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Affordable Email Lists and Domains since 2000
Affordable Email Lists and Domains since 2000
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Affordable Email Lists and Domains since 2000
Affordable Email Lists and Domains since 2000
Affordable Email Lists and Domains since 2000
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 IMAIL® LIST SUBSCRIBER'S MANUAL

Anti-Spam Policy
Throughout this manual, replace domain with the domain used by the list (e.g. bizhelps.com), replace listname with the name of the list (e.g. ClientNewsletter), and replace subscribedAddress with the email address used to subscribe to the list (e.g. chris@whathelps.com). The List Address is the email address one sends their email to in order to have it distributed to the list's subscribers. The List Address is a combination of the listname and the domain used by the list (e.g. ClientNewsletter@bizhelps.com). Sending an email to the List Address is sometimes referred to as "posting to the list." In IMail®, the terms "administrator", "owner" and "moderator" are interchangeable.
Overview
An email list can be a
  • mailing list (a.k.a announcement list, newsletter) - where only the list owner can send mail to everyone subscribed to the list, or
  • discussion list - where everyone subscribed to the list can receive mail from and send mail to all other subscribers.
Think of mailing lists as one-way communications and discussion lists as two-way communications. Email lists are widely used on the Web to share and distribute information.
  • Lists can be completely open -- allowing postings by anyone
  • Lists can be public, meaning anyone can get on the list by subscribing to it
  • Lists can be private. A private list does not accept a subscribe command; only the list administrator can add people to the list.
  • Lists can be unmoderated (any message sent to the list is immediately posted to all users on the list) or moderated (all messages are viewed, and then posted, by the list administrator/moderator)
  • Postings to the list can be further controlled by using a password
  • Messages to a list can be accumulated and periodically mailed out as a digest
  • The list administrator can enter an identifying text string to appear on the subject line of all messages (and/or a digest) posted to the list
  • The list administrator can enter header or trailer text (containing information such as the subscribe and unsubscribe instructions) to appear with all messages (and/or a digest) posted to the list
  • A Posters can be added. Email addresses designated as Posters can post to the list without subscribing and without going through a moderator. They must, however, use the list password, if applicable.
Getting Help by Email
To get help by email, send an email to imail@domain. The subject of the email is not important. Put the desired command (see below) in the body of the email (and nothing else). IMail® will email the requested Help file to you.
  • To get general help:
    help
  • To get help for a specific list:
    help listname
Types of Lists
Open List
Anyone Can Post
  • Anyone can post to the list by sending an email addressed to listname@domain.com
  • Anyone can become a subscriber by sending an email addressed to imail@domain.com with subscribe listname firstname lastname entered in the body of the message
Subscriber List
Only Subscribers Can Post
  • Anyone can become a subscriber by sending an email addressed to imail@domain.com with subscribe listname firstname lastname entered in the body of the message
  • Subscribers can post by addressing an email to listname@domain.com from their subscribedAddress
Moderated Lists
Only the List Moderator Can Post
  • Only the moderator can post by sending an email addressed to listname@domain.com from the Admin email address
  • Emails sent to the list by anyone other than the moderator or a Poster (see below) are forwarded to the moderator's mailbox for review
  • The moderator can forward an email to the list address for distribution to subscribers, after making any changes to the email deemed necessary. Or the moderator can delete an email, thereby preventing it from being distributed to the list.
Posting to a List
To post to a list, a subscriber sends an email to the List Address. Example:

From: subscribedAddress
To: listname@domain
Subject: India Pale Ale
... body of message ...
Passwords
The posting of messages to each type of list (see above) can be restricted by enabling a password requirement. Everyone, including the list owner/administrator and Posters (see below), must use the password to post to a password-protected list. This prevents non-subscribers from "impersonating" subscribers by using their email addresses.
  • If Use Password is enabled, anyone not using the password will have their posts automatically returned. The list administrator is notified of the attempt to post.
  • If Use Password is enabled, even the moderator of a moderated list must enter the password when forwarding posts to the List Address.
Posting with a Password
To use a password, the first characters in the Subject line must be the password, enclosed by two colons and brackets:

From: subscribedAddress
To: listname@domain
Subject: [:password:] India Pale Ale
... body of message ...

