icontact vs. email aces

23 replies
Hey all I'm trying to decide between email aces and icontact. Email aces has all the features (tracking, scheduling, etc.) that I want so does icontact from the look of it. But, does icontact take paypal, cc, or do they accept barter? I've got a real nice cow and I'll throw the sheep in for free. Any overall thoughts on icontact/aces? Thanks guys. I only want to do this once as it looks like switching would be a pain. I must admit I do like email aces price structure as opposed to icontact...but I know it is more than that....
#aces #email #icontact
  • Profile picture of the author ezinesRus
    I've been publishing my ezine for several years now using emailaces. What initially drew me to emailaces is the ease of use and speed of publication. I find it's simple, yet provides great features. It's very user-friendly! I plan on sticking with them for many years to come. Hope that helps a little?!
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  • Profile picture of the author cypherslock
    Thanks Rus! What is your delivery rate? everyone either swears by aweber (complex imho) or getresponse, and I'm sure those services are great but I just didn't like the pricing structure and the fact that neither of them take paypal. Though I must confess that the interfact on email aces needs a bit of an overhaul. Too much text. but yes I did a test message and deliver was quite fast. I've added you to my contacts and friends list. I figure if I have a question, I'll ask you first then go to support (they are not the most ah, verbose it seems). What is your ezine?

    Cypher
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRealDomainer
    Email aces is great and delivery is fine. Best of all it uses paypal and cc. Highly recommended. I give them passmark from my experience.
    It has a cheap budget
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  • Profile picture of the author ezinesRus
    Hi Cypher,

    The delivery rate is pretty good, no different from any other list management. I was also a long time user of Aweber years ago. It used to bother me that the bounced emails were moved to an undeliverable folder, which I find is a little too quickly done - but, with emailaces, you have the choice to move them back to active status if you want. Sure, you can get bogus subscribers that bounce fast and those are typically not ones you want clogging up your list anyway. They can come in via our dear friend - spam.

    My ezine is News from Jules at newsfromjules.com and I also have Ezines-R-Us Directory & Ad Placement Services at ezines-r-us.com which is run by my partner Eva and myself. And, we have numerous other websites - all in the internet advertising niche.

    Anyway, I have to get ready for work! Thank you for adding me as a friend and keep in touch! Good luck with your a/r choice!

    Regards,
    Jules
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  • Profile picture of the author cypherslock
    I get a completely different web page? a property management/cleanup company, when I type or paste the address you gave me into my address bar. I've pm'd you this as well, you might want to take a look....
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    • Profile picture of the author NauticalUrge
      Hey CypherSlock,

      I wanted to respond back and answer some of the questions you might have about iContact and its products.

      Unfortunately, we also do not currently accept Paypal, but we do accept credit cards, debit cards, and mail-in checks.

      In regards to iContact's service, we have one of the industry's top rated Deliverabilty Departments, who work closely with all of the major ISPs, to ensure dependable and reliable deliverability rates. iContact boasts an email deliverability rating of 99.9%, as indicated by Independent Research firms.

      If you want to test out our interface to see if it is the right fit for your email campaigns, check out our 15 Day free trial!



      Sincerely,

      James Wong
      Online Communication Manager
      iContact Corporation
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      • Profile picture of the author NauticalUrge
        I'd also like to mention that regardless of whom you choose as your Email Service Provider, there are a few strategies that you should consider deploying in support of your eMarketing Campaign.

        The following are just a few of the strategies that iContact can assist your organization with. This is an excerpt from a post that I personally wrote in the iContact User's Group Discussion on LinkedIn:

        "I would like to start out by saying that every business is different, and marketing strategies will differ greatly depending on industry, niche, geographical location, economics, and client demographics for that region. What may work for one organization, may not be as successful for another.

        In regards to online marketing, some of the above considerations will still apply, while others can be negated, like geography and regional demographics.

        iContact provides organizations with the invaluable ability to reach out to globally diverse markets of potential clients using both direct and indirect methods to attract and convert these leads. The following are just a few tools that are available to all iContact clients, and are fully inclusive in our pricing, irregardless of which plan you select.

