Update to this post 11/4/11:
Since I published this post I have been getting voicemail spam from Constant Contact. And apparently whenever you sign up for one of their “workshops” on social media, that is what you get.
One person writes,
Here’s the post where I said that I didn’t like being sold to.
You know what I hate?
Sales pitches disguised as workshops. It’s sneaky. It’s slimy. You’ve paid good money to be at an event, and now you’re getting a sales pitch instead of information you can use.
Seriously. Giving people useful info is important. They are sitting there, waiting for your wisdom.
And then you do a sales pitch.
Well, so far, ConstantContact is 0 for 2 with the whole “sales pitch disguised as a workshop” thing. I went to an internship fair and the rep was allowed to PITCH to us for a whole hour beforehand. It really sucked. I was SO BORED.
And she talked down to us like we were stupid, like we had no idea about social media, and we should just give it to the interns, which is wrong.
You should not hand your social media policy to an intern. They gave us WRONG information on TOP of the sales pitch!
And then I went to a conference in Philly and AGAIN Constant Contact was there with a purported workshop about social media, but ACTUALLY it was about how you should use their newsletter software. Plus, the presenter was really a jerk.
Several years ago, I used Constant Contact at a nonprofit and it was a real pain. It messed up our emails. They looked ok on our screens, but when we sent them to donors they looked terrible. I always recommend that people not use it, but now I’m REALLY going to encourage them to go with someone else.
For example, Aweber. Now I use Aweber and I like it a lot. Aweber ROCKS! It’s cheaper, it’s easier to use, your emails actually look like you WANT them to look, and it’s easy to make a widget to get people to sign up for your newsletter without ANY programming background at all. And I get a 40% open rate, which is SO MUCH BETTER than the industry standard! They have the best deliverability rates. That means that they are hardly ever marked as spam.
What are your thoughts? Have you been burned by ConstantContact too? Do you love Aweber? What’s another email software that you like?
I would recommend you get your social media training from someone who DOESN’T have an agenda, someone who is NOT trying to sell you something. Aweber is so fun. If you have to think about your nonprofit’s bottom line, use Aweber.