Distribution Lists Manager/Moderator Guide

The SF State Gateway provides a web-based email distribution list manager. With an email distribution list, you can send an email message to a single address and have it automatically distribute to list members. Managers and moderators can use the web-based tool to create, modify, and administer distribution lists.



Create or Modify a Distribution List

Faculty and staff can create distribution lists through the SF State Gateway. The list creator is the owner/manager of the list. They can manage list options, add managers, moderators, and members, and specify how the list will function.

  1. Login to the SF State Gateway
  2. In the left navigation, under Faculty/Staff, select IT Services
  3. Select a list action:
    1. Click Request New List to create a new distribution list
    2. Click View to review an existing list's settings (shows in HTML)
    3. Click Edit to modify an existing list's settings
  4. To request a new list or edit an existing list, complete the online form, review the Distribution List Policy, and click Submit.


Manage a Distribution List

Along with creating and modifying a list and its settings, managers can manage member subscriptions and messages:

  1. Login to the SF State Gateway
  2. Click IT Services under Faculty/Staff to view the lists you manage
  3. Click View to see current settings
  4. Click Edit to modify settings
  5. Click on Edit this Distribution List
  6. Approve subscriptions by clicking on Pending Subscriptions
  7. Add list moderators by clicking on Add Moderator
  8. Add list Managers by clicking on Add Manager
  9. Export list members to an Excel file by clicking on Export to CSV or Export to Excel
  10. Note: You can add yourself as a member of each list that you manage so that you may to review messages posted to the distribution list
  11. Click Save to confirm any modifications, or Cancel to close form


Delete a Distribution List

    1. Inform your list members that the distribution list will be discontinued
    2. From the manager's email account, send an email to the ITS Help Desk requesting to delete the list (include the list email address)


Moderate a Distribution List

A list moderator can assist the list manager with some of the distribution list tasks. Moderators can be added when the list is created or through list modification. Moderator tasks include:

  • Approve or reject message postings: When members or non-members submit a message to a moderated list, the moderator can approve the posting. A notification email will be sent to all moderators/managers and approval can be completed using one of the following methods:
    1. Reply back to the email and type Approved: (with the colon) in the body of the message to allow the post, or Rejected: (with the colon) to disapprove the message. Note: this must be completed within three days of receiving the message, or the approval process will expire.
    2. A link will be provided in the email that can be used to quickly access any pending message(s) awaiting approval. Click on the Pending Message(s) button to see them, and select either Accept or Reject.
  • Generate discussion topics and/or respond to list postings: Follow list postings and questions, respond as appropriate, generate and guide discussions taking care to ensure distribution list member postings are appropriate for the purpose of the list and are following stated policies.
  • The distribution list software alerts the list manager via email if mail sent to a member’s email account bounces. List member addresses will be disabled if mail sent to them bounces excessively. You may decide whether or not to notify your member via an alternative contact, if available. Before removing the member, be sure the email account is no longer valid or wait for the software to manage invalid emails automatically.


Use Distribution Lists: Recommendations

  • Review the list description including the purpose of the list. Follow the guidelines set by the list manager and abide by the general acceptable language level of the list (business only, personal discussion encouraged, etc.).
  • Address the audience using a formal communication style to ensure the correct understanding of content. Be careful with slang or local acronyms since a distribution list can have global membership.
  • Be aware of what you are sending (size, content, etc.) and to whom you are sending it.
  • Consider that a large audience will see your posts. Be careful of what you write. Remember that mailing lists are frequently archived, and that your words may be stored for a very long time in a place where many people have access.
  • Assume that individuals speak for themselves, and what they say does not represent their organization (unless stated explicitly).
  • Messages and articles should be brief and to the point. Don't wander off-topic, don't ramble, and don't send mail or post messages solely to point out other people's errors in typing or spelling. This may be considered Spam or inappropriate use.


Use Email List Commands

Email commands are available for advanced users or for those who prefer to manage their distribution list subscriptions via email instead of the Web interface. Reference for email commands is available at: