A web-based interface is often available to allow people to subscribe, unsubscribe, and change their preferences. However, mailing list servers existed long before the World Wide Web, so most also accept commands over email to a special email address. This allows subscribers (or those who want to be subscribers) to perform such tasks as subscribing and unsubscribing, temporarily halting the sending of messages to them, or changing available preferences - all via email. The common format for sending these commands is to send an email that contains simply the command followed by the name of the electronic mailing list the command pertains to. Examples: subscribe anylist or subscribe anylist John Doe.
Anthropologists, sociologists and historians have used mailing lists as fieldwork. Topics include TV series fandom, online culture, or scientific practices among many other academic studies. From the historian's point of view, the issue of the preservation of mailing lists heritage (and Internet fora heritage in general) is essential. Not only the text of the corpus of messages has yet to be perennially archived, but also their related metadata, timestamps, headers that define topics, etc. Mailing lists archives are a unique opportunity for historians to explore interactions, debates, even tensions that reveal a lot about communities.
While email marketing ROI is higher than that of social media, you’d be remiss if you’re not combining both. While keeping your brand top of mind is an obvious benefit of using email and social, the crucial data you can derive from both enables you to hyper-personalize your messaging and content. This makes integrating both an integral part of your social media strategy and vice versa.