As reported a few days ago, the iContact system has hit a major wall. Due to bugs on iContact’s side, you are no longer able to send email thru the iContact integration. If you want the details on the history of this, see the comments at the bottom of the page.
This means that you will have to export any non-RunSignUp data from iContact and re-import that into the new RunSignUp EMail system. We suggest that all users do this as soon as possible. Note – since the new RunSignUp EMail system is already connected to all the RunSignUp data, you do not need to upload participants you already can see in RunSignUp!
Here is a video explanation of how to do this, and below the video is written instructions with screen shots:
Step1: Login to iContact. The login will take some time due to the speed of iContact.
Step 2: Select your list to export. This will need to be done on list at a time.
Step 3: Export List. You do not need to click on the items in the list as it shows in the video, you can just scroll to the bottom of the list page and select Export:
Step 4: Check List. You can open up the list in Excel or Google Sheets to look at it. Note it will usually only contain the EMail address along with first and last name, but if you had uploaded the list yourself from another system it might have contained more than that.
Step 5: Import into RunSignUp Email System. You will do this by going to the new EMail system menu item.
Step 6: Import Fields. This will be pretty simple if you are just importing first and last name and email addresses, but you have a lot more power than that if you need it. NOTE: Windows upload seems to have issues when uploading lists over 5,000 people (Mac is fine), so if you have long lists you may need to cut them up. We will be looking into a fix for this bug.
Step 7: Save List with a new name. This will allow you to reuse the list for all of your future email needs.
That is all there is. It is pretty simple, and we apologize if you have a massive number of lists on iContact. We really did not want this to happen, and you can read the background below if you want the full details.
Background: Several years ago we wanted to provide an email system to our customers for free. We wanted to make it easy to import RunSignUp participants into the system. We wanted a professional system that kept track of things like unsubscribes. We also wanted a system that would keep track of each user and cut only them off if they spammed their email lists. iContact was an obvious choice at the time. They had an API that we could create sub-accounts for each of our users and races, as well as upload RunSignUp participant data in a click of a button. Back then Constant Contact, MailChimp and others did not have API facilities to make this easy, and iContact was on a roll, adding features and doing very well.
Unfortunately they were acquired a couple of years ago. Since then their original development team had left, and we have seen their product stall and their performance degrade. We also had wanted to enhance our email capabilities by having a more integrated system. Sendgrid is the new system we started working with and is the basis for the new native RunSignUp EMail system, and it is great.
Unfortunately, the week of January 5, 2015, the iContact system stopped sending emails. We have been working with them the entire week, and the only recommendation they can give us is that our number of sub-accounts has grown too large for their system (over 2,000 sub-accounts). They are unable to fix their scalability issues, and so we are stuck in a quandary of what to do.
Our decision is to leave iContact up and give a notice period to our users to move to the new system (thank goodness we had spent the last several months building it and it was ready right at the time iContact toppled over). Perhaps iContact will be repaired, and we are still working on that. However, our confidence level is very low in that happening, and it is worth moving to the new system.