Answering my own questions since 2001

Constant Contact is Constantly Contacting Me

UPDATE: Several of the comments on this page appear to have be duplicitously written by Constant Contact staff. See this page for more details.

Over at Capulet, we do email newsletters for several of our clients. I’m know, very old-school, but they’re still a useful tool for plenty of companies.

A couple of years ago, we completed an exhaustive assessment of the email newsletter options available and went with Constant Contact. They’re web-based, provide the functionality and reporting we require, and are very affordable. The app has an incredibly Web 1.0 interface (constant page reloads, pop-up windows and animated status bars), but it does the job. We recently had a recommendation for Campaign Monitor, so we may give that a try too.

I signed up for another Constant Contact account today, for a new client. I received the standard welcome and verify your address email. I also received a short email from Constant Contact support, reminding me to verify my address. They came simultaneously, which was puzzling.

I verified my email address. A few minutes later, I got a phone call from Constant Contact. A phone call! Just checking to make sure that everything was going smoothly. I blew off the ‘Campaign Consultant’, explaining that I was very familiar with their app. And then I got another email from the same guy.

That’s three emails and a phone call when I sign up for a bake-your-own newsletter service that starts at all of US $15/month. Maybe I’m just hermetic and the exception that proves the rule, but when I sign up for a self-serve service (heh), I want to serve myself. I don’t want to talk to anybody.

Leave me alone, Constant Contact. I’ll call if I want to chat.

Speaking of animated status bars, I copied a link for one off the Constant Contact site (link removed, as it was broken) in passing. Amusingly, the cheeky designer has named the file pacifier.gif.

UPDATE: They emailed me again today!

UPDATE #2: I also like Campaign Monitor’s pricing model, which is favourable for small businesses. For each email campaign, you pay US $5 plus one cent per recipient. So, if you’ve got 400 recipients, that’s $9 for the campaign.

Compare that with CC’s US $15/month (down to $12.75 if you subscribe for a year) for up to 500 recipients. Lots of businesses don’t send out a newsletter every month.

We’re lucky if we can send more than six newsletters a year. Based on 400 subscribers, that’s $153 for Constant Contact and $54 for Campaign Monitor.

UPDATE #3: One final beef about Constant Contact–they don’t let you cancel online. You have to call them or submit a support request. Why can I sign up online, agree to give them money online, but when I choose to cancel my service, I have to do so manually? It’s typical dumb company behaviour, but that’s no excuse.

UPDATE #4: Rebecca over at Xconomy discussed this post in a story about the Constant Contact IPO.

37 Responses to “Constant Contact is Constantly Contacting Me”

  1. col

    I use Constant Contact at work as well. At first I thought the phone calls were a nice personal touch, but not so much anymore. We add hundreds of subscribers a month and I’m always having to call them to confirm that we’re not spamming people. Pain. in. the. ass.

  2. Jordan

    It’s not as if you need more email service providers to consider, but I thought I’d pass on this link: http://www.mailchimp.com/

    From what I can tell, it gives you more options than Campaign Monitor, and at less cost. It’s a credit based system, rather than CM’s pay-per-mail model, and they offer a free trial.

    Btw, based on my research, email newsletters are still considered quite “new school” to many,it seems. Most of your clients, and RSS users are obviously quite a few lightyears ahead, by comparison.

  3. Larry

    I seriously can’t endorse CampaignMonitor highly enough. They have a great reporting interface and have always been very responsive to me as a customer.

  4. Larry

    And, ah, after reading the above; as Darren knows, I’m not a marketing splogblot; just a banal blog commenter!

  5. James

    I second Larry’s recommendation of Campaign Monitor. They just rock. They get it all right. Simple and effortless. The interface is also easily the best I’ve ever used, and that matters to me and my clients because that’s where you end up spending all your time.

  6. darren

    Thanks for that, known and non-splogbot Larry. You can guess who we got the recommendation from.

  7. Bill

    I had the same experience, phone calls and an e-mail a day. I’ll check out Campaign Monitor.

  8. Jordan

    Sorry, I sound like I’m selling mail chimp above…

    I was researching them all lately (JangoMail, Intellicontact, etc.) And I liked Mail Chimp’s pricing structure best for small databases. I think it’s 3 cents each address, and has all kinds of customizeable options.

