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What's wrong with Constant Contact? It's a Shared Email Marketing system

Dawn Rossi, 02-23-2009
I was helping a new SPI client today, migrate their email campaigns and email database from Constant Contact to the SPI Email Marketing system.

Constant Contact is a great entry-level "Shared Email Marketing" system.

You can get up and running within a few minutes and spend a low $15/month for a list size of up to 500 recipients.

Similar solutions include: JangoMail, AWeber, EmailBrain, ActiveTrail and others. All are "Shared Email Marketing" system.

What is a Shared Email Marketing system?

Much like "Shared Hosting" in the web hosting world, a Shared Email Marketing system is running multiple Email Marketing accounts on a single server, sharing the machine resources and in most cases - sharing the outgoing IP Addresses.

Sharing IP Addresses means once a rogue Email Marketing client sends a campaign to a bad list and gets the IP Address black listed, your email deliverability will immediately suffer and you're not even going to know about it.

Email sending rate limits

Due to the nature of how a Shared Email Marketing system works, the Email Service Providers (ESP), fanatically try to protect their limited outgoing IP addresses reputation, by applying rate limits, list size limits, forced list re-validation and restrictions on list acquisition.

Our client was attempting to send out a small 8,000 campaign to existing customers. All email activity was abruptly suspended in their Constant Contact account, with these two messages:



The benefit of a Dedicated Email Marketing System

A dedicated Email Marketing system, like SPI Email Marketing, provisions a dedicated server, dedicated set of IP addresses, unique email domain, reverse DNS lookups, DomainKeys and optional whitelisting, per every single client account.

The end result is greatly improved delivery rates and more freedom to apply your own philosophy when it comes to marketing to your customer base (As long as you're not spamming).

If you are no longer using shared hosting for your website, it's time to consider dedicated service for your Email Campaigns as well.

neuro, 06-23-2009
I came across your article unexpectedly, i have been researching different solutions to my email marketing problem. Im very familiar with how many ISP and doing a reverse DNS lookup on the sender and checking to see if the IP matches against there email address. I decided to research a little further to see if i could find other articles or uses having the same issues like you discussed in your article unfortunately im not finding much. Your article makes allot of sense, if you can direct me to some other articles that would be great.

Adrian Singer, 07-21-2009

We'd love to help. I sent you a private message with my contact information.

Steve Klinghoffer, 08-31-2012
There are a lot of things right and wrong with Constant Contact. We work with a number of professional practices that are very pleased with how effective it can be for marketing. The big problem is the recurring story I hear from their customers who opened an account, took several months to send out their first newsletter and then were shut down because they scraped their emails. Most folks just don't realize that it takes a certain expertise to publish a newsletter even through Constant Contact. I suspect that their advertising is too successful and folks think it is easy!

Marian Vlad, 01-17-2013
I think for start-ups it is best to rely on a marketing agency that has their own custom platform and have a long sparkling history with deliverability. Once your budget gets a bit bigger either get a dedicated server with a marketing agency, or get your own marketing ppl and a server and a proven platform. Or do like I did and build your own if you know what you are doing.
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