Listserv Basics for Admins


The USF LISTSERV is industry standard list management software that allows you to maintain email lists used for your department, college, project, or any other activity requiring email communication. You can add and remove subscribers, and maintain the list and settings to best meet your needs. 

How do I use it?

Getting an Account

To maintain the lists through the web browser, you will need a Listserv account. This is a separate account from your NetID credentials. You should use your primary USF email address here. Note: the address used for this account will also be the address listed as an owner on your list to be able to maintain it.

  1. Go to
  2. Click Log In on the right under Options

  3. Click the get a new LISTSERV password link.

  4. Enter your USF email address, a password, and click Register Password” (password is separate from your NetID)

  5. You will receive an email confirming you have attempted to register your password. Follow the instructions in the email to complete the password registration, then you will be able to login to Listserv.


To subscribe to any open list, open your Email then start a new message. 

Send the email to In the body of the message, type: sub %listname%, replacing %listname% with the list you are subscribing to. For example, sub usftalk. If the list is not currently set to allow self-subscribing, you will receive a denial message, and should reach out to the list owner.


To send a message, start composing a new email. In the To field, type your list address (example:, and fill out the message normally. Once you click send, your message will distribute to the list. Please note that this action is not reversible - once your message is sent it will be distributed.

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Member management

There are two ways to maintain list membership, email and web browser. Instructions for both are below.

Email Method

1. Start a new blank email in Outlook
2. Click the Format Text tab and then select Plain Text
3. In the To… field type:
4. In the body of the email paste the following:

To Add Subscribers:

QUIET ADD LISTNAME dd=ddname import
//ddname dd *
Paste the list of email addresses here
To Delete Subscribers:
QUIET DELETE LISTNAME dd=ddname import
//ddname dd *
Paste the list of email addresses here

5. Delete Paste the list of email addresses here and put each subscriber's email address (name optional) on its own line between //ddname dd * and /*. Format Example: (Joe Test)

6. Send the email without a subject line. In a few minutes you should get a confirmation email in reply

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Web Interface Method

1. Go to
2. Click Log In on the right-side
3. Enter your USF Email address and Listserv password (if you need to create a Listserv password, click get a new LISTSERV password and follow the instructions)
4. Once logged in click on List Management from the top banner and select List Dashboard
5. Enter your list’s name and click Search in Show Lists field 

 Your list will display below the search area
6. Click on View under Subscribers column
7a. Individual Subscriber

You can add individual subscribers using the Subscriber Reports page - this is the page you should be on if following the steps above.

Enter an email address next to the Add Subscriber field

Click the Add Subscriber button.

You can also add subscribers by going to List Management > Subscriber Management from the top banner.

7b. Bulk Operations

Click on List Management > Subscriber Management from the top banner. Make sure it says your list in the Subscriber Management (LISTNAME) at the top.

Click on the Bulk Operations tab for the available options and read each carefully before selecting.

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Formatting your Subscribers List for Bulk upload:

1. Open Notepad on a Windows computer. (Open the Start menu and type Notepad). On a Mac, open TextEdit (Open Finder and go to Applications)
2. Enter each subscriber line by line (one subscriber per line) in the document.

A name is optional, but email address is required. Example: = John Doe = Firstname1 Lastname1

3. Save the document as a Text (.txt) document.
4. Go to the Bulk Operations tab mentioned in step 7b above and click the Choose File button.
5. Navigate to where you saved your Text (.txt) document, select it, and click Open.
6. Click the Import button on the Bulk Operations tab.

If adding subscribers was successful, a status message will display at the top of the page similar to this:

ADD: no error, 10 recipients added, no entry changed, no duplicates, none forwarded.

 If there’s an error, the status message will display it:

Invalid address: example@
ADD: one error, no recipient added, no entry changed, no duplicate, none forwarded.

If you receive an error you do not understand, please take a screenshot and send it, along with a brief step-by-step description of what you were trying to accomplish to either

How do I request a list?

Lists can be requested by staff and faculty to represent an official project, organization, department, or other USF affiliated activity. Students can request a list by requesting a staff or faculty member submit the request on their behalf. Please email and include the information below.

  1. List Name (must not exceed 40 characters - e.g. USF Talk)
  2. List Email Address (will end in
  3. List owners (full name and USF email address)
  4. Should sending be restricted or open?
    • Only owners can send
    • List subscribers can send, but no external senders
    • Anyone can send
    • Anyone can send but it requires owner approval for distribution
    • Specific list of personnel can only send (Newsletter style)
  5. Should the list be confidential? (hidden from view at
  6. Subscription management (pick 1 of the 3 options below)
    • Anyone can subscribe to your list
    • Anyone can subscribe, but the request requires owner approval
    • Only owners can add members

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