We have been using a mass emailing product to keep in contact with those who sign up for our email update list. Our email update list is for those who would like to be informed of newly posted articles on our web site, scheduled speaking engagements, or special events. Contact information will be kept confidential and will not be shared with anyone. Feel free to sign up if you are interested.
After reading some reviews last year about different products, I settled on StreamSend. The review ranked StreamSend third, but talked about how user friendly it was. There were a number of features that interested me and I was really pleased about it’s reported ease of use. I don’t know who the reviewer was, but StreamSend is NOT easy.
My Mom and I are the ones who run the list, and after the both of us tried to figure out a number of things, we came to the conclusion that StreamSend is not for us. We gave it a fair shot and kept the service for more than a year. I guess we hoped that the learning curve would get less difficult, but it didn’t. Both us of found ourselves in the position of not wanting to email our various lists because if was so difficult to do.
We looked into other options and settled on Constant Contact. The only problem was, we needed to import our lists into Constant Contact from StreamSend. What I will share next is a perfect explanation of why we no longer use StreamSend.
I was trying to sort through certain names using their filters. After trying everything I could think of, reading their FAQ and searching their help section, I finally had to call their support. Here is a picture of their filter tool. I was confused because no matter what I entered into these fields, the list would not export anything into an Excel spreadsheet like it was supposed to. The “simple” filter is not so simple after all.
When I was explaining what I was trying to do and then attempted to walk my way through it, the tech lady said, “No, not that way, you are supposed to skip the simple filter and enter your info on the bottom where it says, ‘Select fields.'”
Huh? I am supposed to skip the simple filter and enter my stuff on the bottom of the form?
I asked where the instructions were that explained this. She said they didn’t have any.
I asked, “Well, then, how am I suppose to know what to do? If Isee an empty field why would I think that I should not put a value there” She answered that given the lack of instructions, I would not know what to do. That is why they have tech support. I was stunned. After a pregnant, five second pause, I suggested, “Do you think you could talk with whomever designed this page and wrote the instructions and have them put complete instructions here so that people would not have to call you to get an answer that should already be here?”
Can you believe she actually said, “No, I don’t think they’ll do it.” Right then and there, my thoughts about switching from StreamSend were confirmed. I knew I was doing business with the wrong company.
On the contrary, Constant Contact has been extremely user friendly. Unlike StreamSend, their FAQ section actually answers frequently asked questions. When I wanted to figure out how to add a Paypal button on the bottom of an e-mail, there was a link to a video tutorial that helped me through the process.
Creating the emails is so much easier as well. Instead of working with confusing templates, Constant Contact’s options are very simple and easy to use. I am happy to say that since we now have a product that is much more user friendly, we will be doing a better job of keeping in touch with those who are interested in Evidence Ministries.