"Not to" feature?

I have been using phpList for quite some time and am often in a situation where a “not to” feature would come in handy when sending a campaign. What I mean by this is the ability to define a list of email addresses to which a certain message should NOT be delivered. Here’s an example:

I’m sending out an invitation to an event and several subscribers on my mailing list register for the event. Maybe two weeks later I would like to remind my subscribers about the upcoming registration deadline but don’t want to bother or confuse the subscribers who have already registered (especially since I’m using personalized emails with their name in it).

Has the implementation of such a feature for a future version of phpList maybe already been discussed?

Hi Marcel,
Yes there is a “Not to” list .
two infact :wink:

  1. is under Subscribers, and is called “Suppression List” I DO NOT use this one.
  2. Create your list as per normal (just the few you do not want to send mail to)
    Then when sending your campaign, where you need to add list(s) right at the bottom of the page just above “Save as draft” there is a long “button” saying “Please select the lists you want to exclude from this campaign”.
    click on it and add the list you do not want to send to.

Job Done :wink:


Hi Gareth,

thanks a lot for your suggestions!

The first method, the suppression list, is not really suitable for the described scenario since it permanently excludes the subscribers from receiving emails instead of just temporarily.

The second method technically works and I have been using a variation of it as sort of a workaround but it’s not ideal since you have to create a list, then add the subscribers you want to exclude, send the campaign and afterwards delete the list again (since it’s a one-off thing). Come to think of it though, a possible solution would be to have one list as a “not to” list and exchange the emails addresses each time.

Nevertheless it would be great if there was an easier way to do this, i.e. a field where you could just paste a list of email addresses to which the campaign should not be send. I’m especially thinking about the… let’s call them “less experienced” users :wink: on my system (and in general) who would benefit from an intuitive solution.

In any event, thanks again for your help!


I think the list exclude, mentioned above, is perfect for this :smile:

While I can imagine very beginners or people with little lists could benefit from a direct exclude box, as soon as the list sizes start to grow, it’s really not encouraging good list management for the long term :smile: Better to use the list exclude I think think. :smile:

Don’t forget, you can paste in emails when making a new list so it’s only an extra step or so anyway.


Hi Anna,

thanks for your reply!

Good point! What I didn’t realise before is that you can add existing subscribers to a new list by just pasting in their email addresses and that this doesn’t create any duplicate entries. I still think that an exclude box would make things easier and would be more intuitive to use since the list of email addresses to exclude changes from case to case but maybe this functionality would make more sense as a plugin.

For anyone else with the same problem coming across this post: If you want to use the list exclude feature you have to activate it in the config.php (see https://phplist.org/manual/ch018_targeting-your-campaigns.xhtml).

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Great stuff - I use phplist.com where list exclude is activated automatically, so I always forget it’s in the config :slight_smile: Hope it solves your problem, it’s one of my fave features!