Problems in Custom Signup Forms

Occasional Participant

Problems in Custom Signup Forms

 Dear Constant Contact Developers,

I have used the CCSFG to put the signup forms into our website and it is currently set up and working, but it does produce errors that are avoiding us putting this online.  I have discovered that if the text entered into the fields contain a space (i.e., San Jose, for the name of the city) OR if at the bottom of the page one changes the checkboxes where people choose to signup to one mailing list or the other, the registration does not work and produces an error.

Under all other conditions, if all text entered are single words or if you do not change the checkboxes then the script works ok.  Please help us solve this issue.

For reference, the pages are up and running at:





I looked over your form, and also did some testing on my end with the Sign up form generator, and I was not able to replicate the error that you are receiving.  I tried putting multiple words into the city field and it successfully posted the contact to my account.  I also did the same on your sign up box on your site and it appears to have put the test email address successfully in your account.

One reason that you would get an error with the sign up form generator is if the contact already exists in the account.  Is this the problem you are running into?  If it is not, can you let me know exactly what the error says that you are receiving when you insert the contact?


Benjamin Soder
NOC Analyst
Constant Contact
Occasional Participant

Hi there, 


I'm currently trying out the ccsfg as well, but I have trouble testing the form. The problem seems to be that I would like to use my e-mail address several times. 


Benjamin's post made me curious if there's a way to use the same e-mail address for test runs. 

"One reason that you would get an error with the sign up form generator is if the contact already exists in the account"


I tried deleting myself from the contact lists in Constant Contact, but I still find myself under "removed"


Is there a way to test forms with the same e-mail address? 




Hi Stefan,


Out of the box, our CCFSG does not allow you to add a Contact to a list that already exists.  In our system, once a Contact is added, it is permanently stored in some way no matter what.  This is for us to keep a record of who has opted out, how people were added and for various billing/CAN-SPAM compliance activities. 


The reason we only allow new members to be added through this tool is to prevent data from being modified/accessed in potential malicious ways.  Without any security making sure people are who they say they are, someone could go to your signup form and change information on any of your existing customers.  Since we can't put security systems in place for you on your servers, such as the ability to send a confirmation email to make sure the person requesting changes is who they say they are, we instead do not offer that option by default to prevent security holes for our customers subscribers.


The CCFSG script can be modified to also update existing Contacts.  We do not recommend doing this without some methods in place to prevent malicious updating of your subscribers data.  This type of security is beyond the scope of our API support, though we can recommend methods for ensuring security. 


For testing purposes, we generally recommend using multiple free addresses (such as your hotmail, gmail, yahoo!, etc.) or standard test addresses (, but make sure that if you use dummy test addresses that you move them to your Do Not Mail list once you are done.  You wouldn't want to send emails to known bad addresses as this could increase your bounce rate and they would also count towards your billing until you move them to Removed or Do Not Mail.


Hope this helps!

Dave Berard
Senior Product Manager, Constant Contact
Occasional Participant

Is there a way to get around this error when they are already in your contacts under a different list? When adding a new list , it does not add them but sends the message that they are already subscribed - this defeats the purpose of the opt in by specific lists.
For example, i have a list that has opted into a previous list/campaign. Now I am trying to get them to opt in for a stress telesummit list/campaign but they are coming up as already subscribed to my can I fix this with the CCSFG script?
Also, even though you cannot support the modifcation to existing, can you offer information on where I can find out more about this feature?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Occasional Participant

I also meant to ask about the methods you mentioned to ensure security when allowing updating of current contacts.

Thank you

Some ideas for security would be to have a CAPTCHA type box to confirm it is a human doing the updating, this prevents malicious bots or scripts from poisoning your list.  We actually send an email for any update profile request with a unique link to actually update their preferences.  This way, whenever someone requests an update, they must confirm it's really them by going into their inbox, clicking the link and then updating preferences.  For obvious reasons, we couldn't build that into the CCFSG widget as we can't account for all of the ESP platforms out there when created the email out. 

Dave Berard
Senior Product Manager, Constant Contact

You can get a copy of CCFSG that will update existing Contacts.  This can be received by emailing to get the modified version.  Please be aware, this modified version does NOT include any user verification.  This could result in anyone updating someone elses preferences.  Please see my previous post for how you could some security features if you are concerned that this could be a problem for you.

Dave Berard
Senior Product Manager, Constant Contact
Occasional Participant

I believe the problem may be related to another issue.  Yesterday I ended up redoing the script to eliminate some options and see if I could get it working that way only to put it online.

When I did this I noticed that I have to mailing lists, the second of which contains the word ESPAÑOL, and in the CCSFG the Ñ character is not recognized, instead it puts up a weird character.  One of the problems I had is if somebody would select this other mailing list then it would produce the error.  Could this bad character be the culprit? 

Occasional Participant

If you click on the links now, it will take you to the current script (where I eliminated that users select which mailing list they use).  I did a bunch of tests with it and got a couple of errors, but could not find the condition under which they occurred.  The rest of the tries it worked fine. 


My client wants a more custom approach to the CC submission box. He wants a simple field with a submit button next to it. I tried to make one, but it did not work. All it does is throw up a page from CC asking for the email again. Also, Freeway does not seem to allow me to name the form, which CC expects.


You always have the option of building your own form in whatever language you choose, and having that submit a contact into your account through our API. This would involve the most amount of work, but would also lend the greatest amount of customization and flexibility. I would recommend taking a look at our Code Samples page which has our code samples and libraries that may help get you started building your own form.

In essence, you would be looking to Create valid XML as described in Creating a Contact which would contain all of the details pertaining to the contact you wish to add. You would then perform an http POST to{username}/contacts, including the XML as the request body.

I hope this helps get you started. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, please let us know. Thanks.

David J

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