Congratulations on your position, and to CC on finally taking the issues in this thread, and reporting and analytics, seriously.
Like many of your other customers in this thread I have been with CC some years now.
One of the chief reasons to stick is to develop a database of my customers' behavior. The reasons are many, and important. Here are just two:
One, it would be really nice to be able to reward my loyal readers, don't you think?
IF I could find them, without tedious work,and IF I could go back more than just 90 days?!! (length of opens stored).
Second, it would be VERY nice if I could find out whether the people who are dropping(unsubscribing) are newbies to the list, oldtimers, in between, or what. (what's their reason/disappointment? Yes, I can survey, and no, they don't respond in any numbers that would allow meaningful analysis.
At present, when a subscriber "unsubscribes" the unsubscribe date OVERWRITES the date that subscriber was added. THE DATA IS LOST! FOREVER!!
So even if I export the data to Excel, I see...NOTHING but the date the subscriver left!
This is crazy! What's the point of having a db if, by design, it deletes some of the most elemental data beyond the contact info? I Don't mean to go on, but this has been driving me nuts for years now.
Is this anywhere on CC's radar as a "must fix"?
These two are such basic metrics I am astounded CC ignores them. Perhaps in those days delivery was all that mattered.
Let me tell you, it's a different world today. Please let me know if and when CC will conclusively satisfy these needs.
This is the exact kind of information I am looking for. :smileyhappy: In the years I have spent with small businesses I have learned to value your time above all else and if I am going to deliver information then I want it to lead to an action that creates more business for you or saves you time.
I can say that your 1st ask for the history of a customer's interaction beyond 90 days is due around the same time as the did not opens report. Again this is all due to how we store and retrieve information which is being greatly improved. As for your 2nd ask I will look into it and see what is happening.
Please keep the suggestions coming and the more details about how you are using the information the better!
AS to how I would use the information, for the first issue, opens over 90 days, by cross referencing the report data with my sales data, I could find new readers who are buying, long time readers who are buying, regular readers who aren't buying anything, and so on. I could then address offers specifically to these different groups, and hopefully be better able to serve them.
Also, I think, depending on the format of the reports, I could find people who have been on my list for some time and sort them by frequency of opening, and address those groups specifically, and more gently and less intrusively than a "please resubscribe" request.
As to the second matter, I could start to answer a question that is really bugging me. While my unsubscribe rate has really climbed over the last two years, I can't tell where in my demo I'm losing them. Is it when they first subscribe, or after some time? If after some time, how long? For instance, knowing this data, if I found that the average drop out was at six months, I could start special efforts to re-enthuse these folks before they drop out.
It seems the technical solution would be as simple as having a separate date field for "unsubscribe". Naturally, that would increase the size of your database, but storage is awfully cheap, and the value to your long term customers would be substantial.
Thanks for your interest in these questions.
I understand and am very sorry for your frustration, Sam. But the best I can do for you and all our customers is to be honest in the date when we will have this feature. There is also a workaround in place that I am more than willing to improve on if you have any suggestions. If this solution is not acceptable to you and you would prefer to take your business elsewhere then I understand.
Constant Contact's commitment to understanding the needs of small businesses and nonprofits and delivering products that lead to their success was the most important deciding factor in my choice to come work here. In the three months since I have started, I have been reassured each day of everyone's commitment to this mission – from the brilliant engineers I work with to the empathetic sales and support staff that I overhear each day delivering an outstanding experience to everyone that contacts us.
I recognize that we have fallen short on some of the features of the products, and we are working hard to improve those. However, I am certain that when you evaluate the entire package of what we offer compared to others, I am certain that you could not have a better partner than Constant Contact who is dedicated to making you successful.
I will get off my soapbox now.. thank you for listening (err... reading). :smileyhappy:
Well, I had similar questions about tracking open e-mails (my list is just over 5,000) and have now read all the posts on this thread. I am very encouraged by the reasonable answers recently post by Jonathan. I have over 35 years experience in IT and his responses sound like they come from a true professional (I cannot say the same for the prior posts from other CC staff in this thread... they sounded like 'B' team responses to me... good but not great!). Good luck Jonathan... I look forward to your improvements in 2012... BTW, can you also fix the KLUDGY editing features for e-mail marketing, it's a PITA.
So, until improvements are made, here's my take on managing e-mail lists:
1. Do not trust the 'open' statistics... they are not accurate and can only be used as a relative guide to your previous mailings.
2. Do not believe the 'Bounce' statistics... I do not think they are 100% based upon limited testing on my part... Jonathan, I would appreciate your comments on this item.
3. Trust your customers to delete themselves from the lists until the above two items get addressed.
4. In terms of cost: That is dependent upon the individual business model and their expectations. For my business (a restaurant), a penny or two for a monthly mailing is a very good deal... sure beats snail mail... and I have no plans to change vendors given that all services are not fully mature from a technical viewpoint and Jonathan's posts give me hope that CC might now have a solid technical leader with common business sense.
So, that's my 2 cents.
Just as a follow-up: I had 461 bounced-mails (out of over 5,000) on my last mailing that were listed as 'non-existent addresses'. Since I did not believe that all 461 were 'non-existent', I downloaded those addresses and sent them out via my business e-mail account and asked them to reply or I'd take them off my list. Well, I got quick returns from 7 people requesting that they stay on my list. I know that this thread is primarily about tracking people that never open emails (and to that I say 'Good Luck')... but I think it is a much more serious issue when you cannot depend upon the system identifying 'non-existent' addresses!!! Sure 7 people out of 461 is a low percentage... but it really should be ZERO for this category! Jonathon, any comment?
I have been CC Customer since 1999! I recently closed my account because CC refuses to give us an easy to use tool to remove subscribers that never open our Newsletters?
I had a credit of $187 in my account! CC refused to credit me that $187! But I asked them to close my account anyway....that was about two weeks ago?
However? Recently things have changed for me! I do battle with HOAs (Homeowner Associations) since 2003. Check out our "Doorway" Page at http://www.hoa1234.com
I am here today to beg CC to let me have my Old Account back please? Including the $187 credit?
I know very well that iContact and the rest are not nearly as 'Robust' as CC is !
And I am hopeful that www.HOA1234.com will generate some Donations so that I can better afford CONSTANT CONTACT!
Thanking CC in advance!
Hi Sam -
The best way to reactivate in your case is to call our billing dept. Call the regular support # (866) 289-2101and press 3 for billing. They can reactivate you and assign the credit to your account. I hope you were told when you cancelled, this money is held for you and yes, you can assign it to the reactivated account.
EDIT: I reactivated it through chatting with the billing team - I don't typically manage support issues myself, but my team walked me through this one, so you are all set to get mailing...