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Old data

Occasional Contributor

Old data

Last year we used a national company to process our Free Summer Kids program. This year we decided to run our own program using constant contact to collect data and send emails. I had an existing customer list from our prior year and I maintain this list in another Constant Contact account (#1). I created a new constant contact account (#2) to handle just our kids club and I uploaded the #1 list into this new #2 account. I then realized that even though they were our customers, I’d feel better asking for permission to email them from new account to include only interested people to sign up new. So, I deleted the list from my contacts in the #2 account thinking it would remove all the info. When people started signing up for our program, the old data was populating in fields. If they didn't make changes to last year's data, the fields populated with old info. I want to be able to remove all data from the deleted list. In addition, we sell a variety of passes for family members in each account for additional value and they expire one year from the date of purchase. After the year is over, I want to be able to delete the data from the family pass fields, so that the next year, they can re-up. Can you provide info about how to delete easily?
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Re: Old data

Hi @PelicanLaney

Thanks for posting the details of this situation. First, I do think the right move was to ask people to join the new list. This not only will provide you with an interested and engaged list but will also follow Constant Contacts guidelines for what contacts you can email. 


How are you collecting and storing the pass information? Is this in a custom field?


My recommendation would be to use a new custom field every year. You cannot upload a blank version to overwrite the contents of a field so you would need to manually remove the information to have it deleted. If you use a new field very year and name them to match you should just be able to delete the entire custom field from the year before and start fresh with the new one. 


You can add as many custom fields as you want/need. To edit, add or remove fields you can just click My Account> My Settings> Manage my custom fields.


Hope this helps,

Hannah M.
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Re: Old data

We're having the same issue. The thing is we've completely deleted the previous lists and reduced our contacts to zero. Now when uploading a new list, if a custom field has a blank entry it's populating with old information even though we've totally deleted all lists and contacts. 


Is this information still stored internally with CC? This is not a behavior we wanted or anticipated. 




Re: Old data

Hello @JeffR86526


The information for your contacts is still held for your account, even if your contacts are deleted.  This is one of the ways we ensure that an unsubscribed contact remains unsubscribed, even if they are deleted and then re-added.  


I would recommend deleting the custom field, deleting your contacts and then re-uploading the list, creating a new custom field.  This process will completely remove the custom field throughout all of your contacts, and allow you to re-add the custom field back with only new values that you upload.  


Re: Old data

3 years later and this bug is still hurting users, making our communications appear unprofessional to our audience.


When a user deletes a contact record, ConstantContact tells them "The selected contact will be permanently removed from your account", and "THIS ACTION CAN'T BE UNDONE". Apparently those statements aren't true; ConstantContact resurrects deleted contact data and covertly pollutes newly imported data with it.


I see the value in ConstantContact permanently retaining the unsubscribed status of an email address, but that is inarguably the only data point that should be retained when a contact is deleted. Retaining other field values from deleted contacts is a bug, and one that we discover only when our audience informs us of mistakes in our messaging.




Re: Old data

Hi @GregoryB443


Thank you for reaching out to the Community! You are correct, if a contact is not marked as unsubscribed they will be recognized if re-imported. I apologize for any inconvenience caused from old information in fields being retained in this re-importAt this time, the ability to import a file with a blank column to overwrite or remove fields that were imported by accident is not a feature we currently provide. This is however a feature request I have submitted in your account in the appropriate teams. As a workaround we suggest manually deleting those fields under your contact's details. However if there is a lot of data in a field that is not feasible to delete one at a time, please let us know! We would be happy to help troubleshoot this further with you. 

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Re: Old data

We need a feature to NULL old data from Custom Fields. If an upload list contains a blank cell under a named column, then that should empty the associated Custom Field.


Why store empty Custom Fields? Accuracy, data can be optional, and support of business model. Here’s our example…



  • Youth sports, 4 seasons, 100 Teams
  • Coaches can manage multiple teams
  • Team names are optional
  • Custom field is TEAMNAME


  • A Coach manages 3 Teams
  • Email is
  • will be emailed 3 times for each Team he manages
  • There are 3 upload lists, due to changing TEAMNAME field associated with TEAMNAME will overwrite with each list.
  • Team #1 TEAMNAME = Rockets
  • Team #2 TEAMNAME = Squirrels
  • Team #3 is undecided, therefore TEAMNAME = blank.


  1. Upload List #1. Team #1 TEAMNAME = Rockets
  2. Email status: SENT
  3. Upload List #2. Team #2 TEAMNAME = Squirrels (overwrite)
  4. Email status: SENT
  5. Upload List #3. Team #3 TEAMNAME = blank
    However, Team #3 TEAMNAME remains Squirrels because the last data uploaded and associated with was Squirrels.

SOLUTION, Constant Contact – Deleting and recreating custom field TEAMNAME




  • Each season contains 5 email campaigns, therefore Teams will each receive 5 emails per season.
  • will get emailed 3 times each campaign, because he manages 3 Teams, thus receiving 15 personalized emails per season.
  • Solution would require adding and removing TEAMNAME field each time this Coach is emailed, every campaign, 15 times per season – because one of his Teams has a blank TEAMNAME.
  • WHAT IF a Coach manages 4 Teams? Or 5? with variable empty TEAMNAME
  • WHAT IF there are 2 Custom Fields storing optional information? Or 3? Or 4?

Solution STEPS

  1. DELETE Custom Field TEAMNAME (Could reference previous season stored TEAMNAME)
  2. CREATE Custom Field TEAMNAME
  3. Upload List #1. Team #1 TEAMNAME = Rockets
  4. Email status: SENT
  5. DELETE Custom Field TEAMNAME (Other Teams in List #2 TEAMNAME may be blank)
  6. CREATE Custom Field TEAMNAME
  7. Upload List #2. Team #2 TEAMNAME = Squirrels
  8. Email status: SENT
  9. DELETE Custom Field TEAMNAME
  10. CREATE Custom Field TEAMNAME
  11. Upload List #3. Team #3 TEAMNAME = blank
  12. Email status: SENT
  13. DELETE Custom Field TEAMNAME
  14. CREATE Custom Field TEAMNAME

CONCLUSION: Adding and removing Custom Fields between emails is not feasible.


SOLUTION, proposed – Recognizing empty cells under a named column as NULL at upload

  • You don’t have to remove the custom field
  • Store NULL in custom field
  • COMPOSE EMAIL: Insert custom data, acknowledges NULL as empty
  • Dynamic Content: TEAMNAME is Not Blank (NULL = blank)

As of now, if I upload an empty cell under a named column, it refers to old stored (inaccurate) data. If I input NULL in the cell, it imports the word NULL, stores the word NULL and emails the word NULL.



We need to overwrite old data with empty data, when optional information is referenced. Will there be a way for your upload system to recognize empty cells under a named column as empty, and therefore store NULL (or empty) in their respective Custom Fields?


Thank you,


Re: Old data

Hi @KevinN4 


Thank you for reaching out to the Constant Contact Community. It's my pleasure to assist you today.


At this time, the feature you have described isn't currently offered. The previous workaround mentioned is the best option, although you may do this by removing the custom field from that contact only. I will certainly pass along your direct feedback. Thank you for choosing Constant Contact. Have a great day!

Adrienne B.
Community & Social Media Support

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