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3.37. I want to do extensive customization of outgoing messages – can Mailman do this?

See also How do I hide the fact that I'm using a mailing list management system? and I want to completely customize the look and feel of Mailman -- how do I do that?.

Mailman is a mailing list management system. The general function is to take messages that are submitted, pass them through some filtering rules, then send out the message to all subscribers – assuming it passes inspection, and perhaps with certain parts of the message removed for the benefit of mailing list members. Mailman has some limited functionality to allow the list-owner the option of customizing a few bits of information as those messages pass through the system, but that's about it.

If you're interested in what Mailman can do in terms of customizing outgoing mailing list messages, see So what is this VERP stuff, 4.12 What about VERP?, Search for template, and Search for filter.

However, Mailman does not have any hooks to any back-end database systems, nor does it have any features that would allow you to customize large parts of an outgoing message. If you want to do that, you need a proper mail-merge management system, which is closely related to a Customer Relations Management system (see the FAQ entry mentioned above).

Try going to www.google.com and search for "mail-merge management system" to see what solutions are available that are likely to be more appropriate to your needs.

On the other hand, if you'd like to add these kinds of features to Mailman, we encourage you to join the mailman-developers mailing list and work with us to add this kind of functionality. To quote Richard Barrett:

 MM is free, Open Software; so go for it. I am sure a well implemented enhancement
 will find other grateful users.

Note: There was a Google "Summer of Code" project underway to help clean up the User Interface (UI) for Mailman, and the result of this project may be to help clear up a lot of confusion related to this topic, and help people get closer to the kinds of things they're looking for out of Mailman. See Summer of Code for more information.

Last changed on Thu Jun 29 06:17:14 2006 by Brad Knowles
Converted from the Mailman FAQ Wizard

This is one of many Frequently Asked Questions.

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