What is a mailing list?

When you have a website with a plethora of topics being updated periodically, naturally, your user base keeps growing steadily. The result is that those users keep coming back for more, visiting those topics that they want to be updated on. The best way for those users to be updated is by way of subscription. They can subscribe to your website/certain topics on your website and as and when you update the site, they will be notified of it through emails. So, a mailing list is a list of all the people who have subscribed to those periodicals. These lists are popular because they not only let internet users be in touch with their favorite topics, but also make it easier for software vendors to interact with their customers.

There are two common types of mailing lists in use –

  • Announcement lists – These are lists wherein an individual or a group of individuals send announcements or news to a group of people. This type of list is such that it’s a one-way communication path; only the admin can send messages or news and vice versa is not possible.
  • Discussion lists – These lists help in bringing a group of people closer by allowing interaction between each individual or groups of individuals, and they can discuss or share news about various topics.

Some common terms:

  • Post - means a message sent to a mailing list.
  • People who are part of the mailing list are known as the list's members or subscribers.
  • List administrators – people who are in charge of maintaining the mailing list. Lists usually have more than one administrator.
  • A list may have people in charge of reading the posts and to decide whether they should be sent to all the subscribers or not. Such people are called list moderators.
  • Sometimes more than one mailing list will be run using a single piece of software. The administrator who maintains this software which runs the lists is called the site administrator. Usually the site administrator also administrates individual lists.

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