ListServe FAQs and Resources

RESOURCES: FAQs, Glossary, Documentation, Privacy Policy, Usage Policy, Report Abuse, Request a Quote

FREQUENTLY ANSWERED QUESTIONS

General
Problems
Technical

General

Do your lists have attached ads?
No

How do I unsubscribe from a list?
Send an email to [list]-request@listserve.com with the word 'subscribe' in the subject Replace [list] with the list in question. If you don't know what that list is, look at the full headers of your email. You'll need to tell your email program to show you these headers, they're hidden by default. One of the headers, the List-Unsubscribe header, contains a link for you to unsubscribe from that list.

What do I need to administrate a mailing list?
An email program, a web browser and an active internet connection.

Why don't your lists have any tracking features?
We feel like that is a privacy issue. We feel that no one should ever open an email and have someone else know that they opened that email. We take privacy and security issues very seriously.

Can the list messages be individually personalized?
The services quoted and mentioned on this website do not include any personalization features. Sending personalized messages is much more expensive but we can do it. If you really want to send such messages request a quote from .

Do you sell list serve software?
Everything used by Listserve.com is licensed by one of several Open Source licenses. Nearly all modifications to these software packages have been contributed back to the community. For those wishing to have a similar set up to ours, but in-house, we can quote on a turn-key server to handle your list serve needs.

How large a message can I send through a list?
All lists are priced from a base of 64k. That's roughly 64,000 characters. If you need your list to send out up to 128k then the pricing increases by 50%. If you needed 256k then it would increase by another 50% and so on. We don't recommend sending more than 128k through any list. Documents can always be placed on a website and a link placed in the list mail, which is how we recommend you handle larger files.


Problems

I'm not receiving email from a list
Check your spam filters, etc. Quite often list mail is stopped by over-zealous spam filtering.

All the messages I send to the list are received as attachments, is there a setting I can change?
Make sure that your email client is set to send both plain text and rich text (if present).

The list is reporting a bounce but the address isn't on the list.
This one can be very hard to track down. What's happened is an address that is subscribed to your list is actually an alias or forwarder to another address. If you look through the Received: headers in the bounce you may be able to tell what address is actually subscribed.

Can I get a printout of my subscribers?
Send the 'who' command to the list -request address. Send the word 'help' to the -request address if you need more information.

Why does the From: line read 'On Behalf Of...'
That's the result of a display bug in Outlook and the Address book. Contact Microsoft for more information about when this bug may be fixed.

Why are my archives not threaded?
The threaded display of the archive is dependent upon the presence of either a 'In-Reply-To:' or 'References:' header. You may need to upgrade your email program (most modern email clients support these headers). There is also a possibility that your mail server is stripping these headers (Note & CC:Mail are notorious for this).

What can I do about users with broken autoresponders?
(taken from the Mailman Wiki entry by Greg Ward)
A common problem on mailing lists is users who have setup an "autoresponder", or software that automatically responds to all mail for them, that doesn't understand mailing lists. Autoresponders are most commonly used for "I'm on vacation"-style messages, but they might also be seen bouncing mail that appears to be spam or virus-infected. There are varying degrees of broken-ness, but there do not appear to be any limits on the stupidity of broken auto-responders.

The least harmful kind of stupid auto-responder is one that replies to the list administrator -- eg. if you are running foo-list@example.com, you keep getting "I'm on vacation" messages from one of your list members at foo-list- admin@example.com. The problems here might be 1) the user did not configure her autoresponder to exclude mailing lists, and 2) the autoresponder doesn't have a rate-limiting feature (eg. "Only send an automatic response to each sender once per day"). In this case, the autoresponder software is probably working correctly (in particular, it's sending responses to the envelope sender only), and the user has probably just configured it incorrectly. Since it's just you, the list administrator being bothered, how to deal with this is up to you. Disabling the user's subscription is an option (if they don't get any more list mail, they won't send you any more pointless "I'm on vacation" messages), but it's probably just as easy to ignore the messages (and send the user a polite note asking her to fix her autoresponder before she takes another vacation).

A more annoying kind of brain-damage is when every poster gets an inexplicable "I'm on vacation" message from someone he's never heard of (and who just happens to be on the same list). For example, let's say joe@some.domain sends mail to your list, foo-list@example.com. Mailman processes the message and sends a copy to everyone on the list, including bob@other.domain. If bob@other.domain has a stupid auto-responder that sends responses to some address in the header of the message (as opposed to the envelope), then joe@some.domain will get bob@other.domain's auto- response. joe will presumably be confused by this, since he doesn't know who the heck bob is. However, you -- the list admin -- won't find out about, unless you also post to the list -- or if joe figures out what's going on and tells you about it. In this case, the autoresponder software is broken, and sending a polite note to postmaster@other.domain, asking that the broken autoresponder be fixed or disabled, is legitimate. You should cc bob@other.domain so he knows what kind of trouble he's causing. If the problem persists, disabling bob's subscription is reasonable; you should send bob another note to let him know you have done so.

The worst kind of autoresponder brain-damage is when "I'm on vacation" messages get sent to the list itself. This should be inconceivable with Mailman (since the list address is usually only in the "To" or "Cc" headers), but remember: there is no limit to the stupidity of broken autoresponders. If this happens, the best option is to immediately disable the subscription of the user causing the trouble: you want to stop clogging your list with completely useless noise as quickly as possible. Again, you should send mail to the postmaster of the offending domain and the user responsible for the autoresponder, letting them know what kind of havoc their amazing broken autoresponder is causing.

The key things to keep in mind here are:

  • it's your list; you have the right to disable the subscription for anyone who's causing problems
  • be polite: don't curse or swear at distant postmasters; they probably don't even realize what's happening
  • be accurate: don't accuse the wrong user of having a broken autoresponder, and don't mis-characterize the problem when explaining it to them or their postmaster. (If you don't understand the difference between envelope sender and header addresses, you should think twice before complaining.)

How do I edit a held message before approving it?
It's best to explain this in steps: 1. Use the 'forward this message' feature to email yourself the message. 2. Edit the message in your email program. You should probably include a notice that you have edited the message. 3. Resend the message (and here's the trick) adding a Resent-To: header containing the list posting address. Also include a Approved: header containing the admin password You cannot use Outlook in this fashion. If you feel you need to be able to do this with your list you need to use another mail program such as Eudora, Mulberry or Pine.

Why do I have to keep entering my password for every page?
Make sure your browser is set up to accept cookies.

Why does/doesn't my list show up on the main list page?
You can choose to (or not) advertise your list under the Privacy Settings page.

Why don't the replies go to the list?
The lists are set up as Reply-To-Sender by default. This setting can be changed under the General Options section. It is recommended that you read through 'Reply-To Munging Considered Harmful' before changing this setting.

My message was stopped because of size. Why?
Mailing lists have a limit to the size of a message you can pass through. Your message exceeded this limit. Generally this limit is rather generous for a text message and will allow many pages worth of text. Most single images of a responsible size can be passed within the limit as well. You may need to modify your message content, perhaps splitting it across multiple emails, to get it through the list. You may wish to store any files on a web site and email a link to download them rather then have them go through the list.


Technical

Do you support RFC 2369 headers?
Yes, we do.

Do you support VERP?
No, not at this point. It may be implemented at some point in the future, or something similar.