No, it’s not your physical address; your email address may be preventing you from getting your message out to potential and current patients. An interesting blog recently by a non-dentistry marketer discussed something that could have a serious influence on any of you who are doing email marketing, or drip marketing as we call it here at SmartBox Web Marketing, with the company Aweber.
SmartBox is a certified partner with Infusionsoft, which allows you to do email marketing and a whole lot more. Aweber is kind of an entry-level email marketing platform that is fairly popular because it is cheap and limited. Another content marketing blogger called comparing Infusionsoft to Aweber “like comparing a Porsche to a tricycle.” Now, tricycles have their place, but no one would ever mistake them for Porches. Infusionsoft is just much more robust.
Anyway, back to the original blog. This blogger said one of her clients wasn’t receiving some information she signed up for. When a staffer for this blogger called to find out why, Aweber Support told her that email addresses that begin with info@, contact@, support@ and other “generic” prefixes will no longer be accepted.
The Aweber support person went on to say that Aweber not only won’t accept those email addresses coming in, but it won’t send information to those email addresses either. If you are using an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org, you won’t get what you sign up for if the organization providing the information is using Aweber.
It also means that if Aweber is your marketing automation provider, your message will not GO OUT to anyone who signs up for it with such an address. We have no idea whether Aweber will make this information known to its subscribers going forward, but we hope they do.
Finally, the Aweber support person told the blogger’s staffer to expect more companies to move in this direction.
We have received no word from Infusionsoft that it plans to follow this example, and would vigorously oppose any decision to do so.
For now, Aweber subscribers aren’t getting the service they expected. In the case of dentists, it means that a valuable communications channel with prospective patients has been closed.
The good thing is, this “failure to communicate” likely doesn’t apply to many of you.
But if you ARE using such an email address, you might consider going to more of a name-based email address. That could be through your own website, so that you have email@example.com, or even a free email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
From our end, we are not recommending clients make this move just yet. But we’ll continue to monitor the situation and inform you if and when the time comes to do so.
The Aweber situation is a reminder to all of us business owners that terms of service, and the services themselves, change frequently. We all need to keep current on what vendors provide for us in exchange for our investment. Like they say, knowledge is power.