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Using Your Own Lists for Email Distribution

Did you know that Drexel faculty, staff, and student organizations can request and manage their own ListServ lists? ListServ lists are excellent for streamlining your communication, or emailing more than 200 individuals on a regular basis (for infrequent or one-time mailings, see Special Mailings). For example:

  • If you are a faculty member, you might prefer to email assignments and other information to all of your students through one email address instead of 20 or more. Class lists are great for this purpose.

  • If you are a president of a student organization, you might wish to communicate with your fellow members. Organizational/Departmental lists are great for this purpose. (Verification of recognition for the current academic year is required.)

  • A department head or assistant might wish to send email to all faculty and staff in their department, or to all of the students majoring in that department's subject(s). Organizational/Departmental lists are great for this purpose.

Variables to Consider

When determining whether or not to request list creation, a potential list owner should consider a number of variables:

Willingness to Manage the List

A primary list owner must be designated for the list. This individual will need to manage the list, either via email commands or the Web Interface.

A list owner controls, reviews, and adds or deletes subscriptions on the list. Complaints about the management of the list should be addressed to the list owner(s). List owners are responsible for the content of the mailings, which must conform to the Acceptable Use Policy.

More information about managing a list can be found at the ListServ Manager's Guide. Be sure to review this guide if you are new to ListServ!

Stability of Address List

Part of managing a ListServ list means adding or deleting subscribers on the list. Some lists have a stable population of subscribers (infrequent management), while others will constantly change (active management). For example:

Lists with subscribers that remain relatively static:

  • Class lists
  • Departmental staff lists
  • VIP lists

Lists with constantly changing subscribers:

  • Student organization lists
  • Lists with open subscription
  • Alumni lists
  • Student lists for specific majors or programs

Pros and Cons to Consider

Using Our Lists

Pros

  • IRT distributes the message for you.
  • IRT maintains the list population automatically, so no management is required on your part.
  • IRT's HTML templates make plain text messages look more professional.
  • All messages are standardized to include the Drexel logo or approval stamp, and thus help recipients to distinguish between official University email and phishing/email scams.
  • HTML emails crafted by the requestor or the requestor's department can be thoroughly tested across email clients for accessibility and formatting, and subsequently distributed by IRT.

Cons

  • Most messages require approval from a vice president or higher (or designated official) before distribution.
  • Sending of your messages might be delayed.

Using Your Own Lists

Pros

  • You can send out messages yourself without requiring a middleman.
  • You maintain control over when the message is distributed.
  • You can control who is subscribed to your list, and who isn't.
  • No approval is needed to send messages.

Cons

  • All list owners will need to learn how to manage their list(s).
  • If you are sending your own HTML messages, you will need to learn HTML coding for email, test it across clients (if you want to ensure proper formatting), and learn how to send HTML with your email client. Some clients are better than others for sending HTML. Sending HTML email on an individual basis is not user friendly.