        Digital Word of Mouth Marketing:
        Every email campaign distributed via iContact, allows for the automatic placement of a Forward-to-a-Friend (F2F) link at the bottom of the email. This allows your contacts to forward your content to other potential clients, and even allows those clients the ability to subscribe to your list.


        Global Exposure to Diverse Markets:
        Utilizing our iContact Community, allows iContact Publishers to quickly and easily publish online archived versions of their content. This content is organized into content categories within the iContact Community, and is further organized into Publisher Profiles for each Organization. With hundreds of thousands of hits to the Community each month, we provide Publishers with the ability to capture Community visitors via sign-up forms available in each Publisher Profile.


        Social Bookmarking:
        Utilizing the iContact Community as an integrated part of your email campaigns allows for your email content recipients to bookmark your emails via a variety of social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit, Delicious, and more. This function actually bookmarks the iContact Community version of your content, and allows for social bookmarking to drive massive amounts of viewers to your content (and iContact Community Publisher Profile), thus increasing your chances of sign-up conversions.


        Google Page Ranking (including other Search Engines):

        Due to the consistently high volume of traffic to the iContact Community, it boasts an impressively high Google Page Rank. Having external links from your content to your organization's website, increases the number of heavily weighted links to your website. This in turn allows for a much better potential to have your organization's website show higher is search engine results, as each piece of content within the Community is another "vote" for your website.


        Utilizing a Website Sign-up Form:
        One of the most important aspects of permission-based email marketing is having an easy to find sign-up form on your website, which can convert site visitors into opt-in subscribers. Remember to clearly state the intention of the sign-up form, and make the sign-up form simple enough for visitors of any attention span. The iContact application provides a simple to use sign-up form wizard that will walk you step-by-step through the creation process.


        So, I hope this helps to shed a little light on just a few of the various ways of how you can utilize iContact's services to assist your organization in terms of online marketing strategy, and for driving targeted traffic to your various iContact permission-based opt-in sign-up forms."
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      • Profile picture of the author jacktackett
        Welcome aboard James!

        I'm finally glad to see someone from iContact online. You'll find this a great group of passionate folks.

        best,
        --Jack


        Originally Posted by NauticalUrge View Post

        Hey CypherSlock,

        I wanted to respond back and answer some of the questions you might have about iContact and its products.

        Unfortunately, we also do not currently accept Paypal, but we do accept credit cards, debit cards, and mail-in checks.

        In regards to iContact's service, we have one of the industry's top rated Deliverabilty Departments, who work closely with all of the major ISPs, to ensure dependable and reliable deliverability rates. iContact boasts an email deliverability rating of 99.9%, as indicated by Independent Research firms.

        If you want to test out our interface to see if it is the right fit for your email campaigns, check out our 15 Day free trial!



        Sincerely,

        James Wong
        Online Communication Manager
        iContact Corporation
        Signature
        Let's get Tim the kidney he needs!HELP Tim
        Mega Monster WSO for KimW http://ow.ly/4JdHm


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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by NauticalUrge View Post

        Hey CypherSlock,

        I wanted to respond back and answer some of the questions you might have about iContact and its products.

        Unfortunately, we also do not currently accept Paypal, but we do accept credit cards, debit cards, and mail-in checks.

        In regards to iContact's service, we have one of the industry's top rated Deliverabilty Departments, who work closely with all of the major ISPs, to ensure dependable and reliable deliverability rates. iContact boasts an email deliverability rating of 99.9%, as indicated by Independent Research firms.

        If you want to test out our interface to see if it is the right fit for your email campaigns, check out our 15 Day free trial!



        Sincerely,

        James Wong
        Online Communication Manager
        iContact Corporation

        Actually, iContact sucks big time. Here's my experience with them.

        http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ust-crazy.html

        Admittedly, I suck at email marketing and only recently started building a list. I don't like email marketing, but thought I'd give it a go.

