What’s Wrong with Constant Contact—and How to Fix It

April 23, 2012    By Steven Klinghoffer ()

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Last week, I received a telephone call from a frustrated Constant Contact customer. She told me that she had opened an account with Constant Contact about 18 months ago, paid for it all along and finally sent her first newsletter last month. Constant Contact promptly shut her down because too many of her e-mails bounced, and one or two spam complaints were filed.

This is a pretty common story. As I listen to Constant Contact advertisements on the radio, I often wonder what percentage of well-intentioned new customers subscribe and then never use the service—or even how many use it once or twice but not again. This is a question that the senior management at Constant Contact, Vertical Response, Mail Chimp, My Emma or any e-mail service provider wants to duck.

Publishing a newsletter either in print or delivered by e-mail is hard work. I can tell you from 28 years of hands-on experience, there are many ways a newsletter marketing program can fail. The idea of publishing a newsletter is attractive, but until you have gone through the process many times, you cannot appreciate all that it entails. Writing newsletter content is time-consuming to begin with. Then you need to format the content so that it is attractive and reflects positively on your professional image. Also, I wonder how many neophyte newsletter publishers have thought about what is involved in proofreading and fact checking.

In addition to publishing your newsletter, have you thought about the following distribution issues:

You may not think this is important, but Constant Contact and other e-mail service providers maintain good relationships with Internet service providers by playing the role of “policeman.” Most, if not all, of the big providers will shut down any customer who gets too many bounces or even a couple of spam complaints. By one report, Constant Contact will only allow one spam report per 1,000 addresses in your list.

This all can be fixed, but not by you alone—unless you have little else to do. Do you prepare your own taxes or treat your own illnesses? Publishing an e-mail newsletter is no different. It requires experience and expertise. If you have a Constant Contact account, or an account with any e-mail service provider, and you would like to get your money’s worth, give me a call at 800-323-4995 or e-mail me. I’d be glad to share our experience with you during an informal, no-obligation conversation.

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