IMAIL® LIST OWNER'S MANUAL
|This manual was last updated on: 07-15-14
Throughout this manual, replace listdomain.com with the domain used by the list (e.g. webhelps.com, lists.yourdomain.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. email@example.com).
The List Address is the email address one sends an 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@webhelps.com). Sending an email to the List Address is referred to as "posting."
are interchangeable terms when referred to in this Manual and in IMail® List settings. They are the same person/email address. The List Administrator
is generally also the same, but will be different if a moderators' email address
The WebHelps IMail® List Service runs off IMail® Premium Server v.12.3. IMail® is a registered trademark of IPSwitch.
|Types of email lists:
Lists can be public, meaning anyone can subscribe
- Lists can be private. A private list does not accept a subscribe command; only the owner can subscribe people.
- Lists can be unmoderated (all messages sent to the List Address are immediately posted) or moderated (messages sent to the List Address by un-authorized posters are viewed, and then forwarded to the List Address for posting, by the owner/moderator)
- Posting can be further controlled by using a password
- Posts can be accumulated and periodically mailed out in a single email known as a digest
- The owner can enter identifying text to appear in the subject line of all posts
- The owner can enter header and/or trailer text, containing information such as contact information and unsubscribe instructions, to appear on all posts
- Posters can be designated. Posters are authorized to post, even if not subscribed or if the list is moderated. They must, however, use the list password, when applicable.
|Login to the Administrator's WebMail account at http://webmail.webhelps.com and click the iAdmin Admin link near the top-left of the WebMail window.
Alternatively, you can directly access online List Administration by logging in at http://mail.webhelps.com/iadmin
with the Administrator's email address and your WebHelps Password. The Administrator's email address is a combination of your WebHelps Username and the domain used by the List (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
List Administration is where you change list settings, manually add/remove subscribers (individually or in bulk), add a header and/or trailer, enable digest, view the subscriber list, etc.
|Types of Lists
Anyone Can Post
- Anyone can post by sending an email addressed to ListName@listdomain.com
- Anyone can become a subscriber by sending an email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the message, subscribe ListName firstname lastname
Only Subscribers Can Post
- Anyone can become a subscriber by sending an email addressed to email@example.com with the message, subscribe ListName firstname lastname
- Subscribers can post by addressing an email to ListName@listdomain.com from their SubscribedAddress
Only the Owner or a Poster Can Post
- Only the owner or a Poster can post by sending an email addressed to ListName@listdomain.com from the Owner's or Poster's email address
- Emails sent to the List Address by anyone other than the owner or a Poster are delivered to the Owner's mailbox for review. The Owner then forwards acceptable emails to the List Address for distribution to subscribers
- The Owner may make any necessary changes to the email prior to sending to the List Address. Totally unacceptable emails can be deleted or returned to the sender, thereby preventing them from being distributed to subscribers.
- If the Owner has set a policy that emails containing certain words or phrases will not be accepted for distribution to subscribers, he/she can create Inbound Rules using List Administration to automate the rejection of these emails.
- Generally, a list's Administrator and Owner are the same email address. However, if you want to share the job of moderating the list, we will provide a special multiple moderator email address that is designated as the List Owner (see below). By separating the Administrator and Owner email addresses, 3rd-party moderators are prevented from accessing List Administration. Their job is restricted to reviewing/posting emails sent to the List from un-authorized addresses; and reviewing bounce notices, error messages, and other administrative emails regarding the list. Contact your Support Team to have this special multiple moderator feature enabled for your list.
list administrators who want to have others share the job of moderating the list, a new shared email account for the moderators must be created by the IMail® Administrator at WebHelps. This address is then set as the "Owner" of the list, while the "Administrator" (WebHelps account owner) of the list remains unchanged.
All posts sent to the List Address from unauthorized email addresses are automatically delivered to the moderators' email address for review. The moderators login to WebMail, or set their computers' email programs to download copies, from that email account. (If downloading, their email program should be set to "leave a copy of emails on server" so all moderators have the ability to review all posts.)
From there, the posts can be deleted or forwarded (editing as needed) onto
the List Address. When forwarded, the From: address becomes the moderators' email address, which is authorized to post, so
the post is then distributed to subscribers.
The List Administrator provides all those who
are to share the job of moderating with the login information for
the moderators' email account. (If/when moderators change, the password for the account can be changed.) The moderators will not be able to
change the list's configuration, add/remove subscribers, or any other
administrative function. Those will continue to be accessible only to the
|If the List Owner wants to allow any email addresses other than the moderators' email address to post to the List without review/moderation, the
Posters List feature should be enabled, and then their addresses should be added to the Posters file. For
instance, each moderators' personal email address may be added to the Posters
file so they can post directly or forward moderated posts directly from
their personal email addresses to the List Address.
After adding the moderators' personal email addresses to the Posters file, the List Administrator can create an
Inbound Rule for the moderators' email address that automatically fowards received
posts from unauthorized addresses to a group alias (e.g.
