I am a huge fan of Constant Contact as it is so easy to send emails to your database. They are very proud of their deliverability records and this is because they are very stringent with their terms and conditions. If you don’t abide by their terms and conditions then they shut your account down and unless you have a very good explanation you may never get a Constant Contact account again, even signing up with a different email address.
So what are the terms and conditions that you could fall foul of?
Here’s what I’ve discovered:
1. Uploading bad contacts
You have to be really diligent in checking who you upload. If you upload your whole Outlook address book without checking all the entries, then you are asking for trouble. They must have given you permission to email them. If you get more than 1 in 1000 spam reports then you get banned, so it’s as well to check thoroughly there aren’t any rouges in your list.
You also can’t use emails from a bought list – regardless of what the seller claims, you can’t use distribution mailing lists – i.e. one email address has many recipients – as you don’t have all the recipients specific permission. You also can’t use email addresses that you’ve copied (or scrapped) off whilst web surfing. And definitely don’t upload any suspect or false email addresses. In addition, if you have a list you haven’t contacted in a while (6 month or more), then don’t upload them as there’s bound to be more than 1 who doesn’t remember who you are and will report your email as spam which will result in your account being shut down.
2. MLM Activities
Constant Contact have a very strict policy about what businesses they are prepared to use their services and if your business uses a multi-level markeing (MLM) model and your communications are relating to recruitment, then that’s also a no-no and they’ll shut your account, without redress and refund any money you’ve paid.
So if your business does operate an MLM business model, e.g. Forever Living, what do you do? I’ve set up many Constant Contact accounts for FLP’s with no problem and this is what I’ve discovered what you can and can’t do.
It’s ok to
- promote products you sell
- include links to your online shop
- include links to your own website (providing it doesn’t recruit or sell MLM type business)
- communicate with sales team
- communicate with customers
It’s not ok to
- send recruiting emails
- have links to recruitment websites or webpages in your email campaigns
3. Get Rich Quick Schemes
This is another no-no as far as Constant Contact is concerned. If your business is about selling products that promise quick profits then you will have to find another email provider as Constant Contact reckon that most spam reports come from this industry, so they don’t risk having their servers black-listed by spam filters and simply won’t have you as a customer.
Having said this, the people who answer the phones at Constant Contact are really helpful and want to help you make the most of your account, whether its the compliance department or technical help, I’ve always had a very good experience talking to them both by phone and online chat. What’s even better is they’ve extended their opening hours, so you can start calling them from 12 noon (UK time) whereas before you had to wait until 2pm.