  9. Sean

    I’ve used Campaign Monitor for roughly a year and a half now and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Great reporting, service and the interface is extremely easy-to-use. Try it out.

  10. Rustem

    :) PG Email Newsletter software is an effective solution for online business with easy installation & use, free tech support and free trial. We did all the programming for you, you need only to install and use all your talent.

  11. Rick

    We will never use Constant Contact because they spam. Their anti-spam policy is a joke. We NEVER opt in to e-mail lists, and yet we receive UCE from CC customers. Today is the fourth time we’ve used their unsubscribe link, reported abuse to their abuse address, and complained to their customer as well. It doesn’t stop. We get an apology, and then eventually more spam. I’m here because I’m finally on the warpath and looking for info on how to get them to stop spamming us. Anyone have any ideas?

    Mark Reply:

    Hi Rick,
    Constant Contact can permanently remove you from future mailings. They have a global block entry. if you give them a call they can permanently remove you from all CTCT mail.

  12. Michael

    The most effective way to ensure you never get any email from Constant Contact again, is to block the following 2 envelope sender (MAIL FROM) domains:
    @in.constantcontact.com
    @in.confirmedcc.com
    This needs to be done on your SMTP server(s).
    It won’t stop them from attempting to send email to you – they will still keep trying – but you won’t get them.

  13. Gerard

    NOTE FROM SITE OWNER: The following comment appears to have been sent from a Constant Contact employee, pretending to be a customer. See this page for details.

    I send out an email 4 times a month through Constant Contact and it’s much more cost effective then Campaign Monitor! They even have free live tech support…most other email marketing companies don’t! I love Constant Contact!

  14. AJ Mulvey

    NOTE FROM SITE OWNER: The following comment appears to have been sent from a Constant Contact employee, pretending to be a customer. See this page for details.

    I use Constant Contact and love it. Email marketing is all about getting your emails into the inbox… there may be some attractive pricing/feature options out there from other Email Service Providers but I trust Constant Contact to get my emails into the inbox.

  15. stacy

    NOTE FROM SITE OWNER: The following comment appears to have been sent from a Constant Contact employee, pretending to be a customer. See this page for details.

    I love Constant Contact! Their product is easy to use and always produces a great looking e-mail. Plus, their support is so friendly and helpful, I’m never left wondering “if I could do this…” or “how did he do that?” CC is THE best!

  16. erin

    I’m commenting because I saw today’s post from Common Craft.

    I’m a ConstantContact customer–been a paying customer for two years–and it’s not the level of emails that drive me nuts–it’s the number of PHONE CALLS. It’s insane. You don’t opt in, and there’s no place on the website to opt out. In fact, I’m surprised more folks haven’t blogged about this. We’re spending $20/mo ($480/year) to be telemarketed by ConstantContact. If I found an html email solution that was comparably priced, I would move in a heartbeat.

    That ConstantContact has apparently decided to try to spin complaints about this contact policy REALLY reflects badly on ConstantContact.

    People trust personal information like their phone number with ConstantContact, with no indication of how many times you’ll get an unsolicited call from a “Customer Service Agent” basically looking to sell you a higher-paying package. And it’s A LOT of calls. For a company that puts so much into “privacy” and making sure that you’re not using their service to spam other people, they sure have a lax customer contact policy themselves.

    It’s too bad, too. ConstantContact has some reasonably decent materials about email marketing. They have a decent service. Their customer contact policy is a huge ding in otherwise decent experience.

    Bad form, ConstantContact. Get someone from executive customer service or your PR arm to answer these blogs, as they raise legitimate concerns that reflect poorly on your company.

  17. Paul

    I for one am happy with Constant Contact (been a member for one year). We currently have nearly 2,000 members on our list and have never been contacted in regards to spam or otherwise.

  18. Sarah

    I like Constant contact, as it is economical compared to the other services mentioned. We send about 5-8 emails a month to our subscribers (100% OPT IN), between 40,000 to 50,000 emails a month. For businesses with a more limited mailing list and less frequent communication with clients, the other programs may be more cost effective.

