Using LISTSERV to Send Mass Emails

This information is adapted from L-Soft’s LISTSERV documentation available at their website.

What is LISTSERV?

LISTSERV is an email list management software application distributed by L-Soft that allows users to create and maintain email lists. When a list is set up, an email address is created for the list, which is then used to send or “post” messages to the list. Once a message is sent, it is delivered to the central server where LISTSERV resides. The software then completes the operation by automatically distributing the message to all subscribers on the list.

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Who can request a list?

All classes and chartered student groups at the College are eligible to request the creation of a list. If you would like to request a new list or submit a change to an existing list, please visit the LISTSERV Request website. Once the request is filled, we will notify you via e-mail with the appropriate information. Each list has an “owner,” who can administer the list. There can be more than one list owner for each list.

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How do I send a message to a list?

To send a message to all members of a list, you should send an e-mail message to the list address. List addresses take the following format: <list name>@lists.wooster.edu. LISTSERV will duplicate this message and send it to all members of the list. Note that LISTSERV by default will not send the message to you, as it recognizes that you sent the message originally.

Be careful when replying to LISTSERV messages; by default, your reply will go back to the entire list. There may be times when you want to reply to the sender of a LISTSERV message privately without sending a reply to the entire list.

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How do I login to the web-interface for LISTSERV?

Go to the Wooster LISTSERV website at http://lists.wooster.edu/cgi-bin/wa. If you are logging in for the first time, you will have to create a password just for your LISTSERV account. To do so, click Login in the upper right corner of the website, then the Get a New LISTSERV Password link on the login page. The Register LISTSERV Password screen will open. Note: your LISTSERV password does not change and should be different from your Wooster email password. Enter your full e-mail address and a new LISTSERV password. Confirm the password by entering it again, and then click the Register password button. When your password registration is accepted, a confirmation email will be sent to you. You will have to activate your password by clicking the link it contains.

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How do I see what lists I belong to?

Go to the LISTSERV website and login. Click on the Subscriber’s Corner link, where you can see all the lists you are subscribed to or all the public lists on the server. The list table can display selected subscription settings for each list. You will see a tab that says My Lists, where you can see your subscriptions, change how you receive messages, or send a message to the list.

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How can I subscribe myself to a list?

To subscribe to one or more lists, go to the LISTSERV website and login. Click the Subscriber’s Corner button and in the Show All Lists drop-down menu, select Show All Lists. Check the boxes next to the lists that you want to subscribe to, and then click the Invert drop-down menu and select Subscribe. Finally, click the Submit button.

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How do I unsubscribe myself from a list?

To unsubscribe to one or more lists, go to the LISTSERV website and login. Click the Subscriber’s Corner button and in the Show All Lists drop-down menu, select Show Subscribed Lists Only. Check the boxes next to the lists that you want to unsubscribe from, and then click the Invert drop-down menu and select unsubscribe. Finally, click the Submit button.

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As an owner, how can I see who is subscribed to a list?

Login to the LISTSERV website and click on the List Management menu. Select List Dashboard and you will see a screen with all the lists you have ownership rights to. Next, click the View option under the number of subscribers and this will show you all of the e-mail addresses added to that specific list.

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As an owner, how can I add users to a list?

You can add users individually to a list, or use the LISTSERV bulk add feature if you are adding many users at one time.

Adding users individually:

Login to LISTSERV at http://lists.wooster.edu/cgi-bin/wa. Click on the List Management menu, and then select Subscriber Management. The Subscriber Management screen opens. Click the Select List drop-down menu to select the list you want to add the subscriber to (you may have to navigate to the appropriate section of the alphabet below the drop-down menu). On the Single Subscriber tab, you will see the Add New Subscriber section. Enter the email address and name of the new subscriber. Then, select whether or not to send an email notification to this subscriber, and click the Add to List button. Note: The full name of the subscriber is optional. If omitted, then the user will be added anonymously to the list.

Bulk adding users:

The Bulk Operations tab allows a list owner to upload an input file containing email addresses and (optionally) names, one address per line. To access this option, click List Management, and then select Subscriber Management. The Subscriber Management screen opens. Click on the Bulk Operations tab. The input file is created on your own computer with an ASCII text editor (Notepad for Windows XP and TextEdit for Mac OS X). Once the file is created, click the Browse button on the Bulk Operations page and navigate to the file. Then, click Import to upload the data to LISTSERV.

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As an owner, how can I remove users from a list?

To remove a subscriber from a list, go to the LISTSERV website and login. Click on the List Management menu, and then List Dashboard. You will see all the lists you can manage. Click View under the number of subscribers for a specific list and then place a check in the boxes next to the subscribers you would like to remove. Scroll down and click the Delete Selected Subscribers button.

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