7 Essential Email Discussion Group Hosting List Settings Every List Owner and Admin Should Know

by Andrew Lutts and Matt Sambito

Net Atlantic Email Discussion Group Hosting

If you are starting up a new email discussion group, pay close attention to these list settings which can have a profound impact on the quality of your group and discussions. We’ve owned, administered, participated in, and enjoyed a number of discussion group lists for over two decades. Benefit from our experience.

1. Reply to Sender / Reply to All: This is the single most important setting to know and use. If you want to encourage open communication and stimulate group activity, email messages, and active dialog, then make sure that by default all message replies go to the entire group (all email subscribers). This is how most people run their discussion groups. This is the standard default setting. The alternative method is to have email replies go to just the sender of the last email message sent to the group. With this setting, messages are far more focused, because not everyone on the group gets the reply to the sender. This greatly reduces email volume sent to the list.

2. Maximum Number of Messages / Day: Active email discussion groups can get very popular, and will have lots of emails sent to the group every day. If your group is popular, this could mean 10, 20, or 30 or more emails every day. If you find that people on the list are complaining that there are just too many messages every day, or you notice that lots of people are unsubscribing, simply set a maximum number of messages allowed to the list on a daily basis, such as 10, 15 or 20.

3. Maximum Number of Messages / Day by a Single Member: Just like with any group of people that gather, some people are quiet, and some people love to talk. This happens with online discussion groups too! If you find that you have a few people on your list posting many (too many) messages every day, limit them by...

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