Note: Passwords are case-sensitive
Posters
Regardless of the list type (see above), anyone on the Posters List will be able to post to the list. Here are the end results of combining a Posters List with each of the three types of lists:
  • Open List w/Posters List
    Anyone can post
  • Subscribers List w/Posters List
    You must be a subscriber OR you must be on the Posters List to post
    A person on the Posters List can post without being a subscriber. However, a Poster will not receive a copy of his/her posts unless subscribed to the list.
  • Moderated List w/Posters List
    You must be the list moderator/administrator OR you must be on the Posters List to post
    Emails sent to the list by a person on the Posters List will go directly to the list, bypassing moderation
Subscribing/Unsubscribing/Digest
Subscribing
There are several methods available for subscribing to a list:
  • To subscribe via email, send an email addressed to imail@domain. The subject of the email is not important. Put this in the body of the email (and nothing else):
    Subscribe listname firstname lastname
    [You must enter something for firstname and lastname or your subscribe request will be rejected. If you wish to remain anonymous, enter "anonymous" for firstname and "user" for lastname]

  • Use a subscription form provided on the list owner's web site.
Unsubscribing
There are several methods available for unsubscribing:
  • To unsubscribe via email, send an email from your subscribedAddress to imail@domain. The subject of the email is not important. Put this in the body of the email (and nothing else):
    Unsubscribe listname
  • Use an unsubscribe form on the list owner's web site.
  • Use the online Subscription Manager.
There is no way to change a subscription address. You must unsubscribe the old address and subscribe the new address.
Digest/No Digest
Digest Mode gives you the option to periodically receive all messages to a list in a single email. It is most commonly used by discussion lists, but can also be used by newsletters to send a monthly compilation of daily/weekly newsletters to subscribers. The list owner must have activated digest mode and setup the digest schedule before you can subscribe to the digest. If you have questions about your list's setup, email the list owner at listname-owner@domain
After you have subscribed to the list, you can use the following email commands to switch to/from digest mode.
  • To enable digest, send an email addressed to imail@domain from your subscribedAddress. The subject of the email is not important. Put this in the body of the email (and nothing else):
    set mode digest listname
  • To cancel digest, send an email addressed to imail@domain from your subscribedAddress. The subject of the email is not important. Put this in the body of the email (and nothing else):
    set mode standard listname
Preventing Loops
Probably the worst possible problem you could encounter with your list subscription, is being involved in, or creating, an infinite loop. When this happens, you and all other subscribers receive multiple copies of postings. The end result is that all email and list mail ceases to be processed. If not caught quickly enough, the email server crashes. It can take hours to clean up a mess created by an infinite loop, and may well result in your being banned from the list. Here are some things you can do to prevent causing a loop:
  • Check with your email host to make sure they do not have anti-spam software that auto-generates an email in response to receiving bulk mail (list mail is a form of bulk email). Typically, the auto-generated email asks if a real person sent the list email, and tells the sender (who will be another subscriber, or the list owner) to click on a link or reply to their request. If they do use this type of anti-spam software, subscribe using a different email address. This type of anti-spam software is a known cause of loops.
  • If you receive an auto-generated email as discussed above when you send mail to the list, immediately destroy it and send an email to the list owner at listname-owner@domain letting him/her know the sender should be removed from the subscriber list.
  • If you are using a program like Outlook Express to send mail to the list, make sure you do not setup the sending account to have a Reply-To: address that is the same as the List Address. (The Reply-To: field in the account setup should either be blank, or should be the same as the From: address.)
  • Do not have list mail forwarded to an email address that is not subscribed to the list.
  • Use your email host's anti-spam tools to allow list mail to be delivered to your email address.
  • Avoid using auto-responders with list mail.
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