Q. Are there any bulk-email programs that are free or low cost? I need a program to send messages to email lists containing 50 to 500 addresses.
A. Several programs for sending emails to large subscriber lists are available online and many are free to use â within limits. Some services may restrict the number of addresses on your mailing list, or cap the number of messages you can send each week or month. Free versions may also restrict you to generic message templates, but you can add custom designs and other features on a paid plan.
With many bulk-mail services, you start by signing up for an account and then importing the addresses on your mailing list from an Excel spreadsheet, a comma-separated values file or a text document. When shopping around, be sure to check the feature list and read the user reviews to make sure the software fits your needs.
MailChimp, an email marketing service established in 2001, offers several plans, including a Forever Free plan that allows you to send up to 12,000 messages a month to a maximum of 2,000 subscribers. The site includes help guides and thorough instructions on setting up your first email campaign. (It also has information on complying with spam laws, which can be useful to read no matter which service you end up using.)
Other services with free plans include SendinBlue, an easy-to-use bulk-mail program that allows you to send up to 9,000 messages a month to an unlimited number of contacts. Zoho Campaigns allows up to 12,000 messages to as many as 2,000 subscribers a month.
If you want a program you can install on your computer, SendBlaster for Windows is one of many options. A free version is available on the companyâs site, or you can buy a pro version with more features for $ 129. Windows and OS X users may also want to check out the $ 50 Max Bulk Mailer. And for those looking more for software to manage email discussion lists and newsletters, consider open-source efforts like GNU Mailman.