Distribution and ListServer Email Lists

What is a Distribution List?

It is a list of e-mail addresses that allows you to communicate with a group of people via email without having to type in their individual email addresses every time you need to send them a message. Distribution lists for each department, programme and module in the University are generated automatically and these cannot be modified (see below). However, staff can request distribution lists that they own and manage themselves. The adding or removing of internal (i.e. LJMU) email addresses on a distribution list can be done via the Outlook Address Book.

The membership of this type of list is fully controlled by the owner or co-owners.

A Distribution list containing external (none-LJMU) email addresses is known as a Listserver List. Members of a Listserver List can unsubscribe if they do not want to receive emails.

The membership of this type of list is controlled by the main owner of the list, but members can remove themselves from the list by Unsubscribing (see below)

External Lists - Important Legal Requirement

People outside the university receiving an email from a distribution list MUST be given the ability to unsubscribe from the list. Every single message sent must contain an option to unsubscribe.  Best practice is to include a simple explanation of how someone can leave the list at the bottom of every message. e.g. To leave the list at any time, send an email to <mailto:listserver@ljmu.ac.uk> with this command:  unsubscribe "listname" 

GDPR (New regulations now in force since 25th May 2018)

Before you request a new distribution list you must be aware that GDPR requires organisations to be more accountable for the data they hold and for individuals to have more rights to access, change, transport and delete their details. You must ensure the individuals have consented to being on your list or confirm that LJMU has some other lawful basis for the individual being on an email circulation list.

If you request a list, it is the owner’s responsibility to abide by these regulations.

It is now more important than ever that whenever sending emails, you ALWAYS double-check before sending that the recipients are the ones you intended, especially (but not exclusively) where some of them have common surnames.

If you need further advice please visit the ITS Self-Service Portal and select "Ask a Question" or click on one of the options below.

Departmental, Programme and Module Distribution Lists

Departmental, Programme & Module Distribution Lists are automatically generated via the information in the Student Information System (SIS) or via Staff InfoBase – These Staff and Student lists are maintained by IT Services and cannot be modified.

Staff lists contain all current members of staff who are permanent, part time or temporary staff.

Student lists contain all current Students including Post Graduate Taught and Post Graduate Research students.

The lists “All SIS Programmes” and “All SIS Modules” contain all students currently registered on the relevant programme or module.

To view all the lists just click on the “Address Book” within Outlook and select the appropriate list from the drop down menu, or use the “search” field.


Create a distribution list

Visit the ITS Self-Service Portal and select ‘Request something from us’ then select ‘New Email List

Complete the form. IT Services Helpdesk will create an empty list and send you an email informing you when it is ready so you can populate the list with your members.

IMPORTANT: IT Services will not add the members for you. 


Add or Remove users via the internal LJMU Outlook Address Book (internal lists only)

  • A list owner (or co-owner/s) can modify the LJMU members of their list by using the Outlook Address Book
    • Within Outlook, go into the ‘Address Book’
    • In the ‘Search:’ field type in the name of your list (e.g. its-news)
    • Double click on the list name to open the list
    • Click onModify Members…
    • Click onAdd… search for the members you want to add (please take care to check each user details to ensure you are adding the correct member to your list!)
    • Alternatively, click on ‘Remove’select the users you want to remove and click on ok.

Note: When you add users this way, they do not receive an email and they do not get the option to unsubscribe.


Subscribe internal users to your list using ‘ListServer’

Only use the subscribe option for internal users if you are adding a large amount of users, e.g. more than 50. The recommended way to manage your internal list is via the Outlook address book.

As the owner of a list, you can subscribe members to your list by sending the ListServer subscribe command in an email to the Listserver (listserver@ljmu.ac.uk):

Subscribe list_name addresstoadd

For example, add an LJMU member of staff, ‘Joe Bloggs’ to a list called ‘its-news’

  1. Send an email (with a blank subject line) to:  listserver@ljmu.ac.uk

2.     In the body of the message type:   

subscribe its-news j.bloggs@ljmu.ac.uk

To subscribe more addresses, just add another line for each address to the body of the message (you can copy and paste the first line and just change the email address to the next one that you want to add).

You will receive a confirmation email from ‘ListServer for Exchange’ to confirm the address was added.

