User ManualEmail Discussion Group User Guide List AdministrationHow to control where replies go by default

How to control where replies go by default

When operating an email discussion group, it is important to decide if replies from subscribers should go to the entire list or only to the individual who posted the message.

Why is it important?
The Reply-To Header in an Email Discussion Group sets the default address of where the email will be sent when a subscriber replies to a message.  The Reply-To Header is a controversial topic.

If someone just hits Reply, types in their comments, and hits Send without paying attention to where the email is going, the Reply-To Header controls what happens.

Why is it controversial?
Some people are strongly in favor of inserting a Reply-To Header, directing any replies back to the list. They want to stimulate discussions.

Other people are strongly opposed to putting any Reply-To Header in the list's email. They prefer that only meaningful messages be sent to the list. They hope that making the person change the address will cause them to reflect on whether their email has value to the list. (And typically, these are people that have accidentally sent a private message to the entire list at some time in the past.)

Who sets this option?
This option is set for the entire list by the List Owner. By default, replies are sent to the individual sender and is our recommended setting. You may set it however you prefer.

You can control the default settings in your mail-list account by following the instructions below.

Use the Web Interface

Log into your mail-list account at https://database.mail-list.com.

  • Click Customize Your List.
  • Click Miscellaneous Settings.
  • Click Have Replies Go back to List by Default.
  • Choose your setting.
  • Click Save.
Click on the link "Have Replies Go back to List by Default" under "Miscellaneous Settings":

Reply to Individual Who Sent Message is the default setting on your list and is the one we recommend using.

 

To learn more about changing and saving the settings in your mail-list account, please refer to this post:

How do I access my mail-list account and change the settings for my list?

Result - "Reply to Individual..."

  • When the subscriber uses Reply, the email is sent only to the individual who sent the original message.
  • When the subscriber uses Reply All, the email is sent to the entire list including the original sender.
When somebody hits "Reply" to a message sent to the list with the "Reply to Individual.." setting on, this is how the email may look like:

TIP:
When using Reply to Individual, be sure to educate your subscribers to use Reply All when they intend their reply email to be sent to the entire list.

Result - "Reply to List"

This will send someone's reply to the entire list of subscribers. We do not recommend this setting.

Most experienced mailing list members do not like this option. It's too easy to accidentally send a private message to the list......sometimes causing embarrassment.

When somebody hits "Reply" to a message sent to the list with the "Reply to List" setting on, this is how the email may look like: