Recommended mailing list software?

I'm looking for a simple to administer mailing list solution which will basically allow me and <50 users communicate by sending a message to [email protected] which would then go out to all members/subscribers. Ideally only members would be allowed to send emails out to the group and if people wanted to unsubscribe, they could click on a link, and they would be taken off the list in an automated fashion. Low anticipated volume.

What have you used, or what do you suggest? I've heard of Mailman, but if there are other solutions, like free web services or some feature in Google Apps which I'm unaware of, I'd be very interested in hearing about it. Does anyone still use Majordomo? To be clear, I don't just want to send out a newsletter. I want other users to be able to send a message to our group too.

Thank you!

11 Replies

Have you looked at MailChimp?

It offers a free service for small users - "Send 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers for free. No contracts, and no credit card required. It’s free forever."

I'd strongly recommend using Mailman, it's tried and proven software and provides all the capabilities you need (i.e. private moderated lists, unsubscribe link, etc.)

If you use Mailman you should setup your list on a subdomain - e.g. @list.mydomain.com. Then you won't complicate delivery of regular mail to @mydomain.com.

MailChimp is not an option for this kind of list – it's good for announcements/newletters, but not for discussion lists. Essentially, it's good for one-to-many lists (announcements/newletters) but doesn't do many-to-many (discussions). That's where software like Mailman comes in.

Re: MailChimp–I learned about the site by searching old threads, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to fit my needs to allow the group to send messages among each other.

sleddog: Thank you for the Mailman endorsement. Seems like that might end up being the best solution unless someone else suggests something else I should check out :)

Sympa is an alternative to Mailman, and has been around for quite a while – though the website at www.sympa.org is currently MIA….

@yaz:

Re: MailChimp–I learned about the site by searching old threads, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to fit my needs to allow the group to send messages among each other.

Yes, MailChimp is optimized for sending the same message to a large number of people at the same time. It's not good for sending email ad-hoc one at a time.

But MailChimp has a subsidiary, called Mandrill, which offers exactly the kind of service that MailChimp doesn't. I don't know why they don't just offer all the services under the same brand, but it's their company, not mine 8)

Even if you run a mailing list software on your own server, it's often a good idea to outsource the actual sending (SMTP and all of that) to a third party such as Mandrill, because their servers will have an easier time getting through spam filters.

Mailman can be clunky, but it works. Many of the alternatives aren't actively developed, and in my (admittedly not very deep) searching I haven't found a better self-hosted application. There is a major rewrite of the web interface underway called "Hyperkitty."

My experience on CentOS is that integration with Postfix is pretty much taken care of, as is setting up cron jobs. I would presume other MTAs are similar. Mailman has a few site-wide configuration options and very many per-list options. Most of these you will never need to touch, but figuring out which may take some reading and experimentation.

If you are OK with using a service run by someone else, I've found FreeLists to be free of the crap that services like Yahoo Groups foist on you.

Mailman…. I have also used Dada Mail http://dadamailproject.com/ which uses.

I still use majordomo for some very old lists, but I would not create a new one using it. The old lists are being migrated to MailChip (if they announce only) or Mailman if they are a group list.

Just to note that www.sympa.org is back online. A quick google search (sympa mailing lists) shows it's used by many .edu's.

Thank you for the suggestions everyone. I'll give things a go with Mailman and see if I have any issues configuring it. If you think there's a particularly good tutorial somewhere about installing and configuring it, I'd be happy to reference it.

Installation, setup and config is to some extent dependent on your distro and your MTA.

For example here's a Ubuntu guide: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Mailman

@sleddog:

Installation, setup and config is to some extent dependent on your distro and your MTA.

For example here's a Ubuntu guide: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Mailman
I run Ubuntu and Postfix, so this is great! Thank you :)

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