Owner’s Guide: Get Started

Last updated: August 26, 2022
Audience: StudentsInstructorsStaffIT Staff / Technical

This information applies to: New Mailman

Please note: This documentation is still undergoing quality check. The final version will be published soon.

As the owner of a Mailman list, you can

  • Disseminate information to a group of subscribers efficiently
  • Create a group discussion email list for your course
  • Create and modify lists easily as well as add and remove subscribers
  • Control who can subscribe and post, and moderate postings
  • Modify list subscriptions and preferences easily
  • Automatically archive email to subscribers

Start a Mailman list

  1. Familiarize yourself with Mailman policies.
  2. Request a Mailman list
    • Standard list: Fill out the Standard Mailman List Request form. Mailman lists can take up to two business days to be created. For more information about requesting a standard list, see Mailman list form help.
    • Class list: Request your list in the My Class Resources section in MyUW. Learn how to request a class list in My UW. Class lists are created at the time they are requested and will be ready to use the following day. Consider using Canvas instead of Mailman so all your course content will be in one location.
    • Special class lists: To request class lists for joint secondary sections, complete this brief form.

Access your Mailman list

When your list is created and you are designated the “owner,” you will receive a welcome message that:

  • Informs you that your list is active
  • Gives you the URL to use for list administration

To locate the list administration web interface, enter listname.uw.edu, where listname is the name of your list inn the address window of your web browser. For example, if the name of your list is uwsports, you would enter uwsports.uw.edu.

When you reach the list web page, near the top of the page, click Log in.

Review list settings (optional)

Once you have your list set up, you can want to configure various settings, such as list name, list description, automated responses, and so on. To review settings, on the menu near the top of the page, click Settings.

The left navigation shows a list of the settings categories (e.g., List Identity, Alter Message, Digest, etc.).

List settings

Click through the categories to familiarize yourself with the various settings.

Create automatic messages (optional)

Once you have familiarized yourself with your list settings, you can set up a welcome message, goodbye message, and message header and footer by creating a template.

To create a welcome message that will be sent to all new subscribers:

  1. Log in to your list administration screen.

    • In the address window of your web browser, enter listname.uw.edu where listname is replaced with the name of your list. For example, if your list is uwsports, you would enter uwsports.uw.edu.
    • When you reach the list web page for your list, near the top of the page, click Log in, and then enter your UW NetID and password.
  2. In the menu at the top of the page click Templates.
    top menu
  3. Type the message. In the Name drop-down menu, in the list of templates, find [list:user:notice:welcome].
  4. Click the blue Edit button.
  5. In the Data field on the next screen, enter your welcome message text.
  6. When you have finished entering the welcome message text, at the bottom of the screen, click Update.

To turn on the welcome message

Note: Do not use a welcome message if you plan to subscribe people manually and don’t want them to know that you did so. The message is off by default.

  1. In the menu at the top of the page, click Settings.
  2. In the left navigation, click Automatic Responses.
  3. Scroll down to Send welcome message and select Yes.

The goodbye message [list:user:notice:goodbye] is similar to the welcome message except that, as its name implies, it is sent to subscribers who are leaving the list. The goodbye message does not need to be turned on in the settings.

To create other templates, beyond the list of existing templates, click the green New Template button, then follow the same steps. Note that templates are specific to each mailing list, and you will need to create a new template for each list.

Subscribe yourself (optional)

You are not automatically added as a subscriber to the Mailman lists you create. If you want to receive messages from your list, subscribe yourself. This is particularly important if you configure your list to allow only subscribers to post messages. To send messages to such a list, you will need to be a subscriber.

To subscribe to your list

  1. Log in to your list administration screen.

    • In the address window of your web browser, enter listname.uw.edu where listname is replaced with the name of your list. For example, if your list is uwsports, you would enter uwsports.uw.edu.
    • When you reach the list web page for your list, near the top of the page, click Log in, and then enter your UW NetID and password.
  2. In the menu at the top of the page click Mass operations and select Mass subscribe in from the drop-down menu.
  3. Type your email address.
  4. Click the Subscribe users button at the bottom of the page
    • Optional: Test your welcome message by marking the “Send welcome messages to new subscribers” option Yes and type your address in the subscription box. If you are subscribing only yourself, you probably don’t need to send a notification of the new subscription to the list owner so you can mark that option “No.” When finished, click the Submit Your Changes button at the very bottom of the page.

Get subscribers

How you get subscribers will depend on the purpose of your list. If it is for a class or small group of people, then you can probably tell people about the list in class, email them, or even add them yourself. If your list is intended for a larger body of subscribers, you might want to post information about your list on a Web page.

People can subscribe to your list or you can add them.

Subscribers will generally want to know the following information:

  • Name of the list
  • Purpose of the list
  • Restrictions on the use of the list
  • How to subscribe – send them the link
  • How to unsubscribe (link to subscribers guide)
  • To learn how to send a message to your list, see the Subscriber’s Guide.

You’re all set!

Once you’ve done the above, that’s pretty much it. The only times you’ll really need to be active as a list owner are:

  • If your list is a private or moderated list
  • If and when you receive error messages
  • If you have a problem subscriber or spammer

These subjects, as well as others, are covered in Maintaining a Mailman List. If you still need help after consulting the documentation, please contact help@uw.edu.

Enjoy your Mailman list!