Apropriate way to add subscribers for one list to another

Regular Participant

Apropriate way to add subscribers for one list to another


I want to ask this question specifically to the constant-contact-team (because it might concern cc's usage-terms ;-) ).

I have constant-contact-list with people who subscribed to specific events. Some of them indicated interest to receive extra information (corresponding to a "generel news lists"), and I want to add them to that extra list. The thing is, we don't have a check if people who subscribed to the first list entered their own email, so if someone unsubscribed (or even reported spam) we would not want to annoy them by subscribing them to the second list.

Numbers: opt outs  < 1 %, spam reports ~ 0.1 %, total numbers ~ 1000 per list.

My question is how best to do that.

possible way A - bulk upload?

1. just upload the contacts who signed to the second list via bulk upload (http://developer.constantcontact.com/doc/activities)

Problem: people who unsubscribed from the first list would still be uploaded to the second list, or  am I mistaken?

possible way B - individual test and upload?

1. individually download people via contacts collection (problem is the amount of people might violate constant-contacts terms of use)

2. see which contacts have signed out (is that possible?)

3. upload those contacts individually or bulk-upload who did not sign out.

What do you think? What should be my way forward?


Hi Thomas,


This is a question that is more a combination of Compliance related questions combined with programmatic questions.  I'm going to answer the compliance related questions first to make sure that you are aware of our Terms and Conditions as they apply to the CAN-SPAM act.


Anyone who opts out of your email list or unsubscribes will be placed in your Do Not Mail list automatically.  They can be added back to your mailing list at their request and at their request only.  Using any means to bypass this system would be considered a violation of the CAN-SPAM act.  A direct request from your website would constitute a customer requesting to be moved off your Do Not Mail list and to start receiving emails again.  As long as you are within these guidelines, you are well within our Terms and Conditions.


Regarding the best method for doing this, it would depend on the volume of contacts and their prior state.  Let me break down some of the scenarios and see if this helps you:


Large volumes of contacts (25+ at a time):  The best method for this volume is to use the Bulk Activities collection to upload them all at once time.  This will allow you to add contacts to one or more lists per activity.  This will NOT opt customers back in who are on your Do Not Mail list.  


Single Contacts or small volumes:  The best method for this volume is to use the Contacts Collection.  This will allow you to add new contacts and set their list preferences.   This will also allow you to update existing customers to add them to new lists and to add customers back from your Do Not Mail list.  There will need to be programtic logic checks depending on the scenario but this seems like the best method for what you are looking to do.



Dave Berard
Senior Product Manager, Constant Contact
Regular Participant

Hi Dave, thanks for the answer, does help.

Just to make sure (as _two_ lists are involved):


- lets say contact "John@example.com" has been on list A and opted out of list A ("do not mail")

- my server uploads "John@example.com" to list B (via bulk upload, together with others)


Will "John@example.com" end up on B or not? In other words, is "do not mail" global across all lists or just for the one list where John opted out? Because, if it is really global than I can skip the program-logic to detect if he opted out and just trust that your server will filter him out (would make things easier for me :-) )


If a contact opts-out, they are effectively opting out of your account, regardless of how many lists they were on. The Do-not-mail list is global across all of your lists. If you attempt to upload a contact that is on the Do-not-mail list, they will not be added to any lists.

Dan H

Support Engineer, Constant Contact

Regular Participant

Okay thanks, that answered my questions.

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