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.
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.
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.
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.