    My one complaint is actually about the SPAM Policy. Members of our mailing list complete a long questionnaire and are advised at every opportunity that removal requests are honored immediately. Yet consistantly people who sign up either forget or are plain inconsiderate, and rather than asking to be removed (unsubscribe) report SPAM.

    SPAMMERS and FAKE SPAM REPORTERS both engage in damaging practices, and it would be helpful if Constant Contact not only protect the mail recievers from SPAM but also their clients from fake complaints.

    That is it. Constant Contact has done the job for us so far. The advanced Editor is easy to use, the delivery of emails timely, and the reporting sufficient.

    Thanks.
    Sarah

  19. SF94120

    The CC service is good except for their spam policy. All it takes is 1 spam report (no matter how many emails went out) and they call you up. They view most of their customers as would-be spammers. They are high maintainece because of all the times you have to call them and convince them you are not a spammer. And they do not even consider that the spam report can be 1)malicious in its own right 2)from some sicko that has nothing else better to do. CC is adverserial to its own customers!

  20. Jessica

    Constant Contact has NOT provided our company with good service. Everytime I place a call to their support line I can expect to be on the phone for a solid 30 – 60 minutes depending how long I am put on hold for.

    We have NOT gotten the service we had hoped for, and although they are a low cost provider it is not worth it for the complications we have encountered. We are currently terminating our services.

    HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE

  21. Joe

    If you have ever dealt with some of the CC management, you would understand why the complaints here are being posted.

  22. Burton

    Constant Contact had an amazingly successful IPO on NASDAQ yesterday… the third most successful initial public offering of any tech company YTD, brightening the IPO prospects of many other tech ventures. The analysts like CTCT’s story and business model. The increased scrutiny of being a public company may address some concerns stated here but you have to admire a company that increases their capitization to $800 Million in a single day.

  23. Beatrice

    I want to comment on Constant Contact from the “other side.” I subscribed to two email updates that I want to get. The problem with Constant Contact is the random number “from” address they use. These newsletters always get caught in my spam filter. I contacted one of the senders and they sent me a list (from CC) of about 10 addresses to manually add to my “allowed” list. I’m not gonna do that… I’ve just gotten a newsletter from another list I subscribed to that was sent through CC (and filtered by my spam filter). So, I would say that if you really do want to get your email into inboxes CC is NOT the way to go. I get a notification, but don’t usually bother “allowing” these lists anymore since every time they send a new email it has a new address and gets flagged as spam.

  24. bob_p

    I been using them (constant contact) for about 6 months now, overall I am happy with their service.
    They have a very simple control panel to create an email and they have bunch of pre design template, I don’t use any of their templates so I can’t comment on that, they have an advance editor which I use and it is about 95% customized able that works grate for me.
    I don’t know about their pricing compare to other companies they are the only one that I ever used, the effect that they have on our business was great, before all of our sales people had to email to their own customers which was a nightmare now I can setup an email and send to more than 2000 people and I can track if it bounces, been reported as spam, opt-outs opened, clicked and forwarded. The only thing I don’t like about them is they only have one Admin per account and there is no sub account, so if we want to delete anybody I have to do it personally, same thing about uploading new contacts (individually is not a problem but uploading the list should be done Admin only)
    They did called me during the free trial period and send me few emails (even after that I switch to paying plan)
    I usually have to email about 20 pictures with each email that I am sending, with constant contact you get only 5 images that you can upload to their server and use it with your emails, if you want to have more images you have to pay for it (you have to upgrade your account to premium image hosting account) so I end up sending the emails with the link to pictures on our own site.
    Anyhow overall I am happy with their service, if you are emailing to more than 500 people their price seems fine but less than that I think they are a little over priced.

  25. Gavin Cole

    Hi there, I’ve used Constant Contact, and Get Response before for several clients. GR is very overcomplicated, but the UI is getting better, I thought CC was very good so I’m absolutely delighted to have stumbled upon this post here and read up on the Campaign Monitor’s pricing structure. Many thanks :)

  26. Jen

    I wish I had read this before I signed up. They are bugging the crap out of me. I just emailed them and sent a support ticket to stop with the calls and emails.. what a waste of my time.

