This is a guest blog post by Robert Steffes, the lead developer at Digioh. Digioh is a startup software company with easy to use lead capture tools. Digioh’s integration with Constant Contact enables users to quickly send files in Constant Contact and track downloads by subscriber. The tool also captures new leads who download a variety of digital content, such as checklists, coupons, or e-books. Constant Contact and Digioh teamed up six months ago to help customers send large files and track downloads in their newsletters.
At the time, Digioh was an easy way to collect email addresses in exchange for a file. For example, our customers would say “Download our Free Whitepaper” on their website, and for their website visitors to download the Free Whitepaper, they would have to first enter in their contