Kavi Mailing List Manager Help

Chapter 20. How to Add a Mailing List

Configuring Your Mailing List

Kavi Mailing List Manager works in tandem with ezmlm software to offer a rich set of options that can enable a variety of features and different levels of access to posting, subscriptions and archives. This document provides an overview of mailing list creation and general instructions that supplement the detailed instructions in the tool page help.

If you want to add a Members Mailing List, follow instructions in the Kavi® Members Help, including the Concepts document All About Members Mailing Lists and the Add a Members Mailing List tool page help. Members Mailing Lists are created in Kavi Members and have significantly different characteristics that need to be taken into account to properly configure and manage these lists.

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Before You Begin

Collect all the information you need to configure the mailing list, including the name (this is important, since it appears on all list messages and cannot be changed) and other details described in the Add a Mailing List tool page help. You may want to follow links in the tool page help for more information on any topic you don't understand before actually beginning to add a list, or you may want to add a test list (set a name that will never be used in your organization) and keep it hidden by setting the Web Availability to 'Administrators Only'.


Use the Add a Mailing List tool to create a new mailing list, following the instructions in the tool page help. If you want to view similar lists to see how they are configured, use Manage Mailing Lists.

Administrators can click here to visit the Add a Mailing List tool.

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Select the List Type

When adding a mailing list, your first task is to select the right List Type. If you know that your new mailing list needs to behave exactly like another mailing list that already exists, you can select the same List Type. If not, you need to examine how the list will be used and what kind of access controls are required over posting, subscriptions and archives, then identify which List Types meet all of your criteria. If more than one List Type is a potential fit, examine the features supported by the List Type and select the one that supports all the features that your mailing list needs.

Super Admins can click here to visit the Manage List Types Tool. Click the View button for a synopsis of List Type configuration.

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Use Cases and List Type Selection

Read this section if you aren't sure how to match up your use case with the right List Type. If you've already selected your List Type, skip to Configuring Web Availability.

Before you can select a List Type that meets your needs, you must know certain things about your list: whether it will be used to conduct interactive discussions or to publish information, the size of the target audience, whether it needs to be inclusive or exclusive, and whether the content is public or should be kept private. Once you know the answers to these questions, you can see which List Type fits your criteria.

Will this mailing list be used for one-way distribution of information?

Mailing lists used to publish information rather than conduct discussions are configured to use moderated posting to assure the quality of content being distributed through the mailing list.

There are two default List Types that are configured specifically for one-way distribution of information: Newsletter and Announce Only. These both enforce the same -moU posting rules: only posts from moderators are accepted, all others are rejected, and moderators have to approve their own posts (to verify the moderator's identity). This means that posting is always handled by a small group of designated users.

The difference between these two types is that the 'Newsletter' default List Type accepts email subscription commands from the public, so it is well-suited to mailing lists designed to serve large, inclusive audiences. The 'Announce Only' default List Type is closed to email subscription commands, so subscriptions must be handled entirely through webpages. Authenticated account holders may be allowed to subscribe directly or administrators may control the subscription process to the point where subscriptions may be mandatory. This List Type is more appropriate for mailing lists that distribute formal announcements or potentially sensitive information that isn't cleared for public release.

Will this mailing list be used for a public discussion forum?

This kind of mailing list allows the public to participate in the organization. Because these are aimed at the public, they accept public posts, email subscription commands and archive retrieval commands. Public discussions are vulnerable to spam, so posts may be sent for moderator approval.

There are two public default List Types, but only Public Discussion allows public users to post messages directly. The other public default List Type, Moderated Public Discussion accepts public posts but sends them for moderation. Both accept email subscription commands and archive retrieval requests from the public.

Will this mailing list be a private discussion forum?

Private discussion forums reject email subscription commands so that subscribers can only be added through webtools. Authenticated account holders may be allowed to subscribe directly or this may be an invitation-only list where subscribers have to be added by administrators. Even though the mailing list is private, it may include Public Subscribers (i.e., users who don't have accounts on the site), but this kind of subscriber can only be added by administrators. Private mailing lists usually only accept email archive retrieval commands from subscribers and reject those from the public.

Private discussions accept posts from subscribers, including Public Subscribers, although the messages may be sent for moderator approval. The smaller the number of subscribers, the more private the list is and the less need to moderate posts. Depending on List Type configuration, posts from the public may be rejected or moderated, so even though the list is private, some public input may be accepted. On any of these lists, trusted non-subscribers can be given direct posting privileges by being added to the Allow List. This type of mailing list also supports cross-posting, so those on related mailing lists have the same posting privileges as subscribers.