        My first attempt was laughable. I used Bravenet free autoresponder and the very first email I sent had a link to a catch cheating spouse site I had a long time ago in it. Don't know how or why that happened, but it did and I had to send another message to try to explain that. Most of my customers just laughed.

        So I switched to iContact for my autoresponder/email service. My list is built purely from a web form and it's only purpose is to send my customers and prospects notification that I have released a new website for sale. They have all double opted-in to receive these notifications and I may send out two messages per month, or occasionally three. I do not send affiliate offers to my list. As I said, it's just for notification to my customers about my own product ... blogs for sale.

        Yesterday I released a new blog and went to iContact and typed out my message. I had some great news to tell them about the autoblogged plugin I deliver with the sites and some news about extending my sale (from my previous email) and news about a new site I just released. That's it. All good news to my customers. I saved the message and clicked send.

        A couple of minutes later, I get a message saying iContact has rejected my email. I go to iContact and see that they have disabled sending until I contact the "deliverability" department by phone. They have an after hours chat thing so I initiate a chat and give this guy my support number. He looks it up and says the email I sent seems unsolicited. Seems unsolicited? These people have double opted in to receive my messages. How can that be unsolicited, I ask? He then says the email seems "Introductory". I said WTF does that mean ... seems introductory. I have no clue what he was talking about.

        So today I contact iContact to cancel the account. You can only cancel by calling. He says, I see you have a deliverability issue. I say ... the only deliverability issue I have is that you failed to deliver my message. He wants to transfer me to the "deliverability" people. I say no ... just cancel the account, please. Finally he does.

        Anyone else get their emails rejected by their autoresponder company, or is it just me?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    Here's my real-life experience with iContact.
    • We paid 12 months in advance for the 5,000 subscriber feature. ($507.60)
    • We imported a list of around 4,000 customers. These are 4,000 customers that filled out a piece of paper, wrote their home address, email address and happily signed off on receiving emails from us. Nothing shady here...we made it clear as day. (I personally don't think it gets better than original, signed paper forms)
    • We sent out a newsletter in month 1. No problems.
    • We sent out a newsletter in month 2. iContact freezes our account. Apparently, too many people hit the 'spam' button on AOL. We changed the subject that month and I suspect this sparked the 'spam' clicking.
    • I call and get zero help. My only option is to email their abuse department. So I respond to the 'freeze' email and find out iContact wants us to double-optin the entire AOL portion of our list (around 33%). I explain we have signed, written consent forms that we can forward as PDF's for anyone that complains.
    • iContact refuses to nudge. Refuses to help (abuse emails were lacking any empathy). And more importantly...
    • iContact refuses to refund the remaining 10 months.
    At this point, they could have been making a healthy $74/mth from us (our list increases by 100-200 weekly).

    Instead, we built our own email delivery system using Campaign Enterprise. I will never deal with iContact again. I understand spam complaints suck. I understand their relationship with their ISP is important. But the lack of understanding combined with their greed in keeping the remaining months is a no-brainer. Steer clear.

    With iContact, you're guilty until proven innocent. Except you never get the chance to prove innocence.

    PS. It was the subject line. Deliverability rocks, unsubscribes are rare and we've established a solid relationship with AOL, Yahoo and MSN using proper DomainKey and SPF records. Good stuff!
    Signature

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    • Profile picture of the author NauticalUrge
      RE: BlueSquares

      I apologize if you did not receive the service you expected from our Support and/or Deliverability Departments. I don't personally work in either one of those departments, but I do know that Deliverability works within the accepted requirements required by specific ISPs.

      You stated that it was AOL that reported excessive complaints from one of your messages, and therefore, per the agreement that AOL enforces upon Email Service providers, such as iContact, the Deliverability Department sent you an email with instructions on how to re-opt-in only your AOL contacts. This seems to be a standard practice, which AOL requires of ESPs.

      As far as the refund of the remaining 10-months, the Billing Department would have had the final call on that issue. Though, had the AOL contacts been re-opted-in, the "freeze" would have been lifted, and you could've continued on with your subscription.

