View Full Version : help with a mailing list problem

06-28-2005, 08:24 PM
My father has recently gotten quite involved two great things: town politics and (finally) computers. He has a list of all his town's residents and would like to send email updates of town meetings etc. The list has almost 400 addresses, but his ISP won't allow him to send more than 50 in a 1 hour period (a different ISP is not an option).

I'm wondering if anyone knows of a service that would help him out. He doesn't need anything fancy, just plain text messages, maybe an attachment... and since he is new to computers and the web, it would need to be really easy. Either a separate email host that allows more emails to be sent at a time, or maybe a mailing list manager. I'm sure he'd prefer to do it from within his e-mail client (Entourage, or Mail) than via a web site. I've heard of situations where you can compose a message and then send it out to an online list manager which delivers that message to your mailing list.

I think he's willing to pay up to $15 per month. Everything I've looked into ended up being well over that price... mainly because it's considered a tool for marketing. Since he is on the town planning board, this is considered non-profit, (and it can be proven)... that could make a difference if I was able to find the right organization out there.

Any thoughts?

06-28-2005, 08:35 PM
Somebody will surely have a better way, but until they post it, at least this would be free...

He could divide the list into 8 groups of 50 and send them once per hour, either manually or using a script.

Also, call the ISP and tell them what you're trying to do. Their policy of limiting you to 50 emails per hour is just an attempt to limit spam, so if you can show them that you're not spamming, they might help.

06-28-2005, 09:36 PM
Yeah, I have thought of splitting the list into groups and setting up a schedule, but it would take all day to send to everyone. It's a very inconvenient solution (for both my father and the town residents [assuming he needs to quickly inform folks of something] ) - he didn't like the idea.

He's looking into getting the ISP to alter it's policy for him, but I'm not counting on it. I'd still like to hear what other might suggest, as this issue is going to come up with some of my clients, and I'm not sure what to suggest.

06-28-2005, 10:15 PM
One more thing...
Most ISPs let you have more than one email account, so might be able to set up several accounts and send groups of 50 from each.

06-28-2005, 10:29 PM
He could use something like Yahoo groups.
I don't think there are any requirements for setting up your own group there - e.g. I'm a member of a group that discusses Macintosh user-interface issues.
And members can read postings on the web site or request to get all postings emailed to them. And I think it can be moderated as well - so not just anyone can post.
The difficulty is that each person would have to register with the group individually. You can't add a bunch of people to a group - people have to join.

06-28-2005, 11:10 PM
MaxBulk Mailer might do the job for him. A client uses this and likes it.


It appears to have the ability to click once for send and then it will gradually send the emails out on a schedule. I'd check with them or download the manual to be sure.

06-29-2005, 05:58 AM
In support of hayne's point, my little town runs a website with a forum (here (http://www.amblesideonline.co.uk/database/community/index.html)) WARNING: The POVs expressed may seem very parochial. That's because they are :) Ambleside is a little place where tourists overnumber townspeople 20:1 out-of-season.

06-29-2005, 06:43 AM
My father and I had discussed the possibility of setting up a forum or group, but it would mean much more involvement for the townsfolk. Hardly anyone in our town is willing to take action. (We were recently the subject of a HUGE development that destroyed 400+ acres of previously protected ocean frontage - our town has no infrastructure to support such a change - nor the desire to have one for that matter.) The only thing they're willing to do is go to town meetings and complain. My father understands that setting up a forum or an opt-in group would be absolutely fruitless. The email list has taken years to evolve, and that's only because people don't want to do anything out of their way to get involved... reading an email is easy - especially if it comes in with all the other daily emails.

06-29-2005, 06:50 AM
If you can find someone who runs his own root server, it's pretty trivial to set up a mailing-list.

There should be mail service provider out there to do what you need for way less than your budget.

Phil St. Romain
06-29-2005, 08:35 AM
http://www.googlegroups.com/ works for a couple of groups I facilitate. As hayne noted, yahoogroups is OK as well, as is topica.com These are much easier to set up and use than hosting your own server and email software; they're also free. ;)