We are currently subscribed with the trial version of CC. We have this Audience Management ERP to manage and maintain client interactions on various websites for publishers. We were looking to integrate our product with CC to use their Email Marketing services. It would be great if we can get answers to some of our queries which would help us make the right decision before we begin with the actual implementation, here we go -
i. Does CC require that lists are purged. We need to establish if the lists can be differential so that email sending
events don’t select previously emailed contacts i.e can it differenciate the contacts from the list who have already been
mailed with the contacts who haven't been mailed.
ii. Can we determine the API’s needed for this considering the client data resides with us in our databanks and how can we go about integrating the 2 applications via APIs ?
iii. If we need to configure list names in our product's API i.e can the list names and list data be configured from our end or only the list contacts be configured ?
iv. Determine the required setup in CC for the integration to work i.e. steps involved to integrate our product with CC ?
v. Any other relevent information/documentation that we need to know before we begin ?
i. Constant Contact does not require that lists are purged in order to make sure that contacts that already received an email do not receive it again. We have a resend function in the account that allows you to resend to contacts that are new to the list. The resend function is not currently avaiable directly from the API; however, in the uesr interface you would just go into the email details of an already sent email and click the resend button. This will ensure that you do not need to purge any list.
ii. When using our API, if you would like to match up your database with ours, you would want to do a GET https call on our Contacts Collection URI. This will give you the contacts that are currently in your account, and then you can cross reference them with your database. It is also possible to do a get on the list collection and specifically pull members of a particular list.
iii. You are able to modify and create lists using the API, and can change their names from your end. You would do this by using the List Collection URI found here.
iv. The best way to begin interating your product with Constant Contact would be to look at our documentation here, and then try out our sample forms, which are in ColdFusion, PHP, and ASP.net. If you run into any issues you can always post the problems on the forums and we are here to help.
If you have any quesitons or comments please feel free to let me know!
Benjamin_S Thanks for the info.
Can we embed the frontend of CC in our product so that our customers can access it staying on our product rather then going externally to your website.
If no then is there any other interface you offer that we can provide to our customers from our product to set parameters to be used in CC ?
This is an add on to my previous comment, let us suppose that we got our product and yours confirgured through the APIs. One of our customers, wants to access CC through our product and hence clicks on the CC link on our website. Once this is done, a request string is sent from our end to yours via API. Would the customer get logged in directly to the after login page/interface of CC or would they be suppose to login again ?
What you're talking about is certainly possible. We do offer special API features for our AppConnect partners, such as Login API and Account Creation API. This would allow you to get your users into their Constant Contact account using a one click login solution.
I think it would be best if we talked about the options our AppConnect Partner program offers. If you could send us an email, I would be more than happy to give you a call and talk details. You can reach us a email@example.com. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for your reply. I had a word with one of your CSR today. I was told that CC cannot be directly embeded to an external website. Please specify if embedding is possible or our customers will have to go to external links (external CC interfaces which are not a part of our product).
That is correct, our UI elements are not able to be pulled into or iframed into an external solution. We do have API features for syncing and sharing data, however our actual UI features are only available through our website.
We do offer API features for logging users directly into their accounts from your software, which eliminates the steps of having to direct them to our login page and entering their username/password.
Thanks for the reply Dave. I was going through the CC's API documentation provided at this link - http://developer.constantcontact.com/
I had a difficulty understanding that whether or not a list can be created, populated with new contacts and deleted through APIs at run time? And would CC be able to provide us with an API to purge a list at any given point in time so that we can flush out the old contact entries from a list who have already been mailed with a certain content ?
Lists in Constant Contact are just associations of Contacts. They can be created, updated or deleted at any time using our API features. You can find more information on these actions here: http://community.constantcontact.com/t5/Documentation/Contact-Lists-Overview/ba-p/25965
You can also use our API to add or remove contacts from a list in bulk, which sounds like what you are intending to do, including clear a list entirely of all its Contacts. You can find out more information about these Bulk Activities here: http://community.constantcontact.com/t5/Documentation/Bulk-Imports-Exports-Overview/ba-p/25977
Regarding clearing out Contacts who have received a Campaign, this isn't always necessary the way our system is designed. A Campaign sent through us can be sent to one or more Lists. What we do on send is merge all those Lists into one send list, removing duplicates. If you decide later to resend that same Campaign using our resend feature, we will check to make sure no Contact receives the Campaign a second time. For this reason, it is often no necessary to clear the contents of a List.
Of course, there are other flows that could require you to clear the contents of a List. All of this is possible through our API features linked above.
Thanks so much for your reply Dave. Here is a scenario that gets me concerned. Let us suppose one of our customer places an order and we populate the 'New order' list by his/her details. After 'n' minutes (n - any value, 3 minutes suppose), the same customer places a new order. Can his order and email details be populated in the same list considering that he/she would be using the same email id for both the orders (duplicate entries). What could be the way out to deal with this ?