Yeah, kind of a harsh title for this post. But I’m pissed. Not just at Aweber. I’m pissed at myself too. Here is what happened…
I recently decided to move my old escort website from the free service I was using to a new self-hosted WordPress site. Which is precisely what I did. One of the nice things about my old site was that it offered email marketing as part of the CMS. For those who are curious, I was using the service offered by Rare Escorts.
It was overall a good service, but the design templates were limited and I wanted more control over my site, both behind the scenes and from a design standpoint. I’d been talking about registering a proper domain and getting the site setup for some time, but finally decided to go ahead with it.
Why They Shut Down My Account
Next, I setup a new mailing list in my Aweber account for my new site…
A couple of days later, I received an email from their support telling me that one of the sites I was associated with was in violation of their terms of service, resulting in permanent closure of my account. That was it.
Okay, so…to be fair, it’s my fault for failing to read the terms of service as thoroughly as I obviously should have. Even though we all know that no one reads those, it’s still our responsibility to do so.
In AWeber’s defense, AT LEAST they were decent enough to provide me with a full backup of all my account information after I angrily requested it from them. I guess that was nice of them.
Attitudes About Adult Industries
But looking at the bigger picture here, what I would like to know is…what is with all the companies in this country who refuse to work with anyone from the adult industry for no good reason? Why do they have such an intolerant attitude towards such a normal part of human life in general?
If a product or service is perfectly legal, what reason do they have to refuse their business other than morally policing the world?
I just don’t get it.
I mean, in the case of AWeber shutting down my account, they even went as far as recommending that I open an account with one of their direct competitors! No joke.
What strikes me as humorous about that suggestion is that after researching these companies, I discovered that none of them allow adult sites either. Surely AWeber is not unaware of this…?
Discrimination of Adult Sites
I’m not the only one who has encountered this type of attitude regarding adult themed sites. After this happened, I emailed a friend of mine who also runs a couple of adult sites. I told them that AWeber cancelled my account and that they apparently did not allow adult sites at all.
They told me that they had been kicked off of MailChimp (another popular email marketing service) more than once as a result of their site content.
This is such bull shit. Especially considering that there really is no viable alternative for adult email marketing. I looked into it and was very disappointed to find that there were virtually no options available whatsoever.
Other companies guilty of discriminating against perfectly LEGAL adult products are Paypal and (although I hate to admit it) even Google.
I can understand why a family or kids based business would obviously refuse to deal with adult stuff, but why is Google willing to list porn sites in their index yet won’t allow them to pay for advertising through AdWords?
Email Marketing for Adult Sites
Okay, so I found someone on the Warrior Forum who was in the same boat as I was. They were also looking for an email service for their adult site and didn’t want to self-host their own solution if at all possible. That’s the most obvious route, but it’s not easy to setup and it can be a pain in the ass to maintain. Not to mention it’s more expensive.
Someone in the thread suggested visiting other adult sites to see what company they were using. Good idea! I went to visit the blog of another escort. Her name is Amanda Brooks and you can check out her blog by Googling her name. I was again disappointed to find that she was only using FeedBurner for her email list.
Feedburner is all fine and good, I even use it on my site here. But it basically just delivers your RSS feed in the form of emails to those who sign up for email updates. Works fine, but doesn’t offer any of the useful tracking or added functionality that a paid email marketing service comes standard with.
Oh well. I have signed up for a new trial with GetResponse and will be using them for this site and my other non-adult sites as well. I’m open to suggestions from anyone who might know something that I don’t.
I’d also love to hear from anyone who can help explain why these companies are so unwilling to work with adult sites. Perhaps there is some implication I’m not already aware of?