Mailman Mailing Lists at UNH
Recipe R02 looks at how to create a self-subscription link on your organization's web page.
You would like to make it easy for people to self-subscribe to your list from your organization's web site.
Add a web link that takes advantage of your list's special subscription request email address.
<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Subscription Request for the My.List Demo List."> Request a subscription to the My.List demo mailing list.</a>Or just add a link that points to your Mailman list's own home page which has a self-subscription request form.
Our organization's <a href="https://lists.unh.edu/mailman/listinfo/my.list"> mailing list home page</a>.
Here is what those links would look like on your page.
Request a subscription to the My.List demo mailing list.
Our organization's mailing list home page
The request subscription
link should open up a new email message window already addressed
to our demo list's own "
-join" address. Sending this
message will automatically create a subscription request with your
return address. (Don't worry, if you actually send this message,
you will not be added to any list.)
Mailman provides three methods for people to request to be added or removed from your mailing list:
Using the web form provided on your list's own home page.
Sending email to your list's "
Sending an email message directly to the Mailman robot and entering a subscribe or unsubscribe command in the body of the message (the old school method used by LISTSERV and ListProc).
Note that we have been using the term subscription request. The default setting for all lists when they are initially created is to require the list owner's approval before being added to the list. (See List Owner List Owner Q-09: for how to change this setting.)
One of the problems with asking a would be subscriber to supply their own email address is that the address provided will most likely work for successfully delivering mail, but it may not be the subscriber's actual return address. For example, Fred may customarily give out his email address as:
email@example.com is an address that will certainly reach him. But any email sent by Fred has his corporate preferred email address format as his return address:
Fred.Flintstone@BedrockSandAndGravel.comFor a discussion list, Fred will become aware of the problem the first time he attempts to post. Mailman will not recognize the sender
Fred.Flintstone, as being the subscriber
fredf, and will summarily reject his posting.
In contrast, for an announcement list where subscribers do not make
postings, this mismatch will go unnoticed since the
fredf address works just fine for delivery. But when
Fred eventually wants to sign-off the list, he'll have problems.
Mailman will take Fred's return address from his unsubscribe email
message and, not finding it on the list, unhelpfully tell him that
he is not subscribed to the list at all. Fred will be very
Bottom line, the subscription web form on your list's home page
uses the email address provided by the subscriber, even if the return
address on the confirmation email is different. In contrast the
mailto link uses the return address of the subscriber's
own email client, not that this method is not without its own
There is no guarantee that the user's email client necessarily has the return address set correctly either.
This method is not appropriate if the would be subscriber is not using their own computer or is using a device that doesn't have a configured email client.
mailtolink is probably the most reliable self-subscribe mechanism. For an unsubcribe link, use the same method only substitute the string
-leavein place of
-joinwithin the email address.