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Request & Manage an Electronic Mailing List

UMass Amherst uses Mailman, a web-based tool administered by UMass Amherst IT, to manage campus email lists. Mailman lets your configure your list and add or remove subscribers.

Request an Electronic Mailing List or Create a Class Email List

Electronic mailing lists can be requested for official campus organizations (e.g., academic and/or administrative units and registered student organizations).

Note: Instructors do not need to request email lists for their classes. Class Email Lists can be created directly in SPIRE. See our Class Email Lists documentation for instructions on how to create and manage Class Email Lists in SPIRE.

To request an electronic mailing list:

  1. Please read our Electronic Mailing List Usage Agreement.
  2. Fill out our Electronic Mailing List Application.

If approved, you will receive a confirmation message with the list's information; your mailing list will be available within 2 hours of your request.

Access a List's Administration Page

A link to your list's administration page is included in the welcome email you will receive when your list is created. Please wait for this message before using Mailman.

You will always use Mailman to configure all your email lists, but the process for accessing the administration page for non-class mailing lists and class email lists is different. See below for instructions.

Access the Administration Page for a Non-Class Electronic Mailing List

  1. Open a web browser and go to The Electronic Mailing Lists screen will open.
  2. On the Electronic Mailing Lists screen, click Manage Your Mailing Lists, then enter your IT Account NetID and password and click Login. A screen will open listing all the email lists you currently own.
  3. Click the name of the list you wish to manage. The Administration page for that list will open.

Access the Administration Page for a Class Email List

Instructors can access the administration page for their Class Email Lists using SPIRE

  1. Log in to SPIRE and in the navigation, go to Faculty Home > Class Email Lists. The Class Email Lists search page will open.
  2. On the Class Email Lists search page, leave all fields blank and click Search. The courses for which you have a class roster available (for the current or any future term) will appear under Search Results on the same page. Click any class to go to its Create/Edit Class Email Lists page.
  3. At the bottom of the Create/Edit Class Email Lists page, click List Administration page. An Administrator Authentication page will open.
  4. In the List Administrator Password field, enter your IT Account password, then click Let me in... The List Administration page will open.

Electronic Mailing List Options

Mailman offers many options for administering and configuring your list. We encourage you to explore these options by clicking the Details for... links to see their descriptions. Here are some of the most useful options:

  • description: A very brief statement describing your list. This description will appear at the top of your list's Info page.
    Note: See our List Information & Message Archives documentation for more information about a list's Info page.
  • info: A brief description of your list that will appear at the top of your list's Info page. It should include the purpose of your list and a welcome message.
    Note: You can format the text on this box using HTML.
  • welcome_msg: This text will appear at the top of the welcome message or subscription confirmation email that list subscribers receive when they join your mailing list.

Add Subscribers

Note: Mailman does not automatically add list owners as subscribers to their own lists. Make sure you add your email address to your list.

  1. Go to your List Administration screen.
  2. Under Configuration Categories, click Membership Management.
  3. On the Membership Management screen, click Mass Subscription.
  4. On the Mass Subscription screen, choose whether you would like to subscribe addresses or invite them.
    • By selecting subscribe, email addresses placed on this list will be automatically subscribed to your list.
    • By selecting invite, addresses will receive an email inviting them to the list. Individuals will have to confirm their subscription.
      Note: We recommend that you invite addressees to your list and have them subscribe. Automatically adding an address without the owner's knowledge is bad email etiquette and should be avoided.
  5. Make sure Yes is selected next to Send welcome messages to new subscribers. These welcome messages contain important information, including a link to the list's information page and the subscriber's mailing list password.
  6. To be notified each time someone subscribes to the list, select Yes next to Send notifications of new subscriptions to the list owner.
  7. Go to the text box under Enter one address per line below..., then enter the email addresses of the subscribers you wish to add (one per line). To associate a person's name with an address, enter the name, then the address, in angle brackets:

    Name <email address>

    Note: You can also upload a plain text (.txt) file with your list's email addresses. The file should list one address per line in the format described above (i.e., an email address without brackets or a name, then an email address in brackets).

  8. To add additional text to the top of your invitation or subscription notification (welcome message), enter it in the field provided. This text will be added to any custom text specified under General Options.
  9. When finished, click Submit Your Changes.

Delete Subscribers

To remove subscribers from your list:

  1. Go to your list administration page
    where listname is the name of your list, and log in using your IT Account password.
  2. Under Configuration Categories, select Membership Management.
  3. On the Membership Management page, you'll find a table of your list's subscribers. In the unsub column, check the box next to the name/email address of the subscriber you would like to delete.