CCFSG - Updating Existing Contacts


CCFSG - Updating Existing Contacts

Hi -

We have seen many posts in the forums over the past few months regarding our CCFSG PHP application and the fact that it does not update contacts that already exist in your account by default.  This post is intended to help answer any questions you have around that.


First off, why doesn't it update existing contacts?  Since we can not control how you are implementing this on you website, we have chosen to implement the CCFSG app in the most secure way possible.  This means that no one is able to update an existing contact since we can not provide you a method for verifying that person is who they say they are.  With our standard JMML HTML widget, we would send that email address an Update Profile email with a unique link that they would then need to click on to update. 


Since we can not send out an Update Profile email that directs to a dynamic link on your server (which we really wish we could do, that would make this much easier to deal with securely!), we chose to not open up that potential data security issue for your subscribers.  Imagine if a malicious person came to your site and started entering email addresses and personal information into your website and it modified your existing customers, then you sent out emails to those existing customers with a bad first name or, worse still, bad language or negative comments instead of a first name at all. 


If you understand these risks and still want to have a CCFSG implementation that updates contact information, we can help!  We created a slightly modified version that updates any changed information and appends any new lists to the existing contact.  You can get this updated version by sending a request to our Webservices Team

Dave Berard
Senior Product Manager, Constant Contact
Regular Participant

HI Dave,


I developed a web product that creates users.  I would like to send the user name and email address to my constant contact list when I create a new user in my product.  Do you have an api to do this?




Our public API has the full ability to create, modify and retrieve contacts for your account.  You can find our documentation on our developer website here:  Also available are wrapper libraries and sample code for many popular languages.  Hope this helps!

Dave Berard
Senior Product Manager, Constant Contact



I have been trying to update contacts on using your Version 1 API. Are you allowing us to update user usin the API. A sample of the request is below


<entry xmlns="">
  <title type="text">Contact: [Redacted]</title>
  <content type="application/vnd.ctct+xml">
    <contact xmlns="" id="[account-name]/contacts/1602785687">
<note>This contact was added via the "Newsletter Subscription - Settings" webform within Drupal. Please review the record within the webform results in order to get the full text that the user may have entered when filling out the form.</note>
<contactlist id="[Redacted]/lists/1771221252"> id="[Redacted]/lists/0">





Hi Darren,


You should be allowed to update contacts through the API without any issues. In this case, it appears that some of your XML code was parsed by the forums and became unreadable. Is it possible for you to post your XML again (With email address and username removed) inside of a Code box?


Also, it would be of great help if you could define what details about the contact you are attempting to update and what the error message that you are receiving is. When the API returns a 409 error, it is normally accompanied by an error message describing the problem. If you can provide this error, that will further assist us in determining the cause of the error that you are experiencing.



Elijah G.
API Support Engineer

We have emailed the web services team many times over the past few weeks to request the CCFSG that allows us to update existing contacts, but have not received any response. Can someone please advise how to obtain these files?


Updating fields in any database is the most basic of functions.  It is frustrating not to be able to do so and leads me to wonder exactly what decade was this software written in?  The early 80's?!

Hi Dawn,


The CCSFG is actually very old code that uses our V1 API. I'd steer you toward using one of our newer methods to do this, like the Embed Code provided in accounts, or this POST URL method. Both of those methods add or update contacts as appropriate.


Best Regards,

Shannon Wallace

Partner API Support Engineer



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