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Learned: The "Get GOT" Gotcha with Campaigner

When does ‘branding’ cross the line and become annoying? Here’s when…
I’ve been a fan, and customer, of GOT Corporation (formerly GotMarketing) and their Campaigner self-serve email marketing system for many years. I’ve also set up a number of my smaller clients with their own Campaigner accounts so they can manage their own email newsletters.
Last week I set up a new client with a Campaigner account and made a shocking discovery.

In the good old days, Campaigner users had the option of toggling on or off a “Get GOT” logo and link in the footer of every email they sent using the system. If you felt like promoting the fact you use Campaigner, you could include the GOT Corporation branding at the bottom of your emails. If you didn’t feel like giving GOT free advertising, you could choose to omit this footer.
Today, if you sign up for a new Campaigner account of less than USD $150 a month, you have no choice whether or not your emails get the “Get GOT” branding on them. The only way you can remove this free advertising is to pay an additional USD $250 service charge, and you have to contact an account manager at GOT to find this out.
I think GOT has this completely ass-backward. Why should I, as a paying customer, have to pay GOT an additional fee to stop involuntarily shilling for them? If anything, GOT should be paying its customers a fee for all the free advertising it is getting, or at least giving its customers an affiliate commission on any sales they generate.
Imagine if this obnoxious ‘branding’ strategy was applied to other similar services, like your phone, so that every time you called someone the person on the other end would be forced to hear “this phone call powered by Bell.”
Of course, GOT did not invent this annoying practice, although they are apparently well on their way to perfecting it. Many other email service providers, as well as other online marketing Application Service Providers, have gone ‘branding’ berserk, although multiple wrongs do not make a right.
Mark my words, a major selling point and differentiator for email service providers (even at the low-end of the market) will be their willingness to let their customers choose whether or not they want to feature the service provider’s branding in their emails.
P.S. If you know of any email service providers in the $25-$100 per month price range that don’t force their branding on customers, please share this information with your fellow One Degree readers using the comment feature.


  1. Jeff Ginsberg
    Jeff Ginsberg October 5, 2005

    Hi Bill…
    We have said this all along.
    Don’t pay to brand someone else!!!
    Every email should be delivered with your client’s virtual branded domain.
    It’s one of the easiest ways to ensure deliverability to the inbox and maintain brand recognition.
    You can save a penny or two in the short term, but using bargain basement software is guaranteed to hurt your brand value in the long run.
    The only time it would be considered acceptable for your email to be delivered with the logo, name or link of your email service provider is if the ESP is the sponsor or company footing the bill for the delivery of the email.
    Remember…don’t burn your brand on low end technology

  2. Daniel Shaw
    Daniel Shaw October 5, 2005

    I have been using for this type for service. Not sure how it compares to GOT in terms of features but I have been happy with it. No monthly fee but $5 per campaign sent and $.01 per email address.

  3. Dana
    Dana October 5, 2005

    I use a PHP software program that’s installed under the client’s domain. The stat tracking isn’t as comprehensive as some of the pricier packages out there, but it gets the job done and they only pay for the software once, no monthly fees (except for their hosting).

  4. Carey Ransom
    Carey Ransom October 6, 2005

    You could not be more spot on. This type of branding practice speaks to the antiquated thinking of the people who have run these companies for many years. It is also reflected in the technology they make available–rent our lists, abuse readers, send massive, cheap campaigns, etc.–all which is contributing to the declining performance of email. The email reader rebellion is well underway, and savvy marketers know they have to change.

  5. Carlos
    Carlos October 6, 2005

    I use Campaigner for my Yahoo! store, and have nothing but great things to say about it. Over the course of 14 months I have doubled my business, thanks mostly to Campaigner and the list-building tools I get with it.
    I have never stopped to worry about their email footer. I get great customer service from GOT, and at the price I pay, probably more value out of their product than anything else I use for my business.
    I checked out what others have had to say here – Jeff and Carey are trying to promote their own products, which both seem to be way behind Campaigner in terms of both features and track record. As a founding member of the ESPC (anti-spam foundation in USA) and exclusive email marketing tool for Yahoo Small Businesses, GOT is a true market leader and reliable techology partner.

  6. June Macdonald
    June Macdonald October 6, 2005

    I agree this is sneaky, cause it’s not a free service. It’s not just the low volume services. I have had that happen with DoubleClick in negotiating larger licences and require they to leave it off or advise my client to do so.
    I’ve used Got for a long time for small mail clients, too, it’s great. But I’ve also been looking around recently to see what else you can get for similar cost and most are requiring the same free ads.
    However, you can get stuff for the asking, and companies that have not been on the market as long you can probably call up and ask them to remove it, even if they have a ‘policy’ – Got did that in the early days for other limitations they had such as number of folders.
    Considering you are an agency who is referring business (and chose not to have an umbrella account), I don’t see why you shouldn’t be able to ask and get the ‘no logo’ option.
    But should you have to? I think it needs to be made more explicit that prospective customers are going to be advertisers. Or change the pricing structure so they can offer a free month to those willing to include their ad, then they’d have willing takers. The reason they don’t is the same reason we have spam: it works, people click.

  7. Carolyn Gardner
    Carolyn Gardner October 7, 2005

    I so hear what you’re saying and so agree! In fact I too have experienced this same frustration with Got! It’s totally nuts! This backwards branding strategy plus Campaigner’s inconsistent reporting, unreliable broadcast timing and difficult customer service are a huge turn-off.
    Being an email marketing strategist I’ve done my homework and I can confidently recommend two superior tools. Both are leading email marketing technologies and your choice depends on many variables.
    In the same price range as Got is Constant Contact. It’s an amazing tool and we use it with great success. Check it out and try a free trial at
    *Note: By default the Constant Contact logo appears in the footer of your emails when you open an account. But the moment you become a paying customer, you simply call support requesting the Constant Contact logo be removed and they do it immediately, no questions asked, and at no charge. Got should learn from them! In more ways than one!
    But if you’re looking for really sophisticated, incredibly robust software, made here in Canada, check out Thin Data’s EMS technology at
    EMS is packed full of power and the team at Thin Data rocks!
    Still confused about which direction to go? Call or email me and we can chat!
    Email: Call: 613.592.7243 ext. 1.
    Happy emailing!
    PS Email marketing should be fun not frustrating!

  8. Geoff Brown
    Geoff Brown October 11, 2005

    Bill – I agree with your comments. I would add that companies like these are the main reason email marketing is waning. Ironic joke about GOT…I got their newsletter and it had “tips and tricks” about email deliverability. One of their suggestions was to not use words like “spam” “adult” and “free” because spam filters catch those words. Guess what….because they put those words in their email it got caught in my spam filter. Smart marketers….

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