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Using Email Commands with ListServ

List owners can send email messages directly to ListServ to manage their ListServ lists. All list owners should be familiar with using email commands* to manage their lists. While the Web Interface can change from version to version, email commands do not.

ListServ automatically reads all emails sent to it line by line, and is very particular about line breaks and spaces. All commands must be typed exactly as shown. If there is a typo, that command line will error, and the rest of the command will not execute. Also, the email message MUST be plain text.

To send email commands to ListServ, follow these general instructions:

  1. Compose a new message in the account that owns the list you are managing.
  2. Address the message to no matter what list you are sending the command for.
  3. Leave the Subject field blank, even if your client asks you to select one.
  4. Set the message format to plain text.
  5. Completely remove any text from the message body, including signatures.
  6. Type the command line by line into the message body.
  7. Send the message.

If ListServ replies back with a "confirmation request" (an automatic response requesting verification that it was in fact you who sent the command), do the following to confirm your command:

  1. Reply to the confirmation request.
  2. Leave the Subject field as the default.
  3. Remove all text from the message body.
  4. Type the two letters OK into the message body.
  5. Send the message.

This is known as the "OK" mechanism. Lists, by default, are set to request confirmation for both commands and messages to a list in order to prevent spam or unauthorized changes to your lists.

* Common commands for list owners are in included in this guide and are highlighted in red, but should not be colored in the actual email command.