There are three default List Types that support private discussion forums. The Closed Private Discussion default List Type also allows subscribers to post directly, but posts from the public are rejected (i.e. deleted). This is suited for casual or small discussion forums that don't require moderation. The Moderated Private Discussion default List Type allows subscribers and moderators to post directly, but sends messages from the public for moderation. This is suited for lists that need to receive posts from non-subscribers, but want to keep inappropriate content off the list. The Moderated Subscriber-Only Discussion rejects public posts and sends subscriber posts for moderation. This keeps the moderation queue smaller, so lists of this type are easier to moderate than those based on Moderated Private Discussion.

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Configuring Web Availability

Now that you've selected the List Type that determines access to subscriptions via email commands, you can set Web Availability to control how subscriptions are added through webtools. Remember that there are two routes through which subscriptions can be added, and the List Type controls email access. If the List Type is configured to accept public email subscription commands, you will probably want to set this to 'Account Holders' so that everyone who is logged in can manage their subscriptions online. When the List Type is closed to email subscription commands, the subscription process is conducted entirely through the Web and access is determined by whatever Web Availability setting you select. This is explained in greater detail in the Concepts document Subscription Access Controls. For examples, see Standard Mailing List Configurations.

When setting Web Availability, Kavi Mailing List Manager gives the administrator latitude to set Web access that is much more closed or much more open than access via email. Administrators primarily interact with a mailing list through webtools, but list users primarily interact through email. Sometimes novice administrators assume that whatever level of access they set in Web Availability options will override the List Type access settings but this is not the case. If you are not sure whether you understand List Types well enough to select the proper Web Availability settings, see the Concepts document on List Types and Access Control.

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Web Archive Visibility

There are two different kinds of archives. The ezmlm-idx archives store raw email messages as plain text, so the archives that are available via ezmlm email archive retrieval commands don't include any images or attachments. Web archives are generated from the raw ezmlm-idx archives. Access to the Web archives, which do include images and attachments is controlled through the Web Archive Visibility setting. If you want the archives to be entirely off-limits to the public, you have to choose a List Type that doesn't accept archive retrieval commands from the public as well as setting Web Archive Visibility to 'Account Holder' or higher. You may also disable Web archiving or disable archiving altogether by selecting a List Type in which ezmlm-idx archiving is disabled. This is explained in greater detail in the Concepts document Archive Access Controls and Mailing List Archives.

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Finishing Touches and Testing

You've now completed the basic setup process and your mailing list is capable of receiving and forwarding messages. You may want to do a little fine-tuning or testing before adding subscribers.

Edit Mailing List Text

This step is entirely optional, but the text that ezmlm inserts into mailing list messages can be customized through the Edit List Text tool.

Super Admins can click here to visit the Edit Mailing List Text tool. There are many text fields exposed through this tool, and the page help explains them all.

Set Maximum Message Size

Maximum message size is set to 5 MB by default, but Super Admins can customize this value through the Set Maximum Allowed Message Size tool.

Super Admins can click here to visit the Set Maximum Allowed Message Size tool.


If you would like to test your mailing list before adding real subscribers, subscribe the email addresses you use to test mailing list functionality and send a test message to the list. If you are still learning about ezmlm, try using some of the ezmlm email commands. You can begin by requesting the list of commands by clicking the link for ezmlm help that is displayed on Mailing List Home.

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Adding Subscribers

When you save your mailing list you will see an 'Add Subscribers' button, which will take you to the Add Subscribers tool, or you can navigate here from Mailing List Home. The Add a Mailing List tool allows you to add moderator email addresses to the Moderator Subscriber List (if the mailing list is moderated, this field is required), and optionally add email addresses of users who should not be allowed to post messages to the Deny Subscriber List (if this is enabled in the underlying List Type). You may type or paste addresses into these text boxes.

When you are ready to add subscribers, select the type of subscription you are adding (i.e., the Subscriber List to which the email addresses should be added) and provide the subscribers' email addresses by typing, pasting or uploading a datafile. If you want to add a different type of subscriber, such as Digest Subscribers, add them as a separate group. Remember that the alternate email addresses of all subscribers in the Kavi Members database are automatically added to the Posters Subscriber List. You may add email addresses that aren't in the Kavi Members database to the Allow Subscriber List. Read the Add Subscribers tool page help for more detailed instructions.

If you want to add cross-posters, navigate to Mailing List Home through the Manage Mailing Lists tool and click the 'Edit Cross Posters' button.

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