      Unfortunately, your experiences don't seem to fit with the worldclass service that we strive to provide to each and every single one of our clients, and I sincerely hope that you don't think negatively about every representative of our organization.

      Again, I apologize for any inconvienence which you may have incurred, and I sincerely hope that if you have any future issues, to feel free to contact me about them.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
        It's not that I didn't receive service. It's that I didn't receive any form of flexibility. The Deliverability dept assumed an immobile stance that pretty much left us with zero options. Trust me, I tried...iContact didn't care. Hell, we weren't even sending out shady emails. We were sending out health alerts to patients! lol...

        As for the money, it should have been refunded. I put forward the trust in iContact by paying a year in advance...they should have reciprocated. That's a no-brainer. I hope the money iContact kept helps pay for the damage control you're attempting to exercise a year later.

        Very poor customer support and business practices make iContact a terrible email service provider in my book.


        Originally Posted by NauticalUrge View Post

        RE: BlueSquares

        I apologize if you did not receive the service you expected from our Support and/or Deliverability Departments. I don't personally work in either one of those departments, but I do know that Deliverability works within the accepted requirements required by specific ISPs.

        You stated that it was AOL that reported excessive complaints from one of your messages, and therefore, per the agreement that AOL enforces upon Email Service providers, such as iContact, the Deliverability Department sent you an email with instructions on how to re-opt-in only your AOL contacts. This seems to be a standard practice, which AOL requires of ESPs.

        As far as the refund of the remaining 10-months, the Billing Department would have had the final call on that issue. Though, had the AOL contacts been re-opted-in, the "freeze" would have been lifted, and you could've continued on with your subscription.

        Unfortunately, your experiences don't seem to fit with the worldclass service that we strive to provide to each and every single one of our clients, and I sincerely hope that you don't think negatively about every representative of our organization.

        Again, I apologize for any inconvienence which you may have incurred, and I sincerely hope that if you have any future issues, to feel free to contact me about them.
        Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author cypherslock
    Thank you Blue for your honest opinion. Funny, ever get that weird in your gut feeling? I did when checking icontact out. Couldn't figure why though. I can't understand why more ARs don't take paypal. Yes I have a CC. But prefer to pay cash. I'm the customer. I have money to give. And paypal for me is the safest way to do it most times. Yes there are fees (I've got a premiere account) but surely, they are not that prohibitive? Anyone care to enlighten me.

    Oh and thank to you as well, James for answering my questions. I'm just starting out so as my needs change, I'll keep my eyes open.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
      You're welcome. The think the reason it isn't accepted is because Paypal doesn't side with businesses very often when delivering digital goods. Also, it's easier to get Paypal accounts (via phishing) than CC accounts. Phishers can then sign up for 1 month, blast 10000 spammy emails, then do again in month 2 with a brand new Paypal account.

      Originally Posted by cypherslock View Post

      Thank you Blue for your honest opinion. Funny, ever get that weird in your gut feeling? I did when checking icontact out. Couldn't figure why though. I can't understand why more ARs don't take paypal. Yes I have a CC. But prefer to pay cash. I'm the customer. I have money to give. And paypal for me is the safest way to do it most times. Yes there are fees (I've got a premiere account) but surely, they are not that prohibitive? Anyone care to enlighten me.

      Oh and thank to you as well, James for answering my questions. I'm just starting out so as my needs change, I'll keep my eyes open.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary_The_Ace
    Hey all,

    The reason more autoresponders don't take PayPal is very simple ... let's say you purchase service at $10.00 per month, for up to 1,000 subscribers ... and now, you have 2,000 subscribers.

    There is no way for us, as a service provider, to modify the PayPal subscription automatically in order to be paid for any additional overages, or upgrades necessary based on the size of your list ... essentially, all we can do is put a link in the members area that would allow YOU, as the client, to make the necessary modifications to your PayPal subscription.

    In short, it's all about overages ...

    Gary Ambrose
    Signature
    If you have an automated webinar in the IM, biz opp, or make money space, and if it already converts to cold, and/or paid traffic... I want to send free traffic, and free leads to you registration page, every single day, until it stops converting. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS NOW.

