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The 411 on e-Mailing Lists.

E-mail is probably the most efficient and cost-effective means of communication available today. E-Mailing Lists take this useful tool one step further. They allow one person to reach many with a single e-mail message. So what are e-Mailing Lists? How do they work? And most importantly, how can you navigate the ins and outs of this powerful tool to get the most out of your e-mail.


An e-Mailing List is a group of e-mail addresses that can be contacted all at once. Basically, you send one message to the List and it is automatically distributed to everyone on that List. There are two general types of e-Mailing Lists: announcement Lists and discussion Lists.


Announcement Lists are sometimes referred to as one-way Lists (the recipient does not reply) and are used to distribute information from a central source. This type of List is often used for newsletters like the LeaguE-Voice, general announcements or call-to-action Lists like the Grassroots Lobby Corps.


Discussion Lists are for interaction--exactly what their name denotes. In practice, any member of a given List can submit a message for distribution to the entire List. This type of List is very useful for issue groups like the ERA discussion (lwv-era) and Reproductive Choice (lwv-reprochoice) or for organizational uses like the Presidents e-Mailing List (lwv-presidents).


Now that you know how e-Mailing Lists work, you need to know how to make the system work for you. Luckily, there are two easy ways to manage your List subscriptions and settings. You can use a series of e-mail commands or a Web interface. Both methods have benefits and drawbacks.


E-mail commands are quick and powerful; they allow you to perform a series of tasks in a single message. You can subscribe, unsubscribe and change settings, including your e-mail address iii a single message.

To subscribe to a given League List, you would send an e-mail to "LISTNAME" For example, to subscribe to the LeaguE-Voice, the LWVUS HTML Newsletter, simply send an e-mail addressed to: The subject line and body of the e-mail calm be left blank. To unsubscribe, address the e-mail as above, except replace the word "subscribe" with "unsubscribe."

You can also subscribe to more than one List with a single e-mail. In this ease, you would send your e-mail to In the body of your e-mail you would put the necessary command(s) for each List: "Subscribe Listname" or "Unsubscribe Listname."

For example, if you wanted to subscribe to the LeaguE-Voice and the President's List and unsubscribe from the Campaign Finance Reform List, you would send an e-mail to Then, in the body of the e-mail you would write the following:

Subscribe league-voice

Subscribe lwv-presidents

Unsubscribe lwv-cfr.

Changing your e-mail address is easy using e-mail commands. Simply send the e-mail to from the e-mail address currently receiving the List mail using the "set" command. In the body of the e-mail, place the following command: "Set Listname email=new"

The "set" command can also be used to change other membership settings like how you receive your mail--as Mail, Digest, Index or Nomail. What exactly is meant by Mail? Digest? Index? Nomail? Mail refers to receiving e-mail messages as they are contributed to the list--one at a time. If you set yourself to "Digest" you will receive one message daily comprised of all the messages sent that day. Index is similar to Digest, however, instead of getting all the messages, you only get the subject lines. If a subject line intrigues you, you can go online to read that message. Nomail means no e-mail. This is a good setting for someone who prefers to read the messages in the archive or if you will be away from your computer/e-mail temporarily and don't want your mail box to fill up.

For example: Jane Smith has opened a new free Web account and wants to send all her League List mail there. She is also going on vacation and doesn't want to come back to an inbox full of messages. Jane decides to change her e-mail on the four Lists (league-voice, lwv-cfr, lwv-reprochoice and lwv-pres-update) to which she is already subscribed. She also decides to stop all mail from lwv-cfr since she can cheek the List online (see online tools below), receive only an index of message subjects from lwv-reprochoice since she can check ones that interest her online (see online tools below) and have lwv-pres-update sent to her in digest form so that she gets just one message, not a dozen, a day. The message she would send to would look like this:

Set league-voice email=

Set lwv-cfr email=

Set lwv--cfr nomail

Set lwv-reprochoice

Set lwv-reprochoice index

Set lwv-pres-update

Set lwv-pres-update digest


An online interface for all the League Lists is available at the following URL: Remember--no www! You can do just about anything you want or need to do with respect to e-mail Lists with a simple point and click. For example, to subscribe to the LeaguE-Voice newsletter you would:

1. Go to

2. Click on "league-voice." Choose "Join 'league-voice'" under the words "If yon are not a member of 'league-voice', please choose:" and fill out the form, then click "Save." No password is needed. For each List you wish to join, simply click on that Listname and follow these steps.

Viewing your messages online, unsubscribing or changing your mail options (including your e-mail address) can be done in the same way. For example, Jane Smith needs to change her e-mail address for the LeaguE-Voice and she wants to change her e-mail address and set her mail to "Digest" on the lwv-update-pres e-Mailing List

First, Jane would follow the same two steps noted previously. She would then:

3. Type her e-mail address (no password is needed) under the words "If you are a member of 'league-voice' please type:"

4. Click on "Click here to enter 'league-voice'"

5. Click on "Your Settings"

6. Replace the old e-mail address with the new address.

7. Click "Save."

After she clicks "Save," Jane will see a page that says her information has been updated. To continue updating, she would follow steps 1-7 again. This time Jane would choose "lwv-update-pres" in step 2 and before clicking "Save", she would select "Digest" from the pulldown menu next to the word "Status."

Finally, if you are away from the computer where you usually get your email --you can still keep up with what is happening on the mailing Lists. All messages are archived online. It's simple, just:

1. Go to

2. Click on the name of the last you want to read

3. Type your e-mail address (no password is needed) under the words "If you are a member of Listname please type:"

4. Click on "Click here to enter Listname"

S. Click on "Read Messages"

You can read them in order, jump to a specific date or do a search.


There are other online tools to help you manage your subscriptions. The Online Grassroots Network (in the Members Section) provides "Frequently Asked Questions" (reminders on how to subscribe, unsubscribe, etc.) and a link to an interactive form that will subscribe you to several Lists at once.

So, if you haven't joined any of our League Lists yet, subscribe today!

Announcement Lists is the monthly e-newsletter.

To receive the text version of the e-newsletter and/or Grassroots Lobby Corps action alerts, go to the "Get Involved" section of our Web site for instructions.

Discussion Lists (open to all members unless specified)

* Campaign Finance Reform

* Development--fundraising


* Help America Vote Act (HAVA)

* Outreach--League membership issues

* Presidents--LWV state, local and ILO presidents only

* Reproductive Choice

* Update of League positions--currently Selection of the President
COPYRIGHT 2004 League of Women Voters
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Good Bytes
Author:Knell, Gretchen
Publication:National Voter
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2004
Previous Article:Leagues in action.
Next Article:A call to action: it's now or never.

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