Mailing Lists

Powered by Aurea List Manager (formerly Lyris)


The Aurea List Manager software provides a wealth of functionality for managing and configuring various mailing list types, such as announcement lists and moderated or unmoderated discussion lists.


Getting Started with Mailing Lists

Requesting a Mailing List

OIT will configure the initial list upon request. All other administration of the lists is then the responsibility of the designated list administrators. To request a mailing list, please complete the appropriate form located on the Online Support Site.

Faculty or staff may request mailing lists, and student organizations may obtain a mailing list with the approval of faculty or staff advisor. List members can subscribe with SMU and non-SMU addresses, but SMU email addresses should use the @mail.smu.edu format when subscribing.

Mailing list types

There are three main types of mailing lists: announcement lists, moderated discussion lists and unmoderated discussion lists.

Announcement Lists

Announcement lists are designed to only allow specific members of the list to send email to the list address. If a member is not designated as an administrator, their message would automatically be rejected by the server. These lists are designed for highly controlled communication.

Moderated Discussion Lists

Moderated discussion lists allow any list member (or potentially non list members as well) to submit an email to the list. However, that email will not be distributed to the entire list until it has been approved by a list administrator. Although this gives a list administrator the ability to filter appropriate content for the list, it does require a good bit of time and oversight.

Unmoderated Discussion Lists

Unmoderated discussion lists are designed for uncontrolled, unfiltered email correspondence with all members of the list. The list can be configured to accept mail from only members or from anyone in the world. These messages do not require approval but are simply routed directly to the members of the list.


Exchange Distribution Lists

Exchange Distribution lists may be created when membership is fairly constant and open to SMU addresses only. These lists are typically only created for departmental correspondence and are not managed using the List Manger software, but by OIT on the Exchange Server. The addresses appear in the Global Address List. Request for exchange distribution lists may be made via the Online Support Center.

Other Configuration Settings

In addition to the main list types, there are a number of different settings within each list that can be configured. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Member subscriptions: can be configured to require approval before someone can join a list.
  • Message Size: can be configured to limit the size of messages sent to the list.
  • Reply To address: can be configured to automatically route replies to the list, sender or another specified address.
  • Parent / Child lists: Lists can be configured to include other lists as members. This is ideal for a large master list with various sublists containing a subset of the audience.

Mail Merging with Lists

The Mail Merge and Database fields allow you to merge information about your list members directly from your members' database table into your email message. Use the tag to insert the field into your content, such as using the tag %%emailaddr_%% to insert the user's email address into your email message. For example:

"Dear %%fullname_%%, our records show %%emailaddr_%% as your primary email address. If this is correct…"
In this case, the email will read:
"Dear Peruna D'Pony, our records show cuser@smu.edu as your primary email address. If this is correct…"

Some typical Mail Merge and Database fields are below.

Database Fields

Field Description Tag
Additional_ Additional information about the recipient which you've added. %%additional_%%
Comment_ Comments about the recipient which you've added. %%comment_%%
EmailAddr_ A recipient's full Internet email address. %%emailaddr_%%
Fullname_ The full name of this recipient. %%fullname_%%

Mail Merge Fields

Field Description Tag
Recipient's Name And Email Uses the Database fields of full name and email address. The merge tag %%nameemail%% will be inserted into your content, which will cause the name and email address of the recipient to be merged into your message when sent. If no name exists for the recipient, only the email address will be merged in. This field is recommended for your content's To: field. %%nameemail%%
Recipient's First Name Uses the first name from the Full Name Database Field. If the recipient doesn't have a name recorded the email address will be merged in.

Please Note:
 You can supply an alternate name which will be inserted in the message if there is no first name for the recipient. To do so, insert a space after the "firstname" text, and then type the alternate name. For example:

Dear %%firstname Member%%,
In this case, if the recipient does not have a first name, his email will read:
Dear Member,
%%firstname%%
Owner-Listname Email Address The owner-listname@ email address. If you'd like for your list members to be able to contact you without giving out your email address, this address will automatically forward all correspondence to it to anyone who is set to get list administrator mail. %%email.owner%%