API can't update Contacts after Express Permission


API can't update Contacts after Express Permission

Hi all,

I've tried to do as much reading before posting, but still not finding clear guidance on what I'd expect to be a straight forward topic. Long story short, we run an ERP system as our primary contact management tool. Inside it we build "campaigns" for certain messaging just like you build Lists in CC. In fact our integration turns those campaigns into CC lists automatically. All data management of Contacts is handled inside the ERP and then pushed to CC via API.

We introduced advanced email and Express Permission settings recently into our CC account. The 1300 contacts that responded for Express Permission have now been "locked down" in CC and the API can't do anything to them. So, ironically, for all the people who GAVE us permission to communicate with them, we can't even make important changes to their record - like calling Robert "Bob" or correcting the spelling of his company name. That seems a bit backwards - am I missing something?



Hi @MadiganN


Thank you for reaching out to Constant Contact's API Support.



When a contact is listed as express permission inside of the Constant Contact account then it can only be updated by that contact themselves. Express permission basically says the contact has verified the information is correct and that any changes to the information made by someone other than the contact would make the information no longer correct.


When submitting information through the API the way you tell the system that it is the contact who is making the change to the information is by using the query parameter ACTION_BY_VISITOR. Please keep in mind even a small change such as altering the first name from Robert to Bob can technically be against some of the data laws such as CASL and/or GDPR; unless the action was truly initiated by the contact directly or by permission of the contact.

Jimmy D.
Tier II API Support Engineer
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