A Listserv is an electronic mailing list using the Listserv computer program, which differs from distribution lists used in email programs. With a Listserv, you can create a topic and distribute information or start a discussion with a list of subscribers. Listservs are often used by universities and politicians to communicate with a large body of people, but these mailing lists can also be used by people who share common interests. Learn how to create a Listserv for your specific needs.


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    Download the Listserv program that best meets your needs in the Download area of http://www.lsoft.com/. There are 3 options for any operating system:

    • Listserv Classic is the first and most often used of the Listserv programs. It meets the needs of most individual users and includes email and discussion groups.
    • Listserv Lite is for entry-level electronic mailing lists and does not contain advanced features.
    • Listserv Maestro meets the needs of heavy users with a large number of subscribers.
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    Register your Listserv mailing list with the name, category and description of the list.

    • Make certain the name of the list and the email address that people will use describe the group as much as possible, such as [email protected] for recreational runners.
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    This is a good time to set up a password for managing your electronic mailing list. Password verification will be sent to you with instructions on activating it.
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    Decide whether you want your electronic mailing list to be public or private.

    • A public list means that anyone can join.
    • If you want to create a Listserv that is private, let Listserv know when you register it. Don’t join directories such as Yahoo! Groups.
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    Add members after you start a Listserv.

    • Invite people to join by typing in their email addresses on the management page.
    • The people who receive your invitations can join or “opt in.”
    • Other people can subscribe by sending a message to the Listserv; however you must approve membership requests.
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    Include subscription information as a default at the bottom of Listserv messages that go out. This allows people to subscribe or unsubscribe at any time.
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    Create a Listserv message where you can add important information to headers and footers to publicize something or for notification purposes.
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    Send a message to the email addresses you created for the Listserv mailing list.

    • Anyone in the Listserv can send a message unless it’s a moderated list.
    • If you start a Listserv that is a moderated list, then you must approve messages before posting them to the electronic mailing list.
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    Monitor traffic after you start a Listserv.

    • Encourage spirited discussions.
    • Make everyone aware of rules about what is not allowed in the Listserv.
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    Use the pull-down list menu if you are managing more than one Listserv mailing list.
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    Go to the management page any time you want to manage Listserv settings.

    • Choose “Subscribers” or the Subscriber button to add or delete subscribers or change any of their information.
    • “Bulk op.” is for managing bulk operations, but be careful. When you use this command, you cannot undo it.
    • The Commands button can be used to manage your electronic mailing list or enter Listserv commands.