ListName-Moderators@webhelps.com). The group alias forwards to each of
the moderators' personal email addresses. This results in all moderators
receiving copies of posts for their review directly at their personal email
addresses. Since their personal email addresses are authorized to post
directly via the Posters List, they can simply forward posts to the List Address. (NOTE: Someone should be put in charge of occasionally cleaning out the
moderator WebMail account of posts that have already been dealt with, or the
account will become full and posts will bounce.)
The IMail® Administrator can help setup these more complex scenarios for dealing with multiple moderators.
|Posting to a List
|To post to a list, one simply sends an email to the List Address. Assuming you are authorized to post, your email will then be distributed to all subscribers. Example:
Subject: Great Hamburger Recipe
... body of message ...
|The posting of messages to all list types (see above) can be restricted by enabling a password requirement. Everyone, including the Owner, Administrator (if different from the Owner), and Posters (see below), must use the password to post to a password-protected list. This prevents un-authorized posters from "impersonating" authorized posters by using their email addresses.
- If Use Password is enabled, anyone not using the password will have their posts automatically returned. The Owner is notified of the attempt to post
- If Use Password is enabled, even the moderator 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:
Subject: [:password:] Great Hamburger Recipe
... body of message ...
Note: Passwords are case-sensitive
|Regardless of the list type (see above), any email address on the Posters file will be able to directly post to the list. Here are the end results of combining Posters with each of the three types of lists:
- Open List w/Posters Enabled
Anyone can post
- Subscribers List w/Posters Enabled
You must be a subscriber OR you must be a Poster to post
An email address on the Posters file can post without being a subscriber. However, a Poster will not receive a copy of his/her posts unless subscribed.
- Moderated List w/Posters Enabled
You must be the Owner OR you must be a Poster to post
Emails sent to the List Address from an email address on the Posters file will be immediately posted, bypassing moderation.
|Requesting Help or Information by Email
|To obtain information about a particular list, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject of the email is not important. Put the desired command (see below) in the body of the email (and nothing else). Upon receipt, the IMail® List-Server will email the requested information to you.
- To get general help:
- To get help for a specific list:
The Administrator can modify this Help file
- To get a list of subscribers:
Only the Owner can get subscriber information via email.
|There are several methods available for subscribing to your list:
- To subscribe via email, send an email addressed to email@example.com. 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 form-to-email subscription form. If your web site host offers the ability to create a form on your web site that will send an email, you can use this to have a "subscribe" email command sent to the IMail Server.
- Add subscribers one-at-a-time or in bulk by clicking the List Subscribers link in online List Administration
|There are several methods available for unsubscribing:
- To unsubscribe via email, send an email from your SubscribedAddress to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject of the email is not important. Put this in the body of the email (and nothing else):
- Send an email from your Administrator email address to email@example.com. The subject of the email is not important. Put this in the body of the email (and nothing else):
unsubscribe ListName SubscribedAddress
- Use a form-to-email unsubscribe form. If your web site host offers the ability to create a form on your web site that will send an email, you can use this to have an "unsubscribe" email command sent to the IMail Server.
- Remove subscribers one-at-a-time or in bulk by clicking the List Subscribers link in online List Administration
- In online List Administration, enable the option to Allow List Unsubscribes based on Subject line and the option to Reply-To List. When a subscriber receives an email from the list, he/she can reply to the email, changing the Subject to: unsubscribe, remove, or signoff and be removed from the list. We do *NOT* recommend this option and if enabled it is *NOT* a good idea to inform subscribers of its availability. Invariably, some subscribers will make a mistake and end up posting their unsubscribe request and all subscribers will get a copy. If you do enable this option and inform subscribers of it, it is a very good idea to create an Inbound Rule for the List to try to catch and return any unsubscribe requests that inadvertently get sent to the List Address.
|There is no way to change a subscription address (SubscribedAddress). You must unsubscribe the old address and subscribe the new address.
|Digest Mode gives subscribers the option to periodically receive all messages to the 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.
To setup your List to allow digest subscriptions, you first enable digest mode, and then you set the digest options:
- Login to online List Administration
- Click List Digest
- [x] check Enable Digest Settings
- For Digest Mailbox: enter ListName_Digestbox. This will be a mailbox in the List Owner's WebMail where digest emails are stored until processed and emailed to Digest subscribers (the "digest posting"). You may choose a different name for the digest mailbox, but it must be one word, with no spaces nor special characters, except an underscore.
- Choose a word or phrase to be used as the Subject of Digest postings
- Check [x] Strip non-text attachments if you want attachments to be removed from the digest posting (this is *highly* recommended)
- Check [x] Include Headers/Trailers When Posting to Digest Mailbox if you want the headers/footers originally applied to the emails that make up the digest to appear on the digest posting (*not* recommended)
- Click [Save]
- Click the View Digest Scheduling link
- For Periodicity select either a specific time period, or enter a specific size in kilobytes, that will determine when/how often the digest posting will be sent. Busy lists should set a size in kilobytes (a max size of 100kb is optimal) rather than using a time period setting. This prevents the digest from becoming so large that many subscribers will not be able to receive it and many more will not want to take the time to read a huge email.