    P.P.S. Viral Marketing Doesn't Work ... Tell Everyone You Know! ;)
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  • Profile picture of the author cypherslock
    Ah. Thank you Gary. None the less I'm happy that Email Aces does take paypal. Along with the user interface (which is functional and not "cute") this was a main reason I went with you guys. I've been on your list before as well and I know you're a stand-up guy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave Ryan
    Email aces works suprisingly well and has some very unique features that makes it THE autoresponder for some situations.

    In saying that, there's some business models where other choices would work better because of their unique features.

    Dave
    Signature
    High Volume Merchant Account - If you currently transact more than $250,000 annually in credit and debit cards you can save money by switching to Interchange-Plus Pricing with no monthly fees!
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve Steinitz
      Hi Dave,

      I would be interested in the details behind your statements.

      Thanks,

      Steve
      Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author cypherslock
    I'm noticing its taking quite a while for confirmation emails to come. nothing has hit my spam folder either.
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  • Profile picture of the author LMC
    I feel everyone's pain, but no problems with icontact here

    I have had great success with IContact, and have met Ryan Allis, the founder at a CEO Conference 5 years ago, he is a really cool guy, and cares about his business, sorry you have had this experience though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Buckley
    I'm primarily an offline marketer. I manage email marketing campaigns for my clients.

    I spent some time researching an appropriate AR service to match my needs and those of my clients. Here are my impressions:

    I tried out iContact's 15 day trial. The interface was mostly easy to use but not intuitive. It lacked a lot of functionality I needed. The frequent emails and telephone contacts from their sales rep made me suspicious. For a service that starts out at $10/month, how are these salespeople making money? Where's the hidden cost. I passed.

    I've used Emailaces in the past. I like Gary and his AR service is fine if you are primarily an internet marketer of digital products. EmailAces, like GetResponse and Aweber, was established by an IMer with IMer's in mind as their target customer. My main complaint was all the marketing emails I received from EmailAces for their other products and affilate promotions. They all do it but EmailAces seemed particularly strident.

    I've used GetResponse off and on for years. I like Simon's AR service a lot and have no real complaints. But, like the others mentioned, it is tilted to heavily toward the IM side and less useful for offline marketers like me.

    Constant Contact, at first glance, appeared ideal to me especially since it is specifially designed for use by brick-and-mortar businesses with excellent features specifically for use of client account managers like me. In the end I passed them over due to deliverability concerns with larger lists.

    Aweber, like GetResponse and EmailAces, was designed by an IMer for IMers. I like Tom and his AR service just fine and, in the end, went with his service, mainly because, with one or two exceptions, it has all the functionality I need.

    I never considered free services like Bravenet or self-hosted ARs. They are bad ideas for a number of reasons.

    Whichever you choose is going to involve some compromises but I don't think you can go far wrong with any of the big three: Aweber, EmailAces or GetResponse.
    Signature

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something." -Plato

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    • Profile picture of the author moodooguru
      I have tried the free version of iContact (up to 500 subscribers) and had no problem for the first month. The second month, I must have used a bad subject line because they stopped me from sending emails. The only way to send new emails is to contact their support staff and provide proof that I got my email address legitimately. My addresses were all culled from customers who bought a Paypal product. I may try to send the Paypal receipts to see if I can get things going again with iContact.

      But first, I decided to give email aces a try. I added my 500 subscribers email addresses through the text import option. Then, when I sent the first email, Email Aces sent out a very non-friendly, non-customized opt-in email instead. I wasn't aware they would do that.

      In my opinion, it doesn't help the user experience to get a non-customized opt-in. Some of them emailed me back saying, sure I'll opt-in but can you please remind me... what is this for? I'd like it if Email Aces had a big warning about the opt-in. I would have preferred to know in advance that my list members would be getting an opt-in before they could read my first email.

      Anyway, I'm passing on the information here, so others can benefit. Thanks, Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author sumonrahman
    I used iContact now using Aweber ans it is working good from iContact.
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    Thanks Indeed
    The Freelance Press

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