I was their email marketing customer for about 7 years – almost as long as they have been in business under the Constant Contact name. Month in and out I sent payments to them for their services. We didn’t have a wonderful relationship. We didn’t have a bad one either. We just didn’t have one at all. If I had questions I asked them by email. I never got to know anyone at their company. In my mind they were a yellow blob kind of entity that satisfied my email marketing needs.
But needs are not the same as wants are they?
I found myself wanting more. I wanted to build a relationship with my email marketing company. I wanted advice from people who had to know more about tactics and strategy than I did. I wanted to easily be able to test email subject lines, delivery times, and even content. I wanted to be able to integrate with Google Analytics and take advantage of social media integration and reporting.
And, most importantly, I wanted to be able to pick up the phone and talk to people who know me by name sort of like Norm walking into Cheers.
Truth is I had no idea if such a company existed. But, I was determined to find one or make one. Luckily, my search led me to Blue Sky Factory whose name made me wonder if they were an off-shoot of an aviation company.
So the first thing I did was go to their website and look up their history because I didn’t understand the name. It turned out to be a great story and it is what hooked me into looking further into their services. Let me briefly share a little bit of their story.
Blue Sky Factory got its name from back when it was a web design company based in Baltimore. Baltimore’s an industrial city, filled with old factories, and that’s where the Factory piece came in. The Blue Sky part came from the founders’ original idea that working with them would make all your dreams come true.
Blue Sky Factory is all about your success (Blue Sky), and the idea that success isn’t luck or an accident, but something you make (Factory). Our mission, our vision, our calling in the business world is to help you become a better marketer through effective email and social marketing.
They had me at success isn’t luck or an accident, but something you make.
So, I made the switch. I now feel like I’m part of the Blue Sky Factory family. There are a number of the employees who do know my name. They even proactively call me to see if things are going according to my expectations. They offer to help me meet my goals at least every few days – without me asking. The changeover was work – I won’t deny that fact. But, they were there holding my hand, answering questions and even pitching in and doing some of the actual work.
My company doesn’t just do our own email marketing. We also have a number of long-term clients for whom we do all their email marketing too. I love using Publicaster which is the application that allows me to control all the accounts, manage lists, design and create emails, build campaigns, test, get reports in a zillion different formats and more all from a dashboard that I control.
For a couple of months we ran tandem systems while converting over to Blue Sky. Finally last week I pulled the plug on Constant Contact. I sent them an email and said I’d like to cancel my business partner account with them along with all of my client accounts. Now I really expected they’d ask me why I was leaving them after seven years of what they called a business partnership. I expected they’d make a push to keep me as a customer.
Instead they emailed me and asked me my mother’s maiden name for security purposes and sent me a form email saying all the accounts are cancelled now. They didn’t even say thank you for the last seven years. Instead they warned me that Federal Law requires me to honor all opt-out requests indefinitely. As someone who has spent their life teaching sales, marketing and customer service, I wanted to cry. Instead I laughed.
So here I am now at the beginning of a new relationship – one that I hope will last even longer than my last. Considering the fact that my new friends spend a lot of time listening to me, I’m pretty sure it is going to be Blue Skies ahead for all of us.