Mailman Mailing Lists at UNH


Recipe R01 explains how to export subscriber data from your spreadsheet using a Mailman friendly format.



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R01: Bulk Add New Subscribers from a Spreadsheet

Problem

You have a spreadsheet that contains a list of email addresses, and ideally, the names of the people associated with each, and you'd like to add them as subscribers to your Mailman mailing list. (It is assumed you know how to use cell formulas in your spreadsheet program.)

Solution

Add a new column to your spreadsheet and use a formula to construct a subscription entry in the form of:

    "Flintstone, Fred" <ff392@example.com>

Discussion

Your list has a Mass Subscriptions page which allows you to manually add one or more subscribers to your list. You can navigate to this page starting from your list's administration console page, or by going directly to:

    https://lists.unh.edu/mailman/admin/my.list/members/add

Many list owners enter only the subscriber's email address when using this form. But the mass subscriptions feature also allows you to include the new subscriber's actual name. It is not uncommon for a subscriber to forget the original address used for their subscription. So with larger lists, having the subscriber's real name can be invaluable when trying to find this poor soul on your list.

The good news is that if you have dozens of email addresses in a spreadsheet, you most likely already have the subscriber names as well. For our example, let's assume that you have the new member's last name and first name in separate columns, and of course a column for the email address. There may be other columns as well for things like phone number, the date added, etc. which is fine.

  1. Insert a new empty column in a convenient location. In our example we are placing it to the right of the email address column and naming it Subscriber.

  2. In the first row of your new column, enter the following formula, making adjustments as explained below.

        CONCATENATE("""", A2, ", ", B2, """ <", C2, ">")
    

  3. Confirm the text built by the formula looks correct, then replicate the formula into the remaining rows that contain at least an email address.

When done it should look something like this:

  A B C D
1 Last First Email Addr Subscriber
2 Hofstadter Leonard L.Hofstadter@example.edu "Hofstadter, Leonard" <L.Hofstadter@example.edu>
3 Cooper Sheldon Dr.Sheldon.Cooper@example.edu "Cooper, Sheldon" <Dr.Sheldon.Cooper@example.edu>
4 Hofstadter Penny Penny.H@sales.example.com "Hofstadter, Penny" <Penny.H@sales.example.com>
5 Wolowitz Howard H.Wolowitz@example.edu "Wolowitz, Howard" <H.Wolowitz@example.edu>
6 Koothrappali Rajesh Ramayan Raj.Koothrappali@example.edu "Koothrappali, Rajesh Ramayan" <Raj.Koothrappali@example.edu>
7 Winkle Leslie Leslie.Winkle@example.edu "Winkle, Leslie" <Leslie.Winkle@example.edu>
8     Physics.Dept@example.edu ", " <Physics.Dept@example.edu>
9 Rostenkowski‑Wolowitz Bernadette bmrw@research.example.com "Rostenkowski‑Wolowitz, Bernadette" <bmrw@research.example.com>
10 Farrah Fowler Amy A.F.Fowler@example.edu "Farrah Fowler, Amy" <A.F.Fowler@example.edu>
11 Bloom Stuart comiccenter@example.com "Bloom, Stuart" <comiccenter@example.com>
12 Kripke Barry Barry.Kripke@example.edu "Kripke, Barry" <Barry.Kripke@example.edu>

About That Formula…

Inserting the Data into Mailman

Subscribers can be added by either cut-and-paste or doing a file upload.

Warning: To avoid possible processing issues, we recommend that you add or invite no more than 50 subscribers at a time. If you have a very large number of subscriptions that you need to add to your list, contact the List Server Admin for assistance.

The easiest way to import your subscriber data into Mailman is to simply cut and paste from the subscriber column into the Mass Subscriptions text box. In this example show what it would look like to send an invitation, with our set of addresses, as well as a custom welcome message. See Pro Tips and Tricks topic below for more info.

Mass Subscriptions Example

An alternative is uploading a text file using the Browse button. If you choose this option, keep the following points in mind:

Pro Tips and Tricks

See Also


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