Email list hosting service & mailing list manager

What Is a Group Email

Posted on Oct 21, 2023

An image showing a group of people crowded around a computer

In today’s digital age, email has become an essential tool for communication. It is used by individuals and businesses alike to connect with customers, colleagues, friends, and family. Group email is a communication tool that allows businesses to communicate with a group of people simultaneously. This article will explore what a group email is, what it is used for, and how it can be managed using a group email service.

Group Email in a Nutshell

A group email is an email address that multiple people can use to communicate. Whenever an email is sent to the group email address, everyone in the group receives the email. A group email provider is a service that simplifies and makes it possible to manage the list of people in a group and handles receiving and forwarding emails sent to the list.

What is Group Email Used For?

A group email can fit into any email marketing strategy and be used for various purposes. Some examples include:

  • Collecting B2C or B2B leads and sign-ups
  • Easily interacting with customers
  • Improving customer service and newsletters
  • Interacting with employees and specific business departments (e.g., HR, marketing, IT, or support) to regularly send announcements, meeting information, or internal newsletters

Email List for Marketing: How to Use It and Why It’s Important

Group emails are essential in email marketing. They provide several benefits to businesses, such as directly interacting with an already engaged audience, sending personalized and targeted emails, and empowering lead nurturing strategy. Simplelists is a group email service that simplifies group email management, and it offers several features that can help businesses to enhance their email marketing strategy.

Directly interact with an already engaged audience

Email lists and groups help businesses interact directly with their customers, privately and personally, building trust and creating long-term relationships. Businesses usually reach out to people who have already signed up to their email lists, which means they’re talking with an audience that’s already interested in their products and more willing to open their emails. This increases the click-through and conversion rates.

Send personalized and targeted emails

Group emails can help businesses share targeted content, such as blog posts, product launches, offers, or downloadable resources, based on their target’s needs. With a powerful email list tool, they can also segment their list based on their user’s interests or buyer’s journey stages, enhancing conversion rates.

Empower your lead nurturing strategy

With Simplelists, businesses can build stronger relationships with their customers by implementing lead-nurturing tactics. Simplelists features can simplify the lead nurturing process, such as sending personalized emails, scheduling automatic follow-up emails, and setting up trigger emails.

Managing Your Group Email Strategy with Simplelists

Simplelists provides a range of management features, giving businesses an easy way to manage their group email lists and marketing strategies. Some of the key features of Simplelists include:

Upload Your Group Email List

Simplelists make it easy for you to upload your business’s email lists quickly and efficiently. This can be done by uploading a CSV (Comma Separated Variable) file or transferring from a previous list.

Set Permissions

Managing group emails can be complicated when it comes to setting permissions. Simplelists simplifies the process by providing various options for managing mailing list permissions. Giving the ability to set administrators, hold messages for approval, allow specific members to post, and set a maximum message size.

Personalize and Customize Your Emails

Personalizing and customizing emails are essential for businesses to connect with their audience. With Simplelists group email service you can customize listserve messages with recipients’ names, subject prefixes, HTML email footers, customized HTML emails, and more.

Manage Replies and Moderate Messages

Managing replies and moderating messages is easy with Simplelists. Setting community guidelines, holding messages for approval, and restricting access to individuals.

Control List Viewing

Simplelists offers control list viewing, allowing you to restrict who can see the email list and its members. You can choose to make the list public or private, allowing only authorized personnel to view and access the information. As an extra layer of security for your email list, it ensures that your sensitive information is protected. It’s also a great way to manage access if your organization has different departments or teams.

Get Daily Digest Summaries

Your email list members can receive all list messages in digest format. These digests are one message containing a summary of all the messages that were sent to the group the previous day. Making it easy for members to stay up-to-date without having to continually sift through their inbox.

Synchronize Your Simplelists Account with Your Website

Simplelists also offers an integration feature that allows you to synchronize your Simplelists account with your website. This means that when someone signs up for your mailing list on your website, their information is automatically added to your Simplelists account. You can also use this feature to automatically remove people from your mailing list if they unsubscribe from your website.


Group emails and mailing lists are essential tools for any business or organization that wants to communicate effectively with its audience. A group email is a simple concept that involves a group of people sharing an email address, and a group email service simplifies managing the list of people in the group and forwarding emails to the group.

