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In this guide, you will find frequently asked questions about mailing lists. 


The mailing list service is primarily offered to employees and students of the University of Tartu. However, the university may also provide a mailing list service to other organizations related to educational and research activities.

The mailing list is created and closed through the system on the basis of a request sent to the information security manager. The request must include information about the mailing list's purpose, name, and responsible user.

Also check Creating and closing a mailing list.

The logic of sending out list letters from the list server has been changed to ensure better delivery of e-mails. As a result, e-mails from e-mail lists are sent from the list address and a Reply-To address with the actual e-mail sender's e-mail address is added. For example, the Sender (From) is and the Reply-To address is (actual sender), if before there was only Sender (From)

If the list letter does not have a Reply-To address, it can be set from the SYMPA administration interface: Administration -> Send/receive settings -> Reply-To address -> value -> set to "sender".

The request part of the mailing list at the end indicates a separate mailing list, with which it is possible to contact the owners and moderators of the list. These mailing lists are created in addition to the general mailing list address. For example, the general mailing list address is, and a separate mailing list for contacting owners and moderators is

  • The number of errors in the mailing list gives an overview of whether there are problems sending mail to the email addresses of the members in the mailing list.
  • If an error occurs when sending to a member's email address in the mailing list, the percentage of Sympa errors in the list environment increases. Errors are calculated by email address, i.e. if the list letter is not delivered to the email address, the corresponding number (number of errors) also increases. These errors can be caused by various circumstances, such as when the user's mailbox runs out of space or the email address no longer exists. In addition, errors can also occur if there are problems with the receiving mail server or if the e-mail is considered spam. The specific reasons for the errors can be read by clicking on the email address causing the errors and then "View the last error message".
  • From time to time, you should keep an eye on the percentage of errors (bounce rate), if the e-mail address of a member of the list has changed and gives an error, then it should be corrected. If possible, do not use the setting that anyone can send mails to the mailing list. If spam is sent to the mailing list and the members have, for example, addresses (a stricter than average email policy), these messages may bounce back and be reflected as errors in the Sympa environment.
  • Member, subscriber - participates in the mailing list conversation.

  • Moderator - manages members of the mailing list and moderates letters (approves which letters reach the list).

  • Owner:

    • Privileged owner - owns the mailing list, can change the list settings (their administrators, members);

    • Regular owner - a little less rights, cannot change list owners/moderators, cannot close list or rename it.

  • Listmaster - allowed to manage and change all lists (Department of Information Technology, University of Tartu are listmasters by default).

  • There is a very high probability that the email address from which you sent the letter is not on the list of subscribers to this mailing list. The letter may then “bounce back” with the title: “Mail Forwarding: Authorization Denied”.
  • This situation can happen if you have several email addresses, but only one of them is a subscriber to the list, and the letter is accidentally sent to the list from the wrong address.
  • Sometimes there are also situations where the form of the e-mail address has changed or been changed for some reason, for example the address has become In this case, normal mail still moves, but the mailing list service makes a strict distinction between the exact form of the email address and does not accept address changes.
  • A privileged owner of an existing mailing list adds another privileged owner, who then later removes the first.

To log in, use the username created by the University of Tartu, which is usually an abbreviation of the first name and last name:

  • Martin Jackson: jacksonm
  • Tracy Davis: tracyda
  • Maria Nelson: nelsonma

For more information, check User account.

To do this, the privileged owner of the mailing list must enter the SYMPA web environment and go to his list. Then press the option "Administration", then "Change list name" and enter the name of the new mailing list. In order for the name of the mailing list to actually change, the listmaster must first approve it. The list name change request is automatically forwarded to the list manager for approval.

To do this, the owner of the list must go to the SYMPA web environment and go to his list. Then "Administration" and "Blacklist" and add email addresses or domains that you want to block, following the syntax rules.

The letter footer can be added while on the list management page: Administration -> Change list settings -> Letter templates -> Edit Letter footer.

For example, add a link to unsubscribe from the list in the footer of the letter: 

Example of link to unsubscribe

This footer will be sent as a MIME attachment, which means that some users, depending on what program they use to read their mail, may see this leave information as an attachment, or it may be not immediately readable.

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