I am setting up CC to develop an automated marketing system for my business. I have looked trough the help materials and it is pretty basic so...
What I have:
- email list of current clients - new to email newsletters (we did it by direct mail before) (MyClientsList)
- asp.net membership site that delivers online service (free) - I have linked new user login to CC contact via API (works - first go! - many thanks to forum). (AspNetList)
- e-books that people can download from wordpress site (EbooksList)
- Simple Join my Mailinglist form on wordpress site (MailingList)
What I want to do is:
1. Send everyone (All Lists) a monthly newsletter.
2. Send AspNetList a welcome email on joining that gives them some instructions where to find support etc.
3. Send e-book subscribers - an instant email directing them to download ebook/s ( a number of different ebooks- different products and markets). - Autoresponder after a few days etc.
4. Have AspNetList, EbookList, MailingList and MyClientsList as one list.
Why I am Confused.
A. How can I add Welcome Email that delivers instructions email to aspNetList only instantly not as 1 day autoresponder.
B. How can I have download ebook/s forms on website that deliver different welcome email (download instructions) say to aspnetlist and mailinglist welcome emails. I will have a number of different ebooks available at the same time.
C. How can I merge all lists to create AllList - that removes duplicates etc- do I have to do this manually or is there an automated process. Do i have to delete list then remerge before sending out new list.
D. Have i set my lists up properly? Should I use CustomFields rather than lists to differentiate groups?
E. Do I have to do this via API or using CC standard forms. ( I can program vb.net but hopeless at php)
Any help would be great? I have been trying to draw a system on how it works and I keep getting stuck.
Some really good questions here that I can help you with. Some of them can be solved with some simple programming and simple steps, others may require some more complicated solutions.
A - If you want to send a welcome letter that is unique to only this list (I.E. the Wordpress JMML folks don't see it), you would need to modify the code of your ASP.NET API integration to send an email to these customers as part of the sign up process. This email would need to be sent from your web server as we currently only offer one Welcome email per Constant Contact account. This is something we have provided feedback on and I will submit another feature request on your behalf.
B - This is more or less the same answer as in A. The options you have are to set up AutoResponders with information that you can update when you need to and set them to go out to these lists. You can create an email newsletter that you actually schedule to send from your account to these lists (we are looking at adding the ability to create and modify custom HTML code email campaigns through the API, so this may be an alternative later). If you're looking for an actual Welcome email, it's the same answer as A. You would need to code in the sending of an email through your ASP.NET sign up form and sent from your own website.
C - The easiest way to merge lists is to use the "Merge" option in the Constant Contact UI. It will automatically remove duplicates and since we manage the Opt Out process for you already, you won't have to worry about that as well. Programatically you can do the same thing using the Bulk Activities API to export your 4 lists in question and than send those 4 export files back to us all as adds to a 5th list. It is a bit more work this way as we do not have a merge API feature yet. I have also put this feedback to our Product Management on your behalf.
D - The way you differetiate you contacts is up to you as best fits your use cases. I typically recommend using as many lists as you need as we only bill you for unique contacts. Since they can be in dozens of lists and only count as one, you can than do targeted and focused marketing which is truly the way to success with email marketing.
E - Most of these options require some API and web programming to implement them idealy. However, the are alternatives to most of them that can use standard Constant Contact features. However, if you're looking for a very specific and customized solution, they API and web programming is possibly the only way to implement what you're looking for.