A couple of days back I finished setting up a mailing list database for two of my clients. I searched a lot on Google for one that is free and easy to use. Not many free ones out there. There are many mailing list providers which are free if you are sending out few emails like 25 or 30. Anything more than that, you will have to pay a monthly fee. Of course, the monthly fee under $10.00 per month is not so bad. But, you can do without it. I looked at many PHP scripts and other sources.
I finally ended up installing Dada Mail. The free version is available through simple scripts through your hosting account. If you do not have access through your hosting account, you can download and install it from their website. It is very simple. There are instructions for basic and advanced installation. If you are overwhelmed with all the instructions, they offer a semi automatic installation which works with many hosting services.
Here are some others that I found in the process of my search:
Bravenet Web Services
You can choose a free version and an upgraded pro version. The pro version costs $99.95 per year.
The free version offers a few templates that can be used for your newsletters. You can edit the colors and layout of the templates and just edit the main content to add your information. Very simple for new users. If you are planning to start a newsletter without outside help, this is a good start.
If you wish to add background images to your newsletters, you need to have the pro version.
The free version has ads but the pro version is add free.
I have used this mailing list provider to send out monthly newsletters for a client. I liked it. It is very simple to use but is not free. If you wish to send up to 25 emails per month, then you can use the free version. There are 3 different payments starting from around $3.50 per month. I now switched the client to Dada mail as it is free.
You can find many other mailing list providers here.