ListLoop Documentation

The ListLoop E-mail Automation Server is an easy to use web-based tool that allows anybody to easily and securely set up and manage opt-in E-mail lists. It can be seamlessly integrated into any existing site by adding a simple HTML form. All processing and database storage are done on our dedicated servers so you don't have to worry about any other installation or configuration issues. Even if you don't have a web site, ListLoop provides a customizable template that can be modified directly through the admin web interface.

The Language of Lists

Professional management of opt-in E-mail lists is a complex process. The way a list is managed can have a greater impact than the most finely crafted message. Usually in this case, the effect is negative. An ignored opt-out request can turn a mildly annoyed recipient into a blacklisting vigilante out to tell everybody who will listen how awful your site is. This is not without some justification considering all of the spam that most of us deal with everyday.

ListLoop allows anyone to easily implement a professional, "best practice" opt-in E-mail list. Here is what we mean by that:


In it's most basic form this simply means that every recipient has opted to be on your list. This isn't the same as "not opt-out" which many people practice when they buy E-mail lists even from "legitimate" sources. Unless the recipient specifically requested to be on YOUR list it is not opt-in.

Technically, the best thing to do is use "double-opt-in" subscription. In this case a subscriber submits their E-mail address for addition to your list. Upon receipt of this initial request a message is automatically generated to the submitted E-mail address. That message contains a confirmation link that the recipient must click to complete the subscription process. This extra step insures the validity of the E-mail address and prevents fraudulent additions to the list. ListLoop optionally provides double-opt-in subscription.


Every legitimate E-mail list must have a way for recipients to remove their address. This is called opt-out. It is imperative that the removal mechanism function reliably. In addition to tarnishing the image of the list owner, there are growing legal implications for improperly handling removal requests. Less sophisticated opt-out methods require recipients to send E-mail messages to a specific address such as For a variety of reasons, including user error, these kind of opt-out mechanisms fail. Regardless of the reason the List Owner is blamed.

ListLoop uses a simple one-click opt-out process. A customizable opt-out message is automatically appended to every message you send to your list. A recipient simply has to click a link contained in that message and their address is immediately removed from the list. A unique, single use, security code is automatically inserted in the opt-out link to prevent fraud. Optionally you can require that the recipient double-opt-out by clicking a second link contained in an E-mail message generated by the initial click. However, that is generally discouraged as bad practice.

Black List

All opt-out E-mail addresses can optionally be added to a Black List of addresses that are never to be sent to. The Black List should be checked when new subscription requests are made. If a match is found the subscription request should be denied. Each time you send a message to the list, every address in your list should be checked against the Black List. ListLoop optionally provides automatic Black List maintenance.


Turnover is inevitable part of professional E-mail list maintenance. When a message is sent to an invalid E-mail address it is bounced back to the sending E-mail server with an error notification. For those seeking to accurately measure Return On Investment it is essential that invalid addresses are removed from the list as soon as they are detected. Automatic bounce removal can be setup using ListLoop provided that we host the sender's domain.

HTML E-mail

Messages that you send to your list can be Plain Text, HTML or Multipart which contain both HTML and Plain Text in one message. Almost all E-mail programs are Multipart capable so it is best to use this format as it allows the recipient to specify which they want to view. HTML E-mail messages can include graphics, clickable links, and even functionality such as product search or dealer locator applications. The configurable list template can be automatically applied to all outgoing HTML messages which makes creating beautiful messages easy.


Links to your web site or other resources can be included in your E-mail message. A simple modification to the standard HTML linking code can be used to track the number of times a specific link is clicked using ListLoop. This allows real time measurement of the effectiveness of specific mailings.

Process Overview

For those who have never managed an opt-in E-mail list, an overview of the entire process is presented here. First, compile a list of recipients who want to receive your message. A plain text document with each E-mail address separated by a comma, space or carriage return is perfect. At this time there are no provisions for extra contact information like name, address, etc. This is to maximize list speed. Extra fields may be added at a future date.

Using the ListLoop Admin Interface, you can import your text list directly in to the MySQL database on our server. Optionally each address can be verified by performing an MX lookup. In our tests a list of 9,000+ addresses was imported in under 20 seconds.

Once your list has been imported into the ListLoop database, you can optionally set about customizing the look and feel of your list. Editing the template for your list will allow you to automatically enclose your HTML E-mail messages with a consistent header and footer letting you focus on the meat of the message. In addition, all automated responses and system messages can be customized.

Now you are ready to create your E-mail message. Typically you will want to prepare both a Plain Text and HTML version of your message. If you are unfamiliar with basic HTML coding you can stick to Plain Text only. Using the Advanced Send interface you can specify all aspects of your outgoing message including subject, reply-to, etc. Optionally you can enable click-through tracking and monitor recipient response in real time.

You should test your message by using the "Send to List Owner" button. Once the message is perfect it can be sent with a single click on the "Send List Message" button. It's that easy!

You will probably want to make it easy for new people to join your list so that you can grow your business. With the "Subscription Form HTML" feature you can easily generate a custom HTML form to insert directly on your website. You can be optionally notified of every subscription and removal so that you can easily keep track of the polarity of your list. When you are ready to send your next message you will automatically be using the most current version of the list!