Are you looking for a cheap or even free mailing list provider that you can use to create a subscription based list for your web site? I might have just the solution for you, called YourMailingListProvider
The free version shows banner and pop up ads, though not in the newsletter you send out with it. The free version lets you have as many as 1,000 subscribers and one mailing per day (plenty for most micro businesses) - you just don't get all the extra customizations. But, the paid "premium" version is so cheap, you might as well step up. For as little as $2.50 a month, you can eliminate the ads and get all the features.
The free version provides a subcription form using double-opt for your site, which you can customize. The premium version has the option of single opt-in, which might be more appropriate for your subscribers. Unsubscribing from your list is automated so you don't have to be involved - every email someone gets tells them how to get off. YMLP provides an archive of past mailings, although the information is quite simplistic - it tells you when you mailed and to how many people, but not to whom. It lets you create a simple archive of past mailings on your site, if that is something you want.
The newsletters and mailings it sends out can be text or HTML, but unlike some of the big players like Constant Contact, you have to format this yourself in an HTML editor, and paste in. So, YMLP works really well for text emails, sending out short news blasts, and of course, if you have the skills and software to create an HTML template, it can do that too. Most of my clients who are using it are musicians sending out little reminders and notices about upcoming gigs and it works great for that as plain text.
There are a number of customizable features - you can set up what "sig" file is used for each mailing, and customize the page they go to when they subscribe, to look like the rest of your site. Bounce handling is automatic - it detects and removes people from your list whose emails are non-functional, and you can customize that to be strict or lenient.
The ability to download your list of subscribers, and develop your own fields to collect information is there and quite user friendly. You can also set up groups to segment your subscribers, if that helps in your marketing efforts.
If privacy is a concern of yours, you will want to give YMLP a look. Many of the big list management services provide a way to track who opens the newsletters and marketing emails you send and what they click on. To some degree, people know they are being tracked like this but occasionally there is a backlash. So if you want to offer your subscribers a non-tracked mailing list, YourMailingListProvider
could be the solution for you.
What I love about YMLP is that it provides all of the functionality a web based email list subscription service should - without the bells and whistles that make it complex or even controversial. They discourage SPAM, of course, but make it easy to import your existing list if you have the paid version - either one name at a time, in a bulk list or by uploading a file. The help and examples are clear and understandable, so with a reasonable learning curve, you should have no problems getting set up and customized.
Whether you haven't yet set up a mailing list or you're dissatisfied with the one you have, be sure to check out YMLP.