getting emails automatically sent when add/remove contacts to a list


getting emails automatically sent when add/remove contacts to a list



I have written an app to sync users from my CMS to a Constant Contact list (this is for a client of mine with 10k contacts).  When I ran my sync, which both adds and removes users from a list, I got a very strange occurance: an email went out (not sure how many) automatically with the following message:


"We have recorded your changed interest preferences in our database. Please review your changes below:

No Interests

If these changes are not correct, please select the link at the bottom of this email to return to our Subscription Center and make the appropriate adjustments. In the future, the emails we send to you will reflect these changes. "


The strange this is when I ran tests prior to running my sync, on a test account, no emails were sent out (this is the same code used on the live site).  So 3 questions:

1) Is there a setting where I can disable these auto emails?

2) Did this occur because I was updating the account with ACTION_BY_CLIENT?  If I make all changes with ACTION_BY_CUSTOMER this will be avoided?

3) why did this not occur on my test account but did occur on my live account?


Thanks very much,



Hi Yoav,


Sorry for any inconvenience caused by those update profile emails being sent to your contacts.  


1.  There is no way to disable those emails, unfortunately.  Sorry for the limitation.


2.  This did likely occur because you were updating with ACTION_BY_CONTACT instead of ACTION_BY_CUSTOMER.  Action by customer indicates that someone on your side initiated the changes, while action by contact indicates the contact took action, and sends them emails.


3.  It is hard to say without knowing the differences between your test account and your live account.  If a contact was added to a list in the live account, that was invisible from the customer's standpoint (not on the join my mailing form in Constant Contact), and they were not on any other lists in the account that were visible, but in your test account there are no 'invisible' lists, then that would be why it said they had 'No Interests' in the email.


I hope that helps!



Shannon W.

API Support

Thanks for your response Shannon. 


I traced through my application and it seems the ACTION_BY_CUSTOMER is in fact set as the Opt-In property for all new users created.  This leads me to wonder why the emails went out in the first place.  I tried to reproduce this issue on a test Constant Contact account, however I was unable to.  When users were created or updated, an email did not get sent. 


On a related note, I did use the Constant Contact visitor UI ( ) to update a user's list settings in my test account, and an email with the same subject and body as the ones that were emailed "accidentally" went out:

Subject = New Interests...

Body = We have recorded your changed interest preferences in our database...


In the emails that I received when I manually changed List properties through the UI above, I received emails noting which Lists I now belonged to (expected behaviour).  In the case of the emails that went out because of API calls, the emails all had No Interests as the display of lists.  What would trigger a "No Interests" email to go out?  The users that got these accidental emails were all set to be members of a particular list, and when I view their properties, I see that they were ADDED BY "Contact" and they do belong to the list the API added them to (they are also shown as being added on the date I ran the application, Aug 3). 


I am trying to provide you with all information I have so I can understand how to correct the problem.  Understandably, I am weary of running the application sync again on live data until I understand why those emails went out.  Perhaps the information I provided above will give you that AHA moment?




Hi Yoav,


Thank you very much for the details.  With the information you provided, I was able to reproduce a defect in our system.  In my account. I set a list to NOT display on the Join My Mailing List (JMML) Form, so that it would not be an option for people to join when they updated their profile from an email sent by Constant Contact.  I then proceeded to add a contact that was not on any other list in my account through the API, as though they had joined from a website (ACTION_BY_CONTACT).  I then received the "No Interests" email, as you described.


This is related to a known defect that we had in our system, and hopefully now that we have more details about how this happens, it will help our engineering team find a resolution.  I am sorry this is happening.  


While we work to resolve the issue, I would recommend making any list you add a contact to through the API visible to the contact on the Join My Mailing List so that this defect doesn't cause your contacts to receive that email telling them they have no interests (they should receive an email telling them what lists they have been added to, however).  Here is a link on how to make a list viewable on the JMML form.


Thank you again for making us aware of the issue and how to reproduce it, and thank you for your patience while we work to resolve the issue.  Have a wonderful day!


Best Regards,

Shannon W.

API Support Specialist

Hi Yoav, 


I just wanted to add that I could not reproduce this issue when the opt in source is set to ACTION_BY_CUSTOMER, so 1) If you do see this behavior and can reproduce, let us know so that we can look into it, and 2) making the opt in source action by customer instead of by contact should suppress any emails from going out, so that is also a possible workaround for you while we get this addressed.




Hi Shannon_W, I am having the same issues as listed above. We have contacts being added to our database from our website and WordPress landing pages that are now receiving the "Your profile has been updated" emails. I am wondering if these are going out if the contact is already in our database? Can you assist me?

The Updated Profile email that your subscribers are getting would only be triggered if the following two conditions are true:


1. Contact is already in your Constant Contact database (Active, Removed, Do-Not-Mail, status doesn't matter)

2. You updated that record using the action_by (OptInSource for the V1 XML API) set to ACTION_BY_CONTACT


The same is true for Welcome Emails.  They are only sent for ACTION_BY_CONTACT when a new Contact is created.  The only way to prevent that from happening is changing that value to ACTION_BY_OWNER (ACTION_BY_CUSTOMER in the V1 XML API).  If you are using a plugin, you would need to change the setting or contact the person who developed the plugin.  If you did the integration yourself, this should be a pretty easy change for you to make.

Dave Berard
Senior Product Manager, Constant Contact
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