Group emails can be used for various purposes, from collecting B2C or B2B leads and sign-ups to improving customer service and internal communication. They are also essential to any email marketing strategy, allowing businesses to interact directly with an already engaged audience and send personalized and targeted emails.

Simplelists is a powerful and easy-to-use group email service that offers a range of management features, including setting up your account, uploading your group email list, personalizing your emails, managing replies and moderating messages, controlling list viewing, getting daily digest summaries, synchronizing your Simplelists account with your website.

By using Simplelists, you can simplify your group email management and ensure that your emails are always targeted, personalized, and effective. So if you’re looking for a group email service to help you take your communication and marketing strategies to the next level, look no further than Simplelists.

Try us out for free and find out if Simplelists is the right group email service for you.

Get your FREE 1-month trial


Double Opt-in GDPR: Is It Compulsory?

Posted on Aug 20, 2023

Laptop with GDPR text on top of it

GDPR introduced a new era of protections for consumer privacy and forever changed the way that businesses across Europe captured, processed, stored, and used personal data.

There was a lot of confusion amongst business owners and marketers in the run-up to the regulations being implemented in May 2018, with many people not knowing quite what to do to ensure compliance.

In the UK, the ICO has done a great job of outlining the responsibilities of organizations in the protection of their customer data. There’s also a lot of great information about how to comply on the official GDPR website.

But despite the official support and guidance available, there are still a few commonly held myths around certain areas of personal data management and processing.

One of those myths is that it’s necessary to have a double opt-in GDPR process for email lists. This isn’t true. Double-opt in email lists is not a requirement of GDPR in the UK.

The only country where there is a compliance requirement for double-opt in newsletter subscriptions is Germany, where examples of case law (rather than GDPR legislation) have made it important for businesses to embrace double-opt in.

Some businesses such as Google have decided to err on the side of caution in a few other territories as well, and to receive their marketing and performance emails, Google Ads users need to double opt-in if they are located in Austria, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Norway.

So even though double opt-in GDPR is a myth, and not compulsory to ensure compliance with legislation, if you’re reaching international customers it’s still a good idea. And there are plenty of other reasons why your business might want to choose a double opt-in email subscription method for your lists.

What is double opt-in and why is it important?

Before we jump into why double opt-in can be so useful for the quality and effectiveness of your email lists, let’s first look at the weaknesses of the single opt-in method.

The challenges with single-opt in

When you have a single opt-in, people are added to your lists simply by supplying their email address and taking an action like checking a box. This single action is taken as consent to receive your marketing emails.

This sounds quick and easy, and it is. But it’s also prone to error and poor data quality.

Any spelling errors in email addresses means an incorrect contact is automatically added to your list.

Another example of a weakness of single opt-in is fake or erroneous emails - either from bots or malicious activity. There are a variety of scenarios where this could happen, but as an example, imagine you have friends or colleagues that thought it might be amusing to add your email address to an irrelevant list. A single-opt in process would have no way of verifying that you genuinely wanted to receive marketing emails.

How double opt-in overcome these challenges

With a double opt-in process for your email lists, after supplying their email address and consenting to receive your communications, subscribers need to take a second step of verifying their details before they are added to your list.

It’s typical for a verification email to be sent almost immediately after a user has opted in to deliver the best verification rates.

Moosend has a great article about what should go into a verification email, with a list of examples including this email from Tease Tea:

A screenshot of an email containing a double opt-in email

By adding this second ‘validation’ layer to your opt-in process, you’re taking steps to prevent incorrect and mistyped email addresses from making their way to your list. You’re also eliminating any fake or spoof email addresses from contacts who aren’t really that interested in your emails.

The benefits of using a double opt-in email list strategy

There is a lot of debate amongst email marketers about whether to choose a single opt-in or double opt-in email subscription process.

On the one hand, single opt-in can help you build your email lists more quickly. You won’t ‘lose’ genuine subscribers that forget to verify their email address. There are also arguments that it’s a faster process - you can email subscribers with a welcome message immediately without having to wait for verification. Another suggestion is that single opt-in is a better user experience with fewer hoops to jump through, and as long as you retain relevant records surrounding the opt-in, your business complies with GDPR email consent.

Advocates for double-opt in email lists would generally say that the quality of your email list is more important than its size. They would challenge the argument that having to receive and click a verification email can be frustrating for subscribers by saying if a subscriber is genuinely interested and wants to hear from you - they’ll appreciate the additional steps you’re taking to protect their time and their privacy.

But perhaps the most compelling benefits that support the use of double-opt in are surrounding email performance:

Fewer bounces

Having a high bounce rate can impact your sender reputation with ISPs. Using double opt-in to verify the accuracy of the email addresses in your list can help reduce the bounce rate of your email campaigns and improve your deliverability.

Fewer spam complaints

A double opt-in process also eliminates the risk of erroneous or fake email addresses being added to your list, which can in turn reduce the number of spam complaints. This can also help reduce the risk of any damage to your sender reputation and improve your deliverability.

Improved engagement rates

When subscribers have taken that extra step of verifying that they want to receive your emails, they are more likely to be engaged with your messages and be receptive to your content.

Improved analysis and reporting

If your email list has a high number of inaccurate or fake email addresses, it can massively skew the accuracy of your reporting and your understanding of how well your true subscribers are responding to your messages.

Embracing a double opt-in email list process can improve the quality of your analysis and reporting dramatically.

Reduced costs

If your email marketing solution is priced based on the number of subscribers you have in your list, you’ll still be paying for any addresses that bounce or go to an incorrect address from a single opt-in process.

By choosing double opt-in, you can have the peace of mind that you’re only paying for list members that have shown a genuine interest in receiving your messages.

Build trust with your subscribers

By showing your subscribers that you care about data accuracy, data privacy, and only sending them messages they are genuinely interested in, you can help to enhance your credibility and give them the reassurance that you’re not going to send them messages they don’t want.

It’s considered data protection ‘best practice’

If we take a step back from the ‘letter of the law’ and look more toward the spirit of the law, the entire purpose of GDPR was to provide individuals with greater rights and controls over their personal data and help establish better standards for the way that businesses collect, process and manage data.

So even though double opt-in isn’t compulsory under GDPR legislation, it is ‘best practice’ in the sense that it does improve the way that businesses collect and store personal data and gives individuals more control.

Double opt-in email lists help with global compliance

There are examples of case law in Germany that supports a legal requirement for businesses to practice double opt-in. Other countries that also favor double opt-in include Austria, Greece, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Norway. So if you’re running a multinational campaign, embracing double opt-in will help ensure your opt-in process is compliant across all territories.

A quick look at the downsides, and a middle-ground solution

This obviously wouldn’t be a balanced article without looking at the disadvantages of using double opt-in for your email lists.

Make no mistake about it - choosing a double opt-in newsletter subscription process will reduce the growth rate of your list.

It’s suggested that only 50-70% of subscribers actually click on the verification email of a double opt-in process.

It’s worth thinking about this carefully based on the specific needs of your business and your growth objectives, and debate whether you’d rather have 100 emails with potential for error, or 50-70 emails that you know are verified.

Setting up double opt-in can also be more complex to configure, which can pose challenges for smaller businesses without an in-house tech team, although a lot of modern ESPs are well set up to make the process easier than it used to be.

One middle-ground solution is to take a hybrid approach by creating two email lists from your double opt-in email subscription process.

The first list could be ‘verified emails’ - these are the subscribers that have verified their email address through a double-opt in process.

The second list could be ‘opted in but unverified’ where you have the GDPR email consent requirements you need, but not the double opt-in verification. You could carefully monitor this second list for activity, move engaged subscribers into ‘verified’, and make a call on whether you suppress or remove inactive addresses.

If you’re looking for a solution to help you manage multiple lists, an email list management software like Simplelists is something to consider.

What are the GDPR mailing list consent requirements?

We started this article by answering the question “Is double opt-in required by GDPR?” and confirming that double opt-in was not compulsory for GDPR compliance in the UK.

But what is compulsory for compliant GDPR email marketing, and what should you be doing?

We’ve put together a quick checklist of the points you’ll want to consider, although we’d recommend visiting the ICO for more comprehensive information and seeking your own legal guidance for the specific nature of your business.

Have a clear opt-in process

We’re not going to muddy any waters by talking about the other forms of lawful basis for contacting individuals via email (although if you’re interested in further reading, the ICO has a breakdown of the six lawful bases for data processing.)

For the purpose of this article and your compliant GDPR email marketing campaign, let’s assume that you are using ‘consent’ as your lawful basis for processing data.

To be compliant with GDPR, your consent process must be clear, unambiguous, and involve a “clear affirmative action” (otherwise known as an opt-in).

Pre-ticked boxes are a no-go area if you’re going to comply with GDPR email consent, as it doesn’t meet the criteria of being a clear affirmative action.

It’s also important to make sure that you don’t make opting into your email list a precondition of signing up to your service or other terms. It needs to be separate and “unambiguous”.

Keep valid records to demonstrate consent

Another thing that’s really important if you’re going to demonstrate compliance is to keep documented evidence of consent.

The ICO recommends keeping records of:

  • Who signed up to your email list (the email address)
  • When they signed up (timestamp)
  • How they signed up (which form, on which channel)
  • What you told them when they signed up (is clear and unambiguous)

Be clear about how your business uses personal data

Your business should also have a privacy policy on your website that outlines how personal data is used, how it is stored, and how long it is going to be kept. Not only will this help you be compliant with GDPR, but it can also help build trust with your customers.

Make it easy for users to unsubscribe

GDPR unsubscribe rules state that it needs to be easy for subscribers to withdraw their consent at any time. Every email message you send should have a clear link to either your email preference centre or an unsubscribe button to satisfy this requirement.

Support an individual’s ‘right to be forgotten’

It’s not enough just to offer subscribers the ability to unsubscribe from your email list. You also need to honor any individual’s “right to be forgotten” and erase all their data if they make such a request.

Your GDPR email compliance checklist

Here are a few points you may want to consider and include as a checklist to ensure that you’re compliant with GDPR when sending emails to your subscribers.

  1. Obtain consent
  2. Double opt-in
  3. Privacy policy
  4. Data minimization
  5. Data storage
  6. Data retention
  7. Data subject rights
  8. Unsubscribe mechanism
  9. Data protection officer (DPO)
  10. Dat breach notifications

For more information, download our free checklist

GDPR email compliance checklist

Consequences of non-compliance with GDPR

Part of the reason there was so much panic and confusion in the run-up to GDPR was that the fines and legal ramifications were significant if businesses were found to be non-compliant.

Many marketers still worry about the ability to prioritize personalization without compromising privacy.

But managing your marketing in a GDPR compliant way is important if you’re going to avoid consequences.

We’ll quickly run through three of the main consequences if your business is found not to comply with the GDPR email compliance checklist.

Fines and legal issues

There are two levels of penalties for businesses in the UK if they are found to have breached GDPR.

The lower levels of penalties are fines of up to £8.7m or 2% of annual global turnover for breaching articles relating to children’s consent, processing that doesn’t require identification, and the general obligations of processors and controllers.

Higher fines of up to £17.5m or 4% of global annual turnover relate to breaches of data processing principles, the lawfulness of processing, conditions for consent, data transfers, and the rights of data subjects.

Termination of third-party services

With the potential financial penalties being so severe, many platforms and third-party services understandably insist that only compliant data and processing practices can be used with their solution.

If you’re found to be using their services in a non-compliant way and against terms and conditions, it’s possible that your access to important third-party tools could be revoked.

Loss of reputation

If you’re found to be in breach of GDPR, your reputation is also likely to be impacted along with your finances and ability to access certain third-party services.

Businesses that breach regulations are typically made an example of to encourage compliance from others, and websites like Enforcement Tracker keep tabs on all GDPR decisions to date.

Choosing the opt-in method that is right for your business

Double-opt in is not a legal requirement for compliance with GDPR in the UK.

As long as you have a clear method of collecting consent, and you keep valid records of consent - your choice of opt-in methodology should really depend on the requirements of your business.

That said, there are a lot of benefits to embracing the double opt-in process, including improvements to your email deliverability and engagement rates, more accurate reporting, and making sure you are globally compliant.

However you choose to build your email subscriber lists, Simplelists can help make your email marketing easy by managing and segmenting your contacts and delivering your email campaigns to subscribers.

If you’d like to experience the benefits of Simplelists for yourself, sign up for our one month free trial.

Sign up today for your free trial


The 7 Best Email Services For Your Business

Posted on Aug 13, 2023

Image of blocks with golden chess piece on the top

Despite the developments in social media platforms and project management tools over the last decade, email is still the king of business communications.

It’s estimated that 90% of businesses use email as their primary channel of internal communication. And according to stats from Oberlo, more than three-quarters of small businesses claim that email is their most successful marketing acquisition channel.

However, choosing the best email service for business and deciding on the right supporting list management tools can have a significant impact on your email success.

What is an email service provider?

In the most basic terms, an email service provider (or ESP for short) is a company that takes care of delivering your emails to their intended recipients.

Sounds simple, right?

It’s made a little more complicated by the fact that ‘email service provider’ is used as a bit of a catch-all term to describe different types of email services that have different purposes.

Some ESPs specialize in the delivery of everyday email communications, like emails to people within your business or day-to-day emails you have with clients or other contacts. They are designed to make it easy to send, receive and manage email in your personal inbox.

There are also ESPs that specialize in sending emails en-masse. These are sometimes referred to as marketing ESPs, and they are designed to make it easy to reach a wide audience with your email messages. These types of email services often have the functionality to help personalize content and commonly boast more advanced reporting to help marketers understand things like open rate, click-through rate, and the parts of their emails that their audience engages with the most.

Simplelists: A great enhancement to your everyday email services

Sometimes the email services that businesses use for their everyday communications can be limited in their capabilities.

They provide the interface and functionality that makes it easy to send and receive 1-1 emails, but what if you want to send emails to a large group of people without having to invest in a marketing ESP?

Or, what if you want to have collaborative group discussions via email, with an easy-to-search archive of contributions?

Simplelists makes this easy.

In our easy-to-use interface, you can set up unlimited mailing lists with large numbers of recipients. Each mailing list has its own unique list mailing address.

By sending a single email from your everyday email services to your chosen list mailing address, you can reach a wide number of recipients quickly and easily.

It’s like having the major benefit of a marketing ESP without the hefty price tag.

Additional functionality that comes with Simplelists is the ability to set up group email discussion lists, which encourages all recipients in a list to share information and collaborate.

The great news is that no matter which email services your business uses, Simplelists can work alongside it and enhance it.

You’re possibly thinking “What is the best email service for business?” This is a tough question as it all depends on the specific needs of your business. But to help you along the way, we’ve put together a list of the 7 most popular email providers with our customers.

Top 7 email services for business

1. Gmail / Google Workspace

Gmail is one of the most commonly used personal email services in the world with more than 1.8 billion users across the globe.

But it’s also gaining a reputation as perhaps the best email service for business.

Google Workspace is a cloud-based platform with a whole suite of tools for businesses of all sizes. By signing up to Workspace, you’re able to use Gmail with your own business address.

One of the main benefits of using Google Workspace for your email services is that it integrates easily with other Google apps such as Drive, Sheets, Docs, and Forms.

There’s also a wide range of different plans to suit the needs of all types of businesses. The starter plan offers 30GB of storage per user from only $6 per user, per month. For larger organizations that need more storage and more advanced security and functionality, the Business Plus plan starts from $18 per user, per month.

Find out more at:

List of Pros:

  • It packs lots of valuable features
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Integration with other Google apps such as Google Docs, Drive, and Calendar
  • Ample storage limits
  • Solid security features and controls

List of Cons:

  • For larger businesses, pricier than some other solutions in our list
  • Google app integrations are only useful if your business fully embraces Google Workspace

2. Outlook / Microsoft 365

Outlook has historically been one of the most popular email providers for businesses, but it’s facing stiff competition from some of the other solutions in this list.

One of the major plus points that Outlook has is its familiarity for business users. If you’ve been in business for any length of time, there’s a high chance that you’ve used Outlook for managing your emails at some point.

Great features such as a focused inbox and powerful tools to help organize your emails make Outlook a great choice for busy business professionals and supports its reputation as perhaps the best email service for business.

Outlook is also part of Microsoft 365, which means that it integrates and works nicely alongside other Microsoft products such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneDrive.

Similar to Google Workspace, Microsoft 365 has a variety of plans to suit the budgets of organizations of all sizes. Their basic account starts from $6 per user, per month, and rises to $22 per user, per month for businesses that need premium services and advanced security.

Find out more at:

List of Pros:

  • The interface is familiar for a lot of business users
  • Effective in-built calendar
  • Integrates with other Microsoft365 products
  • Great tools to help prioritize and organize emails
  • Intuitive attachment features

List of Cons:

  • Limited customization compared with Google Workspace
  • An annual commitment is required
  • Monthly costs are higher than other solutions on this list

3. ProtonMail

If security is important to your business, you might consider ProtonMail as one of the safest email providers on our list. Developed by MIT scientists and governed by Swiss privacy laws, one of the key benefits of this email service provider is that all messages are secured by end-to-end encryption.

ProtonMail has a supporting calendar and drive, and starts from as little as €6.49 per user, per month for their essentials plan, rising to €9.99 per user, per month for their premium offering.

Find out more at:

List of Pros:

  • Market leading privacy features
  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • Free VPN
  • Easy to schedule emails

List of Cons:

  • Limited options to organize emails
  • Limited storage options, even on paid plans

4. Zoho Mail

For businesses looking for affordable and effective email services, Zoho is a solution to consider.

In addition to providing an effective and affordable email solution, Zoho Mail also has a free suite of tools designed to improve productivity which includes a calendar, contacts, tasks, notes, and bookmarks.

Zoho Mail has a lot of helpful features to secure its place in this list of the best email services for business. It assists in keeping on top of your email efforts, such as the ability to create folders, labels, and filter your emails. It’s also super easy to set up email templates and out-of-office autoresponders.

Zoho doesn’t have a monthly payment option, and you need to be billed annually - which might be off-putting to some businesses. But their prices are incredibly affordable, starting from only €0.90 per user/per month for their Mail Lite plan, and rising to €3 per user / per month for their premium workplace plan which includes a wide range of other tools to complement Zoho Mail.

Find out more at:

List of Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Additional tools for managing notes, bookmarks, and contacts
  • Effective tools for organizing your emails

List of Cons:

  • No monthly contracts
  • Small storage limits on the lower-tier plan

5. iCloud Mail

If you’re part of the Apple ecosystem, you’ll probably already have your dedicated iCloud email account which provides free email services. It probably looks something like “”.

By upgrading to an iCloud+ account, you can actually use iCloud Mail with a custom domain for your business, such as

iCloud Mail has a variety of benefits such as the ability to effectively organize and filter your email and also boasts an easy way to create email aliases for your main account.

It seamlessly integrates with macOS and iOS, which makes it one of the best email providers if your organization is already using Apple machines.

Find out more at:

List of Pros:

  • Simple interface and set-up
  • Optimized for mobile usage
  • Smoothly integrated into macOS and iOS
  • Great for managing spam
  • Easy to remove yourself from unwanted email lists

List of Cons:

  • Limited storage space
  • Extra storage space can be expensive
  • Not ideal for email services unless your business is invested in the Apple ecosystem

6. Icewarp

A lesser known, lesser used but worthy addition to our list of best email providers is Icewarp.

Icewarp positions itself as the best email service for a business looking for an affordable alternative to Google and Microsoft. It packs a full suite of tools for managing documents, team chats, video recordings, file management, and email.

The email functionality in Icewarp is simple but intuitive. Pricing starts from as little as $3.50 per user per month for their cloud-based solution, and $7.00 per month for their desktop application.

Find out more at:

List of Pros:

  • Lots of additional functionality
  • Easy to configure and set up
  • Affordable compared to Google and Microsoft solutions
  • Intuitive user interface

List of Cons:

  • Limited mailing list features
  • Unfamiliar for many business users

7. HubSpot

Okay - you caught us! This one is a bit of an outlier.

HubSpot is actually more of a marketing ESP, which is great if you’re going to be designing, personalizing, sending, and analyzing your marketing emails (it has an amazing drag-and-drop editor for creating marketing emails). But it isn’t an ‘everyday’ ESP per se.

However, if you’re already using HubSpot as your CRM, you might consider using their connected email solution.

It integrates with your existing email services and allows you to use an email service you’re familiar with, at the same time as keeping track of all the emails that colleagues across your business have sent a particular contact within your CRM.

And the best part? If you’re an existing HubSpot user - it’s completely free to get started, with additional functionality for a small fee.

Find out more at:

List of Pros:

  • Keep track of customer conversations
  • Easily integrate with your CRM
  • Improve productivity and collaboration across your business

List of Cons:

  • Not really an everyday ESP!

Choosing the right email service provider for your business

There is a wide range of different email services that can help your business with your everyday email needs.

The list of best email providers in this article is by no means exhaustive - it’s just the solutions we know our clients have found success with.

It’s really tough to determine what email service is the best - It’s important to evaluate the pros and cons of each ESP and evaluate how they align with the needs of your business.

