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LISTSERV Mailing Distribution System

Tags: listserv

Welcome to this article section for LISTSERV Owners.  Information shared here will position list owners to appropriately manage mailings to their subscribers.


A "LISTSERV" is a group of email addresses that is represented by a single email address.  "Posting" or sending a message to that single email address causes it to be forwarded to ALL email addresses of the "subscribers" on the distribution list.

LISTSERVs require someone to manage the subscriber list; be the OWNER. The "Owner" will have the formal responsibility for the list operation.  This list "owner" defines the list's charter and policy -- e.g., what the list is about and what general rules all subscribers must accept in order to be allowed to join the list.

The list owner is also responsible for all administrative matters and for answering questions from the list subscribers.

Differences between LISTSERV mailing lists and regular email distribution group lists:

  • Listserv mailing lists can contain external addresses; Outlook/Exchange lists are generally limited to recipients with accounts on that system.
  • Listserv users can add or remove themselves from it on their own; Outlook/Exchange lists require a change by the personal list owner (if a personal list) or by the list managers (if server-based).
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