www.iContact.com Email Marketing Experiences. Positive or Negative Recomendations

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We are considering utilising a company called www.iContact.com to carry out email marketing on behalf of our clients.

Has anyone had any good or bad experience with this company?

It is critical that we recommend on a quality service or we will get ourselves in trouble with important clients.

Thanks,
Robert.
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Fixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014
Commented:
What kinds of problems are you concerned about?  There are quite a few good bulk email companies including iContact, Constant Contact, AWeber, MailChimp, and others.  But there are also problems with bulk email that will exist no matter who you choose.

Author

Commented:
Hi DaveBaldwin.

QOS type issues. We would like to choose a product that is very stable, robust, not prone to errors, simple to use.

We have one important client who are politically elected and if there is ever "egg on their face" as a result of something stupid that happens with a mass mail that they send out to their electorate, then they will simple be out of business.

Robert.
Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014
Commented:
I see that you haven't used bulk email services before.  The products I mentioned work fine but it's the users that are prone to error.  And it's the users that are prone to doing something 'stupid'.  When you choose a service, also choose a person who has an excellent sense of judgement to write and send out the announcements.  And better yet, I always send a preview to someone for review and approval before sending a message to everyone on the list.

Check your local laws regarding email.  In the US, the CAN-SPAM act requires every email address on the list to be there by permission of the owner.  This is the best article I could find on Ireland: http://www.techcentral.ie/article.aspx?id=12945
Commented:
I don't think Dave could have said it better as far as the human error factor.
Always send to multiple people to double check before you send it out!

If price is a factor I have used StreamSend,com for 5 years now and have been very reliable.
They seem to have the best price plans for 50,000 - 100,000+ records.

Author

Commented:
webjinks:
I looked at the StreamSend.com tour.

1. It appears that they may not have the ability to send the email as the end customer. i.e FROM:  JohnSmith@EndCustomerDomainName.com. The reason I am confused here is that they say something like you can "include your recipient´s name in the subject line"  One of my more important clients wants a simple email going out looking like they sent it themselves.

2. The other thing that I don't see on their site is any mention of SalesForce,com  integration which is important. I know I didn't mention this ion my initial post.

Thanks,
Robbie
Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014
Commented:
SalesForce.com claims to have their own email marketing tools and links to partners.  http://www.salesforce.com/community/crm-best-practices/marketing-professionals/campaign-management/salesforce-mass-email.jsp
Commented:
I think you got confused with their custom fields:
"include your recipient´s name in the subject line"
This is referring to the ability to have extra fields such as first names and include in the subject line.
Most services have custom fields to use in body but not the subject line too

All email services let you send from your email otherwise it would be useless to most people.
Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014
Commented:
I suggest that you go sign up for free trials at a couple of the bulk email companies like iContact so you can see for yourself how these services work.  Also get Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail accounts that you can put on your list along with the people in your office.  You will find that Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail will sometimes change the formatting of emails that you send to keep their pages from breaking.  If you send only text emails that won't be a problem but if you send HTML formatted email it will.  So will Outlook 2007 and 2010.

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