Getting close to my inner chimp

Occasionally you use something online that's so good you want to spread the word. I run three newsletters, one for the Popular Science website, one for my creativity website and one for the hymn CDs website.

These have, frankly, been a pain to maintain because I've done it manually, compiling a list and sending out emails to multiple blind copies. I always knew that there were services for doing this, but I was too tight to contemplate the expense, and when I've investigated mailing services, they have seemed byzantine in complexity, clearly aimed at professional email marketers, rather than humble list managers like me.

The service that has transformed by view is Mail Chimp. It really is straightforward. You can cut and paste an existing list in (or import a file), it does all the list management, and it's easy to produce newsletters with all the gloss of a good professional mailing. The only slightly scary bit is that you have to set up a list and a first mailing before you get approved, so they can check you aren't an evil spammer.

And here's the best bit. For lists under 500 in size, it's free. As it happens, my lists are over this, and I'm paying - but I don't begrudge it for the weight that's been taken off me in managing those lists. Well worth a look if you have a mailing list, particularly if it's a small one and you can squeeze in under that 500 barrier.