What would you do if GetResponse banned your account? That’s a question I never wanted to have to ask myself.
A while back, through a glitch in the system, my GetResponse account was banned. I received a text message and an email notifying me that effective immediately, my account could no longer be used for sending out email blasts, and I could not export my list. My account was locked down, and I couldn’t do a thing about it.
GetResponse Banned Me. Ouch.
I had relied on GetResponse entirely for my email marketing efforts. I trusted their platform and great support, excellent toolset and easy to manage pricing structure. The notice that I was banned was quite a shock.
I’m no spammer. I would never send unsolicited or unwelcome email. Everyone on my list chose to be there. In fact, I’m a big proponent of and fan of the recent privacy laws that promise harsh penalties for those who would abuse personal data for spammy purposes.
To me, this was more than an inconvenience. My entire business had come to a standstill.
If I couldn’t email my list, I couldn’t conduct business. If I couldn’t reach my subscribers – or even move them to a new platform with me – I couldn’t keep my business afloat.
Thankfully, it was a misunderstanding, one that I caused. I had created a trial account to demonstrate something (instead of using my live, production account). Their system, however, didn’t like that. You see, I had already used my free trial years ago. Therefore, according to them, I’m not entitled to another. When they saw a second free trial, they thought, “Hey, wait a minute. He’s trying to game the system.”
I wasn’t. But I 100% understand why they thought that.
After I reached out to them to explain, I was put in touch with a wonderful agent who was able to clear up the whole mess. Today, I’m back up and running, and all is well. (And yes, I absolutely do still recommend GetResponse as a fantastic email service provider even though there are several other excellent options out there.)
Too Close for Comfort
But that incident got me thinking – as it should get you thinking too. What would happen if GetResonse banned your account? Or, if not GetResponse, any service upon which you rely heavily.
Are you a YouTuber? What if YouTube banned your channel, throwing all your hard work out the window?
Are you a Facebook marketer? Could you survive if Facebook shut you down?
The reality is, even if you do absolutely nothing wrong, these services have a right to determine who can and cannot use their resources. Should Facebook decide one day that you are no longer welcome, you would have little to no recourse.
Should YouTube limit the accounts of everyone in your niche under a certain number of subscribers, you would be hosed.
“Ok, where are you going with all of this, Michael?”
Here’s my point.
Don’t Put Your Eggs in One Basket
It’s very easy to put all your eggs in one basket so to speak. With so many excellent platforms and tools, it’s very easy to rely heavily on one to the exclusion of the others, and that puts you in a very risky position.
Had I not been able to get back in to my GetResponse account and access all of my contacts I have spent so long collecting, all of that time spent would have been wasted. All of my marketing dollars, down the drain. That would have been horrible.
Yet no doubt I’m not alone in this. As much as I love and recommend GetResponse and other services, it’s not uncommon for rule-following, innocent men and women to have their accounts terminated by various services due to a perceived breach.
Planning for the Future
What could I have done better, and how can you – dear reader – protect yourself?
Backups and redundancy. That’s how.
Every self-respecting email service provider, like GetResponse, provides the ability to export a list of subscribers to a file to save locally. Typically, this is a Comma Separated Values (CSV) file or Excel file. If necessary or if desired, I could take those subscribers with me to another provider.
If GetResponse shut down tomorrow, I would be just fine because I have a backup.
But secondly, redundancy. GetResponse isn’t the only email service provider, just as YouTube is not the only video hosting provider. Yes, both a major players in their respective fields, but their fields are larger than both of them.
Still Play by the Rules
Please don’t misunderstand me. You, dear reader, still need to play by the rules. Make sure you read and follow the laws of the land – no matter which services you choose to use.
If you’re abusing the system and walking that fine line between okay and not okay, you’re playing a dangerous game. You don’t have to like the rules Facebook or YouTube have in place. You might be annoyed out of your skull with this service or that, but you don’t have the right to be a jerk.
Here’s the TL;DR
Suffice it to say that any service can terminate your account whether you’ve violated the rules or not. Don’t put yourself in a dangerous position by relying solely on one without backups and an exit plan.
Your long-term marketing efforts will thank you.