Each user that you successfully subscribe this way will receive a welcome message, which includes the option to ‘unsubscribe’


Subscribe external users to your list using ‘ListServer’

As the owner of a list, you can subscribe external (none LJMU) members to your list by sending the ListServer subscribe command in an email to the Listserver (listserver@ljmu.ac.uk):

Subscribe list_name addresstoadd Last_Name First_Name

For example, add ‘Davy Jones (email address d.jones@someplace.com’) to a list called ‘its-news’

  1. Send an email (with a blank subject line) to:  listserver@ljmu.ac.uk

2.    In the body of the message type:   

subscribe its-news d.jones@someplace.com Jones Davy

To subscribe more addresses, just add another line for each address to the body of the message (you can copy and paste the first line and just change the details to the next one that you want to add).

Note: Only the main owner of a list can subscribe external members; co-owners can only manage internal members.


Unsubscribe and leave a list using ListServer

The list owner can remove users from their list by sending the Listserver command Unsubscribe to listserver@ljmu.ac.uk.  

For example; remove ‘Joe Bloggs’ from a list called ‘its-news’

  1. Send an email (with a blank subject line) to:  listserver@ljmu.ac.uk

2.    In the body of the message type:   

unsubscribe its-news j.bloggs@ljmu.ac.uk  

As a member of a list, you can remove yourself from the list by sending the Listserver command Unsubscribe to listserver@ljmu.ac.uk.

For example, ‘Joe Bloggs’ wants to remove himself from a list called ‘its-news’

  1. Joe Bloggs sends an email (with a blank subject line) to: listserver@ljmu.ac.uk

2.    In the body of the message he would type:  

unsubscribe its-news

NB:  If you are not an owner of a list, you can only remove yourself from the list


Reviewing the members in your list using ListServer

As the owner of a list, you can review the members of your list by sending the Listserver command members to listserver@ljmu.ac.uk

For example, if you want to review the members of a list called ‘its-news’

  1. Send an email (with a blank subject line) to:  listserver@ljmu.ac.uk

2.    In the body of the message type:   

Members its-news


To get a list of commands that you can use with your list using ListServer

  1. Send an email (with a blank subject line) to - ListServer@ljmu.ac.uk
  2. In the body of the message type:

Help    


Further Information and Advice

Internal membership via the Address Book

  • All lists at LJMU are closed and membership is controlled by the owner or co-owner/s
  • Owners can add members via the internal Outlook Address Book (recommended) or via ListServer
  • Co-owner/s can only add internal members via the Outlook Address Book
  • As the owner and co-owner of the list, you are responsible for the membership and should review on a regular basis to make sure you are GDPR compliant.
  • When you add users internally, they do not receive a confirmation email and they do not get the option to unsubscribe.
  • Your list can be a security group as well,  to control access to other services, e.g. SharePoint
  • External Membership via ListServer

  • As all lists at LJMU are closed, the list owner must approve a listserver subscription request
  • Multiple members can be added by one email and using several commands on separate lines.(if adding hundreds of people, it might be better to import into excel so you can copy and paste the commands)
  • When you send a listserver command, an email is sent back to say if it was successful or not
  • You can send a listserver command whether you are inside the University or Off-Campus and via your preferred email application
  • Content in the body of the e-mail must be formatted in plain text, without HTML formatting or hyperlinks
  • The e-mail should NOT contain any email signatures. Any additional text in the body of the message will be interpreted as an invalid ListServer command.
  • The Listserver list can contain a mix of internal and external email addresses.) 
  • Listserver commands should be directed to listserver@ljmu.ac.uk (or activesubscriber@ljmu.ac.uk) and not to the distribution list directly
  • Security - Who can send email to the list?

  • You have the following choices:  Just yourself, specific people, anyone on the list or anyone in the world. This is very important - to stop possible spamming, to restrict who sees the emails and also to prevent unwanted email conversations starting.
  • Best Practice when sending an email.

  • When sending to a distribution list, which may contain many hundreds or even thousands of people, it is recommended that you put the distribution list name in the BCC: field. This has the effect of hiding the name of the distribution list from the recipients and can prevent many intentional or accidental ‘Reply to All’ messages being sent.
  • Note: If you expand the list and send to the individual members this will count towards your daily email allowance (300 per day). This is not recommended.

    LJMU Student Group Lists

  • If the distribution list you require is for an LJMU student group, it may already exist, please check in the address book within Outlook under the drop down menu for "All SIS Modules" or "All SIS Programmes".