Listserv Use – Subscribing

Listserv Use – Subscribing

The mailing list address itself starts with the list name, as in:


The administration address of a Listserv mailing list always starts with “listserv”, as in:


Therefore, you subscribe to a Listserv mailing list by sending a subscribe command like the following to the administration address:

subscribe <listname>

Some mailing lists require you to specify your name in the subscribe command:

subscribe <listname> <yourfirstname> <yourlastname>

Some lists will let you subscribe anonymously:

subscribe <listname> anonymous

Some lists send you an email after you subscribe asking you to confirm your subscription. This is a good security feature to ensure that it is really you asking to subscribe, and to confirm that your email address is correct and reachable. There are two common ways to confirm:

  • Most commonly you are asked to simply reply to the email, and then replace the body of the message with the work “ok”.
  • Sometimes you may be asked to send back a confirm command

    confirm <listname>

It is usually a good idea to hide your subscription from others that might use the review command with the conceal option. This will limit the possibility that others may obtain your email address to send you spam email:

set <listname> conceal

If you ever need to, you can reverse the conceal command and make your subscription available to others with the noconceal command:

set <listname> noconceal