At least once a week I get a call form an email user complaining about email being rejected. The complaint goes something like this, “I tried to send our monthly report email to a group of people, but quite a few were rejected.” I explain that many email systems like AOL, MSN, Earthlink etc. will reject email, if it contains more than 10 to 15 email addresses. The email systems consider a long list of email addresses within an email to be spam. Yes, you know the people to whom you are sending the email. Yes, the email addresses are valid. Yes, you are not sending spam. Unfortunately email systems don’t know the difference between friendly emails and spam. Email systems are programmed to reject email, if there is a bulk amount of email addresses. I recommend using a List Server (LISTSERV) for mailing lists. A LISTSERV can handle thousands of email addresses and successfully send email to all email systems without spam rejections. That is because a LISTSERV controls the mailing so each email system receives it as one email address at a time.
A LISTSERV owner maintains total control of the mailing list. Spam is eliminated, because the email list owner moderates who can subscribe. People can opt in or out of the list. Either way human intervention is required to confirm or delete subscriptions. So spammer automated processes are ineffective with LISTSERV mailing lists.
A listserv can be used as an online forum. Members use the listserv to ask questions, comment on solutions, and network with the members of a special interest group or community. Messages sent to the listserv are available to all registered members of the community to read and respond to. Some members receive each message via email, others prefer to have a Daily Digest, while still others prefer no email This means messages can be read by accessing the community website. Each member decides whether the individual messages are of particular interest. A member can also choose to read, respond, or discard the messages. A Yahoo news group works very much like a Listserv configuration.
Made by L-Soft, a free version of LISTSERV Lite is limited to a maximum of 10 mailing lists with up to 500 subscribers each. It is available for users who want to run hobby or interest-based email lists and do not derive a profit, directly or indirectly, from using the software.
Some ideas for when to use a LISTSERV:
- Distributing project status reports to internal and external resources
- Departmental team communications
- Customer communications
- Instructional mailings
- Company sponsored clubs or organizations
- Special interest groups
- Blog or web site subscriptions