- The [Process/Send Now] button can be used to immediately send the digest posting, if you have selected a Manual periodicity or need it to be sent at an unscheduled time. Keep in mind, if there are no emails in the digest mailbox, a digest cannot be compiled for mailing, so you will need to send a few test posts to the list before you can test the digest feature using this button.
- Click [OK]
- Click the View Digest Message Separators link
- Check [x] Enable Message Separators and specify the characters (e.g. +++++++++++) to be used to separate individual messages in the digest posting. Take care not to enter too long a string, or it may wrap on the digest posting
- Click [OK]
- Click the View Digest Header or the View Digest Trailer link. Generally you will use only one of these additions to the digest posting, but you can use both
- Check [x] Enable Digest Header and specify the text you want added at the beginning of every digest posting
- Click [OK]
- Click the Subscribers link in the left navigation column
- Use the form to add/delete email addresses subscribed to the Digest. If you manually add subscribers, it is possible for an email address to be on both the list of regular subscribers and on the list of digest subscribers. If this happens, a subscriber will receive each post as it is made, plus the digest posting. If email is used to subscribe, this cannot occur.
|Managing the Digest
|All posts sent to the List Address are stored in the Digest Mailbox in the List Owner's WebMail account. The List Owner can view all posts and can edit, delete or add emails at any time before the digest is sent out to subscribers.
After a digest is sent, the Digest Mailbox is emptied and a copy of the folder is made in the format: DigestBoxMMDD.mbx (where DigestBox is the name of the Digest Mailbox, MM is the month, and DD is the day the digest was sent to subscribers), containing a copy of the digest.
IMPORTANT! Because you are limited in storage space in the WebMail account, you must periodically delete old digest folders. If you do not perform this maintenance regularly, your WebMail will fill up with old digests and new posts sent to the Digest Mailbox will bounce.
|After someone has subscribed to the list, they can use the following email commands to switch to/from digest mode.
- To go on digest, send an email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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
|Using Inbound Rules (Filters)
|You may filter emails sent to the List Address against criteria you have defined, and then dispose of emails that match your criteria in several ways. You can have IMail® automatically find emails containing certain text in the To, From, Subject, Header or Body fields, and then Delete, Forward, Bounce, Copy, or move them to a particular Mailbox.
To access this feature, login to online List Administration and click the Inbound Rules link. To add a new Rule, click [Add]. Follow the steps indicated to create Rules from criteria you enter. Detailed information and instructions can be found here.
|Removing Bad Email Addresses
|A critical, but time-consuming part of list management is the removal of bad email addresses from your list of subscribers. This should be done immediately upon receipt of notification of an invalid address, so no more list mail gets sent to that address. Bounce notifications can quickly fill up the Owner's email account and start an infinite email loop that bogs down the mail server, possibly even causing it to crash.
We can install, for a small one-time per list setup fee, utilities to make removing bad email addresses quick and easy. With these utilities installed:
- When you receive an bounce notification regarding an "unknown user" or "unknown host," you can simply forward the email to DeleteUnknown-Listname@listdomain.com and IMail® will automatically remove the subscriber.
- When you receive an email asking to be removed from the list, you can simply forward the email to RemoveUser-Listname@listdomain.com and IMail® will automatically remove the subscriber.
|Avoiding Infinite Email Loops
|Probably the worst possible problem you may encounter with your list, is the creation of an infinite email loop. When this happens, subscribers receive multiple copies of postings and/or the list owner receives multiple copies of bounce notifications, etc. The end result is that all of our customers' email, WebMail, and list mail ceases to be processed. If not caught quickly enough, the mail server crashes. It can take hours to clean up a mess created by an infinite email loop. These things can cause an email loop:
Other Things That May Cause Infinite Email Loops
- Subscribing the List Address to the list (regular or digest)
- Allowing the Owner's email account to exceed its size limit and incoming mail to bounce
- Receiving an auto-generated email telling you to click on a link or reply to the email if a real person sent a particular post - and doing what the email asks. (You must immediately delete the subscriber who is responsible for you receiving this type of email.)
- A list subscriber is using a program like Outlook Express to send mail to the list. The subscriber has setup the account from which he/she sends mail to the list 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.)
- Forwarding your list's administrative mail (bounce notices, delivery errors, signup notices) to an email account other than the Owner account we assigned. The receiving email server may mistake the administrative mail for spam and bounce it back, where it is again forwarded, then bounced back, forwarded, bounced back...
|Avoiding Anti-Spam Filters
|It is becoming increasingly more difficult to get list mail, which is bulk email, delivered to all/most subscribers due to the proliferation of anti-spam software on the receiving email servers. As a list owner, this will likely be your biggest challenge.
Fortunately, there are techniques you can use to increase the likelihood that subscribers will receive all their list mail. We have compiled a guide that is important for all list owners to become familiar with, whether using IMail® or any other list server. You will find the guide at: http://webhelps.com/avoiding-anti-spam-filters.shtml
|To send mail to the list you may need to disable Eudora's SMTP check. You will find instructions at: Disabling Eudora SMTP Check