Just posting another follow up to chronicle my experience with this steller support team.
A technician did call me the evening of Jan. 6.
Since that day, I have sent him two e-mails providing additional information, and even gave the support team access to the guts of my website to prove that the page from which we copy content does not include a left margin.
There has not be one followup e-mail, phone call, text message or smoke signal since Jan. 6.
The problem continues. I had to correct a text block today that had the phantom margin applied, and another two blocks on Tuesday.
Sunday, my newsletter was reset to draft status two times because of a technical problem on your end.
Today's newsletter was reset to draft status for some unknown reason and it's now 20 minutes late beyond the scheduled time and it's still showing "scheduled."
What is going on with this company? It has CLEARLY lost its way.
I apologize for your frustration. I found a case within your account where a rep did reach out to you last on the 16th. We are currently in the middle of a sending delay that our technicians are working on and I apologize for that as well.
I am currently working on getting someone that can reach out to you. When I hear anything, I will let you know.
I'm so sorry, Greg. I was looking at a different account. I have escalated this and a rep should be reaching out to you this evening.
I did hear back from the tech support team with the same tried and true playbook answer. The best thing to do is to copy all my text, strip out every code, then paste it into the block and reformat it.
That's geek code for "we don't know what the heck is going on, but we do have a workaround for you."
In otherwords, strip out every link and every image to every story in every newsletter. Then, go to the trouble of re-establishing links to every headline, highlighting and resizing the headline, highlighting and resizing the body text, uploading and resizing every image, inserting the image into the text block and repositioning it.
Most newsletters have between 20 and 50 stories, so it should only add about 30 to 90 minutes to our process of building a daily newsletter.
Through all of this, nobody at Constant Contact, including the 8th graders working in tech support during study hall, has been able to explain this extremely simple concept:
REGARDLESS OF HOW THE CODE GETS IN THERE, IF IT SHOWS A LEFT MARGIN OF 34 PIXELS IS EMBEDDED IN THE CODE, THEN WHY IN THE NAME OF GOD DOES THE LEFT MARGIN APPEAR PERFECTLY ALIGNED IN THE PREVIEWS AND IN THE TEST MESSAGES WE SEND? SHOULD NOT THE PREVIEW REFLECT AN INDENTED LEFT MARGIN?
As I have said ad nauseum, if there was a way for us to see that the code had somehow been incorporated into the text box before my subscribers receive their newsletter, we can correct those boxes immediately.
But, even with the phantom code in place, the newsletters look perfectly normal on our end before they are sent to customers who receive them completely screwed up.
I surrender. Constant Contact = 1, customer = 0.
As I explained to the "level two" technician, as luck would have it, I returned home the other night to find a postcard from Robly offering a substantial discount for current Constant Contact customers. I have opened an account and will begin testing it this week.
If the problem is duplicated at Robly, I will send the level two technician $50. If not, sayonara. And I will explain to my readers exactly why the switch was made.
Editor, RV Daily Report.
Ttwo weeks ago, I did notice something strange when I was cutting and pasting a series of job announcements into the newsletter because I do that with little chunks of text at a time.
Sometimes, when I would have the text editing box open in Constant Contact, then Alt-Tab to switch screens back to our website, I noticed that part of the content I had pasted before was indented when I Alt-Tab returned to Constant Contact.
That got me to thinking, and I did some testing to see if that's what is causing the problem with phantom margins.
Normally, when I added new content, here are the steps I took:
In the past, I would not necessarily notice an indentation on the blank screen when returning to the text editor, but it is possible to see a very slight change in the cursor position. When I notice it now, and open the text editor, sure enough, the left margin is increased by 30 px or 60 px, depending upon how many times I Alt-Tab between the screens.
I simply go back into the HTML code and delete everything again, and then paste the new content into the box.
So, here are the steps I am following now:
As a result, the problems occur much less frequently. I only had to manually remove the left margins about two times this entire week -- probably because I reverted to the old way of doing it.
Bottom line, if you encounter this problem again, is to ask the user if he is doing an Alt-Tab with a Constant Contact editing box open. Chances are, it's impacting the margin. He will not see the margin problem when he pastes new content into the text box. But, if he looks closely at the HTML code, the margin was increased.
I still think that if the HTML code contains an indented margin, the indented content should display that way in the draft of the newsletter, and certainly in a test message. That appears to be a Constant Contact display issue.
But, if contacts complain of a weird looking margin in the messages they receive, it is likely because the person who created the mailing had used Alt-Tab to switch between screens with a text editor open in Constant Contact.
One of my larger clients sends almost 80% of his email to OutLook users. I've become quite aware of this issue.
The CC editor is one nasty beast ( no other way to describe it). It adds DIVS, spaces and Paragraphs where they don't belong.
A lot of it has to do with the way the email is created. If you are cutting and pasting from an original source like Word that can be the main problem.
Removing all formatting can help, but what I have found to be that best way to combat any problems is to send all my previews to OutLook ( I had to buy a copy for my PC) and test it there before sending it out.
Most times I have to go into the CC code itself and remove "stuff" that doesn't belong or doesn't appear in the WYSIWYG editor they use.
It can be a nightmare even for a professional. What should take 20 minutes sometimes takes 40.
If you would like some help or training on how to do this, drop me a line. I know how frustrating and time consuming this can be.
CTCT Solution Provider and SMS Marketing Specialist
Constant Contact All Star 2009-2010-2011-2012
I am sorry to hear about your frustration. Email display issues can be challenging. This is because every email client render codes different. With Outlook for example, there are some issues that are incorrectable in coding and are caused due to outlook 2007+ using MS Word to render html.
One of the most common issues with Outlook, is the page breaks (gaps). The only option we really have is to add space (by hitting enter) in the blocks above it to attempt to narrow the gap and make it and the spacing look natural. In some cases this can move the gap however it won't always work.
Anyhow, there are a few practices that can do to prevent these issues from happening:
Additionally, you can always contact our Support Specialists:
I am viewing the preview email on Outlook and there are white spaces being added between the logo and the rest of the email, as well as at the bottom of the page.
When I click the link to view it in the browser, everything is fine so I can't figure out where the white spaces are coming from.