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Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities


Anyone can create professional looking newsletters with JISCMail regardless of technical skill level. No coding is required as you can simply click the placeholders and fill out your content. This feature is open to both owners and subscribers. There are 5 easy steps to create a newsletter:

  1. Set up a newsletter profile.
  2. Choose a template.
  3. Define your content.
  4. Fine tune your newsletter.
  5. Test and send.

Setting up a newsletter profile

To enter the newsletter template section, go to a list homepage e.g. and click on newsletter templates in the options box. To create a newsletter profile template, click on the Edit Newsletter Profile option. The Edit Newsletter Profile screen opens, which is where you can enter any changes you would like to make to your newsletter profile. These changes will be applied to the entire newsletter template gallery and will be associated with your email address only.

Newsletter Profile

There are the following profile items:

  • Newsletter name – Name of your newsletter.
  • Physical Address – Postal address.
  • Phone number – Phone number.
  • Contacts email – Email address.
  • Website URL – Your website URL or a related URL.
  • Slogan - A slogan e.g. The National Academic Mailing List Service.
  • Logo – Your logo. The maximum image size is 256KB. If you want to upload more than one logo, please go to preferences (top of page), newsletter profile.
  • Footer – A footer to go at the bottom of the Newsletter.
  • Legal - Any acceptable use information e.g. By using the JISCmail service please be aware that you are bindingly accepting the terms of the JANET Acceptable Use Policy.
  • Delivery test addresses – A selection of emails you will use to test the appearance.

You do not need to fill out all of the fields if they are not appropriate.

Choosing a Template

To create a newsletter, select a newsletter template by clicking on the template and then clicking the Select button associated with the template you want to use. The Select Template screen will refresh with the selected template displayed in the Template Selected box. Be aware colours can be changed easily on any template so choose based on design rather than colours. We recommend that if your group has a large number of mobile/handheld users,choose a 1 column template. It is possible to create your own template.

choose a template

Once you have selected the newsletter template you want to work with, click the Next button to continue. If you do not select a template nothing will happen when you click next.

Define content

Click on the element you wish to change on the left hand side and then type in the contents box. You must provide a link to an image in the image placeholders and a web address in the URL placeholders. Please do not enter any HTML formatting in the text boxes, the fine tune screen will enable you to do this.

define newsletter content

Once you have finished editing the newsletter you must press save and either return later or click next. If you do not save, you will lose anything you may have entered. If you save while you are editing a newsletter, a draft will be created and stored for 30 days.

Fine Tune

View and edit both the plain text and HTML versions of the newsletter. You do not need to change anything here if it is not necessary. Click next to continue.

There are advanced options by clicking the show advanced button:

Charset - Use this drop-down menu to select the charset (character set) of the newsletter. If your newsletter requires a charset that is different from the default charset for LISTSERV (UTF-8), then you can use the drop-down menu to select one before you type or paste in your content.

RSS Abstract - LISTSERV automatically creates an RSS abstract from the text part of the message. By default, LISTSERV uses a maximum of 500 and a minimum of 250 words for an implicit RSS abstract. However, this option also allows you to create explicit RSS abstracts, which can be HTML or text of any length. To provide an explicit RSS abstract, simply enter text in the RSS Abstract text box. To use your text or HTML part in its entirety for the RSS abstract, click the Use as RSS Abstract icon next to either the Plain Text or HTML section; the content will be automatically copied into the abstract text area.

Attachments: Use the Browse... button to find your file on a local drive. Click the Attach button to attach your file to your outgoing message. The attachment will be listed in a table beneath the Attachments field. To delete an attachment, simply click the Delete button associated with that particular item in this table. If sending to a list with rules for attachments the message may be rejected or striped of the attachment.

Test and send

You can send a test message to those entered in your newsletter profile or you can enter any number of recipients to view the finished newsletter in thier mail client before sending it to your list. If any further adjustments are required, you can go back to make any and then return to test again.

Test and send newsletter

Once you are satisfied with the result you can send your newsletter to your list. There are options to deliver at a specified time. Enter a date in the format of yyyy-mm-dd and a time in the format of hh:mm:ss (seconds are optional).

Editing a Template

(Only available to list owners)

To edit a template, click the Easel icon in the select template section. The Edit Newsletter Template screen opens, which is where you can make any changes necessary.

Note: If you decide to edit an existing, default newsletter template on this screen, then you will no longer be able to edit colours on the Content Definition screen. Any colour modifications should instead be done on this screen. If you have made changes to a default template and would like to undo those changes, click the Revert icon associated with that template.

Creating a New Template

(Only available to list owners)

To create a new template based on a default template, simply edit that template and change the template name before clicking the Save button. The template will now be saved with the new name.

To create a new template from scratch, click on the Create New Template option in the select template section. The Create New Template screen opens, which is where you will enter the content for the new template.

To delete a template, click on the Recycling Bin icon associated with that template.
To refresh the newsletter template gallery, click the Refresh Gallery option.

Newsletter Drafts

The Newsletter Drafts section at the bottom of the screen contains any previously saved drafts. To continue working on an existing draft, click on the draft's subject. To delete the draft, click on the Recycling Bin icon associated with that draft. Drafts are automatically deleted after 30 days.