How to Justify Paying for a Listserv

How to Justify Paying for a Listserv

There are lots of good reasons not to use a free listserv. (More privacy. No ads. Better support.) But how do you justify spending money on a group email service to whoever is over you when you could just keep using Yahoo or Google Groups? The best way is to hit the bottom line–cash flow. Here’s some money reasons your company should be investing in a paid group email service.

Reasons to Pay for a Group Email Service


Yahoo Groups eats up your time. You have to navigate your members through the maze of getting on board. You have to force them to make a Yahoo id or a Google id. If there’s a technical glitch, you have to figure it out yourself. This is all time you could be using doing other work for your association or company. Time is money, after all!

A great way to present this to your boss is by calculating how much time you waste on group upkeep because of problems and then multiplying that by how much you’re worth per hour. Then show your manager or CEO how that compares to the price of paid listserv and how much they could be saving.


Check your member list? Are the frustrations of Yahoo causing your members to leave? Probably. If so, show your boss the numbers. An inactive community is a bad, unproductive community. An unproductive community means that, in the case of an association, a lot of the benefit of that association just disappears. Which is, overall, bad for business. Which is bad for cash flow.


Does your company or association really want to basically give free advertising space to someone? Well, with most free listservs, that’s what you’re doing. And, even worse, you don’t have any control over who advertises with your group. Sometimes those ads have viruses. Sometimes they may be inappropriate. Point this out to your boss. For the cost of free, you’re sort of losing money and, possibly, annoyed members. Which means money.