  27. PA Walker

    Thank you for this blog! I’m glad I didn’t make the mistake that Jen and others have made:-) Campaign Monitor appears the way to go for my limited usage!

  28. Herman

    Oh, I doubt Constant Contact cares too much about who sends what through them these days. I don’t opt-in to anything and yet I’ve received a lot of unwanted mail sent through them.

    I unsubscribed for a few and even complained, but it didn’t stop the junk. I find it ironic that so many people that I never asked for mail from managed to use CC in such a short period of time.

    It smells like spam, but you can easily block their IP ranges.. :-D

  29. Tyler

    @Herman –

    Disclaimer: I am a Constant Contact employee, but my I don’t speak for my employer etc etc. (I hope I’m allowed to post here, given the previous scandal!)

    I can absolutely tell you that we care a LOT about what our customers are sending out, and to who. There is absolutely no upside and a HUGE downside when people try to use our service to send spam. We do not tolerate spammers using our service.

    If you are having issues receiving spam sent through our service, contact abuse@constantcontact.com. We definitely want to hear from you.

  30. Annoyed

    It appears that Constant Contact is up to their dirty marketing tricks again, however now they’ve taken it to a whole new level. They are now TELEPHONE SPAMMING people! The Constant Contact phone calls are quite annoying.

    A little while ago I signed up for a “free” tutorial webinar they offer, which required me to enter my phone number. Since then, they have telephone spammed me three times. The first call was a hang up when they got my voicemail, and on the subsequent calls the guy leaves a voicemail.

    In each message he says he just wants to follow up with me regarding the webinar I attended (which is really just a cover-up excuse to call me to promote their service and possibly get me to subscribe.)

    In the voicemail the man also says he doesn’t know whether or not I’m currently a member or trial member or not, but that if I’m not, I should sign up for their trial.

    This kind of crap is so annoying and such a waste of my time to even listen to the voicemails. I used to respect this company and even recommend them to my clients, but with this kind of skeezy marketing/sales tactics, I will likely go back to recommending Aweber instead.

    I’m sure someone from Constant Contact will respond and say “well, you can always contact us and request to have your phone number removed, or put on your do not call list.” Well, that’s also unacceptable. I shouldn’t HAVE to contact them and ask them not to telephone spam me; they shouldn’t be doing it to me in the first place.

    I know legally they are allowed to because I gave them my phone number and I’m sure in their “terms and conditions/agreement/fine print” it said they are allowed to call me. That’s not the point; just because it’s legal, doesn’t mean it’s ethical.

    They really need to stop this type of unethical marketing. Not only does it make them look desperate and sketchy, it builds ill will with potential customers.

    I was seriously considering subscribing to their service before this (that’s why I joined their free tutorial webinar,) but now I’m not so sure. It’s not that the product/service they provide is bad, it’s just that I’m not sure I want to do business with, or support a company that engages in this kind of marketing methods. And just because others are doing it, also doesn’t make it right.

  31. RW

    I’ve been sent numerous newsletters from different companies offering different services through Constant Contacts. They certainly do very little to no filtering in the recipients for their clients and for this reason I consider Constant Contacts a spammer.

    I’m so annoyed.

  32. F.U., Constant Constipation!

    I have just received my first ever spam from Constant Contacts. It tells me I’m a member of eGullet Society, which is a huge WTF moment for me. I went to eGullet and try to type in my username and my usual password, password didn’t take. So I knew that was BS.

    I’m in the process of reporting to Yahoo hoping they would take action. (Wishful thinking!)

    Thanks, all you Constant Contacts users for supporting a spam oriented company. Your friends and family should be so proud of you.

  33. fuck off assholes

    constantcontact.com are fucking spammers and all you fuckheads should be shot dead for using them, they force you to retype your email to fucking unsubscribe when it’s fucking obvious then when you press the unfucking subscrIbe link YOU WANT TO BE UNFUCKING SUBSCRIBED U FUCKING F@GGITS. STOP HARASSING CITIZENS.

  34. Kirstie Mashni

    Intending start up a enterprise about the web involves revealing marketing plus items not only to women locally, but somehow to several buyers who are web-based as a rule. e-learning

Comments are closed.