E-mail lists allow you to manage large groups of e-mail addresses efficiently. By storing the addresses in a database they facilitate simple updates, in addition to possibly integrating with other aspects of your site, such as forms.
Creating an E-mail List
To create an e-mail list click on "E-mail Lists" and then from the "Email List" pop-up choose "Create New List...". It will prompt you for the name of the list and an owner e-mail address. The name is used when sending e-mails to the list, and the owner is used in the authorization process. Once you have created a list, a new database will automatically be created to hold the addresses.
Customizing an E-mail List
There are several things you may want to customize about your new e-mail list.
It is important for most lists that only messages authorized to be sent ever go out. You do not want spam or other unwanted messages propagating through your list. To deal with this, there are three levels of protection offered in iWeb Composer lists: Private, Protected, and Open. By default all lists are Private, this means that only e-mails coming from the owner or trusted senders are allowed. You can open this up more by changing the mode to Protected. This allows anyone who is on the e-mail list to send to anyone else on the e-mail list, everyone else is blocked (other than trusted senders). The weakest form of protection (or lack there of) is Open mode. This places no restriction on who can send to the list and who cannot.
All of these mechanisms rely on the From Address of the sender, an address that can be easily forged. So if someone knows the address of someone else who is authorized to send to the list, they can forge their from address and send to the list also. To prevent this, you should always enter a password for any list that it is important to keep private. Whenever a message is sent to a password protected list, the subject line is scanned for the password, and if it is found, the password is removed and the message sent out. Otherwise the message is rejected.
- Change the Headers
The header of an e-mail message is the information that appears at the top of the message such as the From Address, the Subject etc. Many of these can be changed in iWeb Composer e-mail lists. One example would be to change the From Address so that every message sent to the list looks as though it came from that address, even though it may have actually been from someone's home account. The format for overriding e-mail addresses in the headers is: NAME . This means that Joe Smith <email@example.com> would be a valid address to enter. Just "firstname.lastname@example.org" would work as well, but just "Joe Smith" will NOT work.
- Managing the Addresses
All of the addresses for the list are stored in a special database. Even though a database is created automatially when you create a new e-mail list, you can change this and point that e-mail list at any database that has at least three fields: Name (One Line Text), E-mail (E-mail Address), and Bounces (Whole Number). These fields are used by the e-mail list to keep track of who it should be sending to, and how many bounces have occured when sending to that address. In fact, iWeb Composer e-mail lists are self-cleaning, and after an address has bounced more than 3 times it is automatically disabled. To change the database used by an e-mail list, simply select the desired database from the "Database" pop-up option for the list.