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A short evaluation of open source Newsletter/Mailinglist Software

2009 June 9


A friend of mine asked me which newsletter system to use for sending abt 2k emails abt once a week. I couldn’t immediately respond, so I gave it a small evaluation of current products. As prerequisite, the system should be in active development, run on a (web)server, easy to use (usability over features) and it would be nice to use it at lowcost or for free. This limited the selection a lot and I just want to present my final opinion:

My favorite and ‘winner’ is the Simple Mailing List. It’s written in PHP, simple, clean and really easy to use. Perfect for a small use-case like this. Check it out:

Actually I thought PHPlist is first choice, but I didn’t liked it usability at all – I wonder why it’s so popular?

OpenEMM has a nice website and pretends to be opensource, but somehow I wasn’t able to get a proper version to run and test. Looks more like fake to me… Update: see comments, apparently there’s lot’s of work going on and you can download it from sourceforge easily..

MailMan is quite popular, known as stable and high performant, but still I don’t like the backend. The whole software looks a bit outdated to me… c’mon it’s 2009!!!

Other systems may worth a look as not for free, so I didn’t test them:

Nice sources to check:

5 Responses
  1. December 17, 2011

    Hello out there

    Is anyone experienced with open source newsletter software from ? I am searching for an easy to use software too, but i do not want to use OpenEMM: Its too big, to complicated for me.

    Thank You all for Your answers!

  2. Jesse permalink
    September 9, 2011

    though it is an older post I was glad to find it although the link to notonbit needs to be fixed.

    Thank you.

  3. Stef permalink
    September 7, 2011

    OpenEMM works perfectly for me too, but the wizard to create a new mailing is not very userfriendly. You can easily create the mailing the “normal” way.

  4. tobi permalink*
    August 13, 2009

    hm alright, I’ve just checked, looks better now, I may give it a try again..

  5. August 13, 2009

    I was wondering what was so difficult to download OpenEMM from sourceforge ( and install it on a web server?

    I did that a while ago and it was fairly easy to install. I wonder if this has changed in the last half year, because that is when I did install it on my local webserver to check it out (haven’t sent mail with it).

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