How-To Geek

Electronic Mailing List

An electronic mailing list is a method of using email that allows for easy and widespread distribution of information to members of the list. There are two common forms of electronic mailing lists: distribution lists and announcement lists.

Announcement lists are most similar to their analog paper counterparts. You sign up for the list (such as a sale reminder newsletter from your favorite retailer) and an announcement is pushed out automatically to every member of the mailing list. Announcements lists are not interactive, you simply receive the updates pushed out.

Discussion lists are, as the name suggests, an email-based method of conducting virtual discussions. Subscribers to the discussion list both receive content but also produce content. They can reply to questions, ask questions, discuss topics, and otherwise conduct forum-like discussions using email.

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