Choosing a group email service can be tricky, whatever you choose impacts all the people in your group and nobody want to keep switching between services, you need something you can trust.

Below is a comparison of the leading group email platforms so you can see which features are supported by whom.


Gaggle Mail

Mail-List.com

LSoft
Listserv

SimpleLists.com

Google Groups
Typical Annual Cost
300 Members
$120 $321 $250
+ $1,350 Bandwidth
$100 Free
Setup Cost Free Free $500 Free Free
Virus Protection
Searchable Archive
+$150
Quick Import Members
Drag and Drop
Use Your
Own Domain
No Advertisement
No Tracking
Members
Incognito Mode

Comparing features only really tells half the story, below is a more subjective comparison of the different group email providers highlighting their strengths, weaknesses and target markets.

The Cost of Free

One of the main decisions to make when you’re choosing a email discussion list has to be free or paid. Both Google and Yahoo! offer a Groups product which provides group email functionality along with other group communication features, discussion forums etc.

To make these free service pay however you will have to put up with popup ads appearing next to your message and also the content of your messages being read by Google or Yahoo so they can better target those ads at you. There are also restrictions about having to have a Google or Yahoo account to use their products.

If you’re not concerned about the privacy implications and requiring a Google or Yahoo account is not a problem for your members then both make a solid option.

Enterprise Scale

If you’re prepared to pay for your email discussion list then there are plenty of options. The granddaddy of them all is Listserv from LSoft. Listserv has been around for decades (it pre-dates the web) and is used by thousands of organisations managing groups of millions of members, if it’s scale you need then Listserv has to be your top choice. However as you can see from the illustrated price above, around $1600 per year, this capacity comes at a cost.

Alternatively there’s Mail-List.com which can operate and the same kind of scale as a Listserv with lower cost but also slightly less pedigree.

For Everyone Else

For more modest sized groups there are a few options to choose from. Gaggle Mail sells itself as the easiest way to setup up and run a group email list. It has a slick, intuitive interface that works great on all screen sizes. You can get your group up and running in seconds and your members will appreciate its simplicity and power.

SimpleList.com is another strong contender with a similar feature set to Gaggle Mail and also offers support for large groups, it has a plain but functional UI.

Others worth mentioning are EmailDodo which takes a cheap and cheerful approach, it’s quite limited in features and has a basic UI but it is good value. Groups.io is interesting; it provides group email along with other group tools, it feels slightly unfinished but does offer a wide range of features and exposes a public list of all available groups.

Conclusion

In conclusion if you run hundreds of groups for tens of thousands of members and you have the budget choose Listserv by LSoft alternatively large groups are supported well at Mail-List.com.

However if you’re just running a few groups with less than 1000 member then in terms of pure simplicity and power Gaggle Mail takes a lot of beating.

You can try Gaggle Mail for free with a 30 day no credit card required trial. Then groups start from as little as $10 per year.