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Screening New Members Using the Pending Subscription Notice

NOTE: This option is only available to Restricted groups. See Admin>Settings>Spam Control.

What the Pending Subscription Notice is:

one of the group Member Notices (see

And instructions:

Something you might include in the Pending Subscription notice: ask for a person's real name to fill in for their Display Name (in case it is not done automatically or accurately). A Member can always change it (to a nickname or whatever), so you may want to also put it in a Member's Notes to have a record of it (to change back).

 If it is set up and is active, it is sent automatically to anyone who applies for membership in a restricted group.

  • You cannot use this notice to those you invite or direct add.*
  • The notice marked "active" is the one sent; if no notice is active, none is sent.
  • Some groups use this notice to ask a series of questions of applicants in support of their application; responses will go to the group owner address and be recorded in the member’s page under "+owner messages."
  • Be sure that your subscription, as owner or moderator, is set to receive owner emails.

Pending Subscription - Generic Template(s)

What you see in Member Notices:

Screenshot shows active Pending Subscription notice in Admin, Settings, Member Notices button.


What happens when someone clicks on Apply for Membership in this group or sends a Subscribe email to your group:

  • If the applicant's email address is not already a account, it will receive a message from asking them to confirm they have applied. They must confirm that the applicant's email can receive messages is required. 
  • The group owner / moderator(s) receives an email about the request to join.
  • The "Pending Subscription Notice" (to the requester) AND the "Subscription Approval Needed" (to the Owner/Moderator(s)) messages are sent out automatically at the same time, if or when the account is confirmed.
    The potential member (applicant) gets a notice based on Pending Subscription notice that the group owner has devised. The recipient must reply to the email with the information. There is a 14 day period to do this. The expiration cannot be reversed. (But see the Tip below.)

  • This screenshot shows what the applicant receives:

What the owner/moderator must do:

Now the semi-automated part for the owner is over.

  • The owner receives the email in their own email account and has to assess whether or not to accept the member. 
  • Be sure you, as owner or moderator, have your subscription set to All Emails under the Owner Email section or they'll never get to you.
  • The message also goes into Activity in Admin.
    • You can go to Admin, Activity, Members and click to open the reply.
    • E.G.  Bill Blogs <> sent message "Re: Your pending membership in the xxx group.
  • Responses will also go to the group owner address and be recorded in the member’s page under "+owner messages."
  • You can click on the subject line to open and read it here.
  • If the member is acceptable, the owner / moderator must choose from the dropdown menu.

The screenshot shows the options.


  • If they don't reply: you can resend if they don't reply within a reasonable time.
  • To resend the "Pending Subscription Message" (if you get no response):
  • Check the box at the left end of that Pending Member's row
  • Select "Resend Pending Membership Notice" in the drop-down "Actions" menu
  • Click "Yes" in the "Verify Action" dialog window.
  • If they don't reply to the second probe either or don't meet your criteria, reject their request.

  • What if they try to login in before you approve them? It is confusing because the member shows the potential member in the Admin, Members list (with some NMM, etc.)  But if the unapproved member tries to login, they get this message:


  • And if you don't approve the person, they disappear from your Members list.

Tips about management and the 14 day clock:

The "Pending Subscription Message" will not delay the "Subscription Approval Needed" notice, however an Owner/Moderator can put the 14 day clock on hold by 'Claiming' the application.

  • Click on "View Pending Member" in the "Subscription Approval Needed" notice email,

or go to the group's website Admin > Members

  • Select "Pending Members" (in the drop-down Members menu) if not already shown
  • Click on the row (not the check box) of the Pending Member
  • Click on "Claim Sub" at bottom of the page

The words "Claimed by <your name>" will appear in a blue box to the right of the applicant's email address

Now the 14 day clock has been stopped and the Owner or Moderator who "Claimed" an application can subsequently accept it by email; other Moderators can accept the application but only by using the web interface.

This allows you to wait until you get a reply to the "Pending Subscription Message".


*The logic here is that you have previously vetted them in some other fashion and want them to join, otherwise you wouldn't have invited them. If you need to gather information from every subscriber no matter how they join, you'll have to find some other way to do it.

The official user documentation is in the Help Center.