Whichever email services you choose for your daily business needs, you can rest assured that Simplelists will be able to enhance its functionality by reaching large numbers of recipients with one email and facilitating group email discussions.

If you’d like to see for yourself how easy Simplelists is to set up with your own ESP, sign up for our free one month trial.

Sign up today for a free trial


What is a Listserv?

Posted on Jan 29, 2023

An image showing a person trying to work out what a listserv is

If you’re running a business, sports club, charity or educational establishment, you’ll understand how important effective communication and collaboration is.

In the modern digital world it seems like there are countless ways to collaborate online, whether it’s via WhatsApp groups, Facebook groups, Slack channels or Discord servers.

But sometimes you want something that is affordable, professional, uses established technology that everyone has access to, and has the benefit of having all messages archived for future reference.

If this sounds like what you’re looking for, you might benefit from using a Listserv.

Listserv: your group communication ally

A listserv is a type of email service that allows a group of people to communicate via email.

By sending an email to one email address, it will automatically be sent to all the people who have signed up to be part of the Listserv.

This makes it a great way for groups of people to easily share information, collaborate, and stay connected.

LISTSERV® is actually a registered trademark of L-Soft, who created one of the earliest and most popular Listserv group email communication tools. But the term ‘Listserv’ is now synonymous with any list-based group email technology.

Think about it in the same way that people refer to a sticky note as a Post-it® note, or a hot tub as a Jacuzzi®.

When we’re talking about Listserv in this article, we’re referring to the commonly used term for the technology.

What are the major benefits of a Listserv?

Easy to set up

Listservs are relatively easy to set up.

Most modern Listserv software is user-friendly and doesn’t require advanced technical skills or development teams to get things up and running.

And once it’s set up, modern Listservs are typically simple to manage and maintain.

Easy to build a community amongst your subscribers

A Listserv provides an effective way for your subscribers to share their ideas and knowledge and collaborate on projects.

This can lead to a greater sense of community among group members.


Listservs are incredibly affordable. This is one of the things that makes the technology so attractive for small businesses, sports clubs and charities.


A Listserv can also be customised to suit the specific needs of each email group.

Some groups might benefit from receiving each individual message to the email address. Others might benefit from receiving a daily or weekly digest of the messages sent to the group.


Listservs automatically archive all messages. This makes it easy to search and retrieve important information at a later date if needed.

Subscription management

You’re able to set up a Listserv so that members can easily subscribe or unsubscribe themselves. This can make it easier to manage your email list.

Organically grow your email list

By providing a platform for discussion and collaboration, your subscribers may choose to forward messages from the Listserv with others that they think would be interested in the content.

Your engaged community can help you attract new subscribers.

Additionally, most Listserv technology can be easily integrated with your website. This can make it easy for people to sign up to your email list and begin receiving your content.

Who can benefit from using a Listserv?

Listserv technology is suitable for any organisation that wants to reach targeted groups of people with their message and potentially prompt a group email discussion.

We’ve put together a small list of the types of organisations that might benefit from Listserv and some ways they might use it.

Businesses: Collaborating with internal teams

Listservs can be a great way for businesses to keep their teams connected and aligned on important projects.

You might set up a mailing list for each department or project team so they can share updates, discuss upcoming milestones or review current performance. This can help boost productivity and improve decision making.

Businesses: Email marketing

Listservs can also be a powerful tool for businesses to reach their customers and prospects.

By creating a mailing list of opted-in email addresses, businesses can send targeted messages, promotions and updates to a large number of people at once.

This can help increase brand awareness and drive sales.

Most modern Listserv solutions can support HTML email, so you can still send emails that look eye-catching and compelling.

Sports Clubs

Listservs can be a great low-cost solution for sports clubs to keep their members in the loop on upcoming events, practice schedules and team news. By allowing members to reply to the group and start discussions, it can really help foster a sense of community and bring the team together.


By using a Listserv, charities can keep their supporters informed about their work and upcoming events. They can also be used internally between volunteers and management to help co-ordinate events and discuss fundraising strategies.


A Listserv can provide an easy and effective way to send out announcements, assignments, and other information. They can also be used for class discussion, managing group projects, and sharing resources.

Event planning

Listservs can be a great way for event planners to coordinate conferences, meetings, and workshops with their subscribed attendees.

