I wasn't sure how to explain this in the title and I tried searching for this, but failed. Maybe I am the only one with this issue. Here goes:
We are 'trying' to switch from a previous Lyris-based service to Constant Contact (CC). Our previous mailing list was a double-opt in, whereby you had to confirm that you wanted to be on our list by clicking a link in an email. We can turn on this same feature, sort of in CC. CC develoment support has told us however that if we turn COI on, and if a customer does not confirm (forgot to, confirmation got blocked by filter, etc.) that they then will NEVER EVER be able to sign up to our mailing list. Users will frequently come back to our site and redownload our products, and every time they do, they have an option to subscribe to our newsletter. But I fail to understand why someone would be blacklisted from ever being given the opportunity to get a confirmation email just because they didn't confirm a previous one. What am I missing ?
CC presumably, although we have to test this some more, allows someone to resubscribe that previously unsubscribes from a list, ie update the profile option. But why not allow someone to simply get a 2nd confirmation if they indicate voluntarily indicate months later through our signin form that they want to get our newsletter ?
The workaround suggested by CC is to handle the double opt-in ourselves but what we have to do to do that is really clunky and involves really a 3-step process:
1. User indicates they want to get the newsletter, and provides their email address.
2. We send email to user to confirm that they really want to sign up, with a link in the email to click on.
3. User clicks on link in email and this goes to a form on our site where they provide name/company and then they get added to CC through API.
Am I the only one who thinks that this is a complicated way to get around a problem that makes no sense ?
Sorry for the long rant but I'm tired and wanted to make sure we were not going down a path that wasn't needed in case we were missing something obvious.
Sorry for the confusion. If a user does click the link in our Confirmed Opt-In email, and they attempt to sign up again through our Join My Mailing List form, they will receive another one.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks for the reply, but that is not what the Premium Services group told me yesterday. We are not using your signup form, but rather have scripts on our site to register users for our newsletter.
I'll contact my CC contact and verify what you are saying. I was trying to get some input from other users to see how they have handled this.
Thanks for the clarification on that point. I apologize, I was under the impression that you were using our JMML form, and not a custom built one.
You were given the correct information about how the Confirmed Opt-In works with API forms, as well as the best workaround. Our COI process is re-resent when using our JMML form, but when using custom API forms, the best workaround available at this time is to self confirm in the way that you were informed.
Sorry again for the confusion on my end, please let me know if I can help in any way.
Thanks for the clarification. I've submitted a suggestion to my CC contact to fix this limitation for a variety of reasons.
There is a way to generate the Confirmation email again via API. The clarification comes from the type of request to use on subsequent subscribe requests.
Once a Contact is added the first time, they exist in Constant Contact forever. The enter a state called Awaiting Confirmation until they confirm the link in the email. This is sent once on original signup, as you are experiencing.
If you want to generate the email another time, say the customer comes back and says they want to receive the email newsletter again, you need to update the existing Contact. This is done through a PUT request to the Contact record that is already created. To find out if a Contact already exists or does not, you should run a request to search for the Contact prior to making the add request. This will allow you to return the existing Contact information and state, such as Active, Awaiting Confirmation or Do Not Mail.
One caveat about generating the email. The request OptInSource MUST be set to ACTION_BY_CONTACT to generate the new confirmation email. If you set it to ACTION_BY_CUSTOMER, you will receive still receive a 200 success message, but it will not generate a new confirmation email and simply update the Contact record.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the reply. That helps, but I think this may be too complicated for us to support. From my standpoint, this is too fragile of a solution to be implemented. I write software for a living, so when I see something like this that is hard to understand, I know it can get into an area that becomes difficult to support. Signing up our users/customers to a mailing list just should not be as hard as its become due to this rule. We had to implement an API-based system due to not wanting to use CC forms for registration, but then have the complexity of having to confirm the opt-in ourselves in a back-end system that winds up presenting the user with too many steps IMO.
Right now, our newsletter registration is working, but as I indicated previously, there isn't any valid reason why CC can't just send someone a confirmation or 'update your profile' email if they have already subscribed but just didn't confirm. We have put in so much stuff that we are beginning to wonder if we should just use a home-built solution because at some point, doing everything in the API interface defeats the purpose of using a product like CC.
Again, just my 2 cents.
Definitely understandable that this solution is more complicated. That said, our API would require you to do those steps for any contact that needs to be updated regardless. The subscriber does not actually have to do anything except for provide their required information. Behind the scenes, the API work would be done on the server and would simply present back a success//failure message to the user. There are no additional steps required by them.
If you're looking for some assistance in the coding, we do offer a pre-built form that would allow you to do exactly this in PHP. You can get access to that pre-built form and code for the updating by email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org and asking for the Update enabled Constant Contact Sign-up Form Generator code. They will send you the code as well as some instructions and you'd be all set to go from there without any actual PHP development.