011:Configure] under the list you wish to edit.
  • On the right, click on the "Edit Manually" button. You can try to use the wizard which comes up by default, but it does not work with some lists.
  • You can change anything in the box directly simply by editing it as though it were a simple text editor. For example, if you want to add another owner, enter a line that says, "Owner= emailaddr (name- phone)" with appropriate substitutions, of course. Or if you want to replace yourself with a new owner, just edit your owner line accordingly. When you are done, scroll down to the save button and click it. The header will be updated immediately. If you specify an incorrect value for a keyword, Listserv will display an error message and the list will not be updated. Go to the on-line Owner's Manual, look up the correct value, and then edit again. If you run into problems, see help below.

Subscribe/Unsubscribe Instructions for Potential Subscribers

Via the web:

  • People can manage their own subscriptions at by clicking on the Subscriber's Corner link. They will need to have (or get) a Listserv password.

Via Email:

We suggest you customize by substituting your listname in our examples. While commands are shown in upper case, Listserv generally ignores case. "SUB" and "UNSUB" are allowed abbreviations for "SUBSCRIBE" and "UNSUBSCRIBE". Our example is for a list named "CLOCKS".

Setting the DIGEST option

If Digests are available for your list, your individual users can control if they receive list postings in regular or digest form by sending the following command to

  • To turn DIGEST on:  SET listname DIGEST      Example: SET clocks DIGEST
  • To turn DIGEST off:  SET listname MAIL      Example: SET clocks MAIL

You can send the command on behalf of a subscriber by using the form <set listname DIGEST for>. You will be asked to confirm the command.

Setting NOMAIL for vacation

Your subscribers can suspend or restart mail by sending the following command to

  • You can temporarily suspend mail (and remain subscribed) by the command:  SET listname NOMAIL Example: SET clocks NOMAIL
  • To resume receiving mail:  SET listname MAIL Example: SET clocks MAIL

You can send the command on behalf of a subscriber by using the form <set listname MAIL for>

Add an additional owner to your list

  • log into the Listserv web page at:
  • select the "List Dashboard" option on the "List Management" drop-down menu
  • this will show the lists you own, click on the configure link below the list you want to modify
  • click the "edit manually" link on the right
  • carefully make any changes (like adding an additional "owner=" line specifying the additional owner), and click the save button


List owners are responsible for all questions from list members

  • List members should contact their list owner(s) for help at <>. For example, if the listname is "clocks", send email to <>. If you need help contacting the owner, please contact the ITS Service Center by email at or by phone at 315-443-2677.
  • List owners may receive help by sending email to or contacting the ITS Service Center at 315-443-2677.

Sources and Relevant Links