How to create a Listserv in a few simple steps

Choose the right Listserv software

There are many different types of Listserv software available, each with their own different features and benefits.

We’d recommend making a list of the things that are important to you in your chosen software, whether that’s cost, ease of use, deliverability of emails or customer support.

By understanding what is most important to you, you’ll be able to choose the software that best meets your needs and has the features you require.

Complete a simple setup process

Once you’ve made your decision on the software you’re going to use, it’s time to set up your Listserv.

Every solution will have a slightly different set up process, but the typical steps will involve creating an account, choosing a name for your Listserv, and configuring your settings.

The settings that are most important are the level of moderation, the type of messages that are allowed, the subscription process, and what types of attachments (if any) are permitted.

With modern Listserv technology the setup process is easy and user-friendly, so don’t worry if you’re not tech-savvy.

Import your email contact list

Once your Listserv is set up and configured the way you want it, you can start adding members.

A common way to do this is by importing a CSV of your email contact list. Most Listserv software will need you to agree that the contacts have all opted-in to email communication, in line with relevant data privacy legislation.

You can also add your Listserv sign up to your website and other channels at this point, to help the organic growth of your subscriber list.

Send your content

Now that your Listserv is set up and has members, you can start creating content, sending messages, and setting up discussion threads.

It’s really that easy!

Interested in exploring the power of Listserv?

After reading this article, you’ll understand the potential applications of Listserv and you might even be excited by the ideas of how you might use Listserv within your organisation.

But the only way to truly appreciate the power of Listserv is to try it out for yourself.

At Simplelists, we offer all our customers a one-month free trial of our service.

By trying Simplelists for free, you can discover first-hand how Listserv email can benefit your organisation.

Curious? Sign up for free.


Say no to 'no-reply' email addresses

Posted on Apr 21, 2017

It is becoming more widely accepted that 'no-reply’ email addresses can be harmful to an email campaign. The 'no-reply’ email address effectively stops, or tries to put people off from, replying to your emails. While this may help to ensure that your inbox doesn’t become cluttered, it gives a negative message to readers - in effect, you don’t want to hear back from them. This probably isn’t good for business. If you still use 'no-reply’ email addresses in your business/email marketing communications, this post contains some reasons why you might want to stop.

 No reply email

Email deliverability will be affected

Many email services and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) detect the response of an email’s recipient to gauge whether the email is legitimate or not. Whether a recipient opens, clicks, replies, unsubscribes, forwards or deletes the message determines whether the message is considered as 'good’ or as 'spam’. Gmail, for example, ranks the importance of an email based on the recipient’s action - if the recipient replies, Gmail is more likely to class the email as 'important’. If your recipient can’t reply, your emails are likely to end up in the Spam/Junk folders (read more about keeping your emails out of spam in an earlier post).

Some people also don’t look for the (sometimes very small) unsubscribe link, instead hitting 'reply’ to request they be unsubscribed from the mailing list. If they then learn that replying is not possible (either because the reply email starts with 'no-reply’ or similar, or their email is returned undelivered), they are then likely to click 'report spam’. You can read more about spam management and delivery rates in one of our other posts.

Missed chance to be added to contact lists

One way to ensure that your email reaches the recipient’s inbox is if your email address has been added to their contact list (this means it has been 'whitelisted’). Most ISPs do not allow users to add 'no-reply’ emails to their address books. If they are unable to reply to your emails, they are also unlikely to add you manually. Email providers like Gmail and Yahoo automatically add an email address to a contact list if the user sends a message to it so it makes sense that recipients should be able to respond.

Reduced conversion rate

In the age of social media and online identities/persona, receiving communications from a 'machine/robot’ means that the sender of an email has no personal touch. People probably still like to feel that there is a real person sending the email to them! With a 'no-reply’ email, it is much less likely that the recipient will take action on what is in the email. Using an address like 'customer-services’ or a real name is likely to be much more effective when encouraging customers to respond to a call to action. Similarly, make sure the name that appears in the recipient’s inbox shows your brand clearly (e.g. 'Simplelists Account Verification’ rather than just 'Account Verification’).

Makes it harder to keep your email list up to date

Some people also hit 'reply’ to update their details with you. A real email address will allow you to find valuable information in the replies that will ensure that your contact list is kept up-to-date. Excluding incorrect email addresses from your mailing list will also help your deliverability rates and prevent your messages from being sent to spam.