Kavi Mailing List Manager Help

Chapter 4. Posting Messages to a Mailing List


Most mailing lists restrict message posting to ensure the quality of content distributed through the list. Before attempting to post a message to a mailing list, read the list's Policy and Usage statement for information on the list topic, whether you are allowed to post or not, whether your message will be sent to moderators for approval before posting and other instructions you need to follow when composing your message so it will be well-received by other subscribers. The mailing list's Policy and Usage statement is displayed on the Mailing List Home page.

If you are new to a mailing list, it's wise to study the list archives to see whether your question or topic has already been covered in previous postings. Long term subscribers may not be interested in rehashing topics that have been thoroughly covered or in answering the same question repeatedly. If this is the first time you've ever posted to a mailing list, read Composing Email to Post to a List for more pointers.

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How Posting Rules Work

Mailing list posting rules define what kind of action is taken when a sender at your level sends a message to a mailing list.

Posting Actions

There are three actions that may occur when a message is sent to a mailing list: it may be posted directly, it may be moderated or it may be rejected.

Who Is the Sender?

To mailing list software, you are your email address. The mailing list software determines "who" sent an email by extracting the envelope sender information from the Return-Path, then checking whether the envelope sender address is on any of its subscriber lists. If it finds the address, the mailing list software is able to identify the sender as a known user and applies whatever rules apply to that subscriber list. In other words, posting permissions are granted to your email account(s), rather than to you as a person.


Mailing list software doesn't read the 'From:' address, so setting this address to a subscribed address won't fool the mailing list into posting a message from an unauthorized email account.

Sender Type Determines Posting Privileges

There are several types of senders, including those on various kinds of subscriber lists plus those who send messages from addresses that aren't on any of the subscriber lists. Most mailing lists enforce escalating levels of posting privileges so that moderators generally have the highest degree of privileges, non-subscribers have the least, and other kinds of subscribers are somewhere in the middle.

Sender Types and Posting Privileges:


If you send email from an email address on the 'Moderator' subscribers list, the mailing list will recognize you as a moderator. Moderators are the most privileged type of user and are always able to post. If the list requires all posts to be moderated, moderators must review and approve their own posts. This may seem redundant but it prevents users impersonating moderators from posting messages to the list.

If you wish to post under an alternate address, you must subscribe under that address as well. You may subscribe the alternate address to the Moderator subscriber list, organization policy permitting, in which case moderation requests will be sent to that address as well. You may also subscribe the alternate address to the Allow list, but messages sent from this account will be classified as a subscriber rather than moderator by the mailing list software.

If you are a moderator and wish to receive list messages, your email address also needs to be subscribed as a 'Regular Subscriber' or 'Digest Subscriber'.


If you send email from an address on the 'Regular Subscriber' or 'Digest Subscriber' lists, the mailing list will recognize you as a subscriber. Subscribers are usually allowed to post to discussion lists, but if this is a moderated discussion group your message will be sent to the moderation queue.

Announcement lists and certain other restricted lists only accept posts from moderators. If you send a message to this kind of list from an address that isn't on the moderators list, your message may be returned with a rejection notice or it may be automatically deleted without notification.

Some (not all!) mailing lists support an Allow list that is used to grant trusted users permission to post from email addresses that are not on the 'Regular Subscriber' or 'Digest Subscriber' lists. If you send email from an address on the 'Allow' list, the mailing list will recognize you as an Allowed Poster and apply the same posting rules that apply to other subscribers.


If you send email from an address that is not on any of the subscriber lists described previously, the mailing list software classifies you as a public sender. Public senders are only allowed to submit posts directly to public lists. If the list doesn't allow the public to post directly, your message will be sent for moderation or rejected, depending on mailing list rules.

Administrators should be careful not to confuse the term Public Subscriber with public sender. A Public Subscriber is a subscribed address that isn't associated with a Kavi Members account holder. Public Subscriber email addresses have to be managed differently by administrators than account holder email addresses, but the ezmlm mailing list software knows nothing about Kavi Members accounts. To the mailing list software, a subscriber is any address on a subscriber list, and it manages all addresses on a subscriber list the same way.


A sender who would otherwise be eligible to submit messages for posting can be placed on the Deny list for list policy infractions. Messages sent from an address on this list are automatically rejected, even if the address is subscribed.

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What Happens to My Message?

If your message is properly constructed it successfully navigates the Internet, passes through spam filters and virus blockers and at last arrives safely in the mailing list's mailbox. The mailing list software reads the envelope sender address, searches the subscriber lists for this address, then routes the message according to the rules that apply to the subscriber list that contained the address. It may be a while until you can be sure of the status of your message.


Many people check mailing list archives to see whether their message has been posted to the list, but this is NOT a reliable indicator. Most archives are updated periodically rather than immediately, so there is usually some lag time between the email being posted to the list and the subsequent archive update cycle.

Posted Directly

Even if your message is posted directly, you can't count on receiving it immediately because the mail server may be processing a large volume of email. This could even be your own message, especially if you sent it to a large mailing list. Hopefully you are a savvy list user who routinely minimizes the size of files you post by uploading the file to a server then adding a link to your message, rather than sending large attachments that require a lot of mail server resources to process.

Sent for Moderation

Messages sent for moderation sit in the moderation queue until a human moderator takes action to approve or reject the message. If your message is rejected you may receive notification via email. Moderators are frequently so swamped with messages that they are unable to review and act on all the messages in the moderation queue before the time-out period elapses, which can be anywhere from 1 to 10 days. If one of your messages times out, you should receive an automated email notification. An approved message is sent to the list so you'll receive it at your subscribed address when it clears the mail queue.


If the message is automatically rejected, you may receive a rejection notice via email, but some lists simply delete rejected messages.

Where to Go for More Information

If an email you sent out was rejected for exceeding file size limits, because it was off-topic or contained inappropriate content, or was deleted by a spam or virus filter, see Composing Email to Post to a List.

Keep in mind that even messages that are posted directly to a mailing list can be delayed by sending or receiving mail servers at any point in the mail transfer process if the mail queue is processing an unusually high volume of messages. For more information on the mail transfer process, see How Email Works in the Concepts section.

If you are a moderator or administrator, or are posting to a moderated list and want more information on the moderation process, see the Concepts documents Mailing List Moderation and How to Moderate a Mailing List.

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