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I think one reason CC thinks the feature was underutilized is that... people don’t utilize it enough. They just go ahead and forward. But that’s something to deal with through better UI design, not be dropping it.
By not including the forward to friend feature, and by not providing a different tracking method, CC totally underestimated the power of word-of-mouth and direct recommendation, which are the most valuable marketing available to any company or service.
I think this is probably true, and you can see why a person might be reluctant to forward when they have to bring in the address(es) of people they want to forward it to individually, enter them in separate fields that may or may not be the way they can easily copy/paste from their email client, etc.
On the other hand, at least one of the other ESPs (and I suspect more than one) who continue to offer this feature, only send a LINK to the online version of the email rather than forwarding the ACTUAL email. This is why the way Constant Contact was doing it in the 2nd gen editor was better than some of the others. I sincerely hope that if they DO bring this feature back they do it the way it was before, where the ACTUAL email is forwarded.