How to best send email to a low volume list?

Shane Geiger sgeiger at
Thu Oct 25 06:08:14 CEST 2007

A mailing list manager is really overkill for what he is trying to do
*IF* he is not maintaining a discussion list.  A "newsletter" list
doesn't sound like a discussion list, especially since he wants to hide
the email addresses of the other people. 

If you want to manage your mailing list in a mail client like Mozilla
Thunderbird, you can export them in CSV format.  You could put some
string in a certain field that would denote that someone is on the
mailing list, and you could compile the email addresses rather easily
and send out a message via the mailto: protocol (which I will use via
the 'open' command available in MacOSX).

import os

subject = ''   # note: you will have problems if you insert certain
body = ''     # You are better off simply writing the message subject
and body once your mail client starts up.

to = ''
cc = ''
bcc=','.join("""one at
two at
three at
four at
five at""".splitlines())
addresses = ''

headers = 'TO=' + to + '&CC=' + cc + '&BCC=' + bcc
url = 'mailto:' + addresses + '?subject=' + subject + '&' + headers +
'&body=' + body
os.system('open ' + url)

Contact me off list if you would like a little code to help you even
more.  I suspect there is a little bug in this code, but the idea is there.

Adam Lanier wrote:
> On Wed, 2007-10-24 at 16:54 +0000, chris wrote:
>> I need to maintain a list of subscribers to an email list for a
>> "newsletter" that will be sent via a web form probably once a month.
>> I anticipate low numbers--tens to maybe one hundred subscribers at the
>> most.  Just curious what the best way to code this is.  Should I just
>> loop through the addresses and send one-off emails to each, or is it
>> better to somehow send to every recipient in one shot?  One thing I
>> would like to avoid in the latter scenario is each recipient being
>> able to see the entire list of recipients.  Also don't want to trigger
>> any kind of spam thing on my web host by sending out too many emails.
>> Anyway, any tips appreciated.
>> Thanks,
>> Chris
> Before you reinvent the wheel, you should look into using a mailing list
> manager, Mailman for example:
> Regardless, confirmed double-opt-in should be a requirement as should a
> mechanism for subscribers to unsubscribe themselves.
> Using a 'list address' as the from address and using bcc addressing will
> prevent your recipients from being able to see all the other recipient
> addresses.

Shane Geiger
IT Director
National Council on Economic Education
sgeiger at  |  402-438-8958  |

Leading the Campaign for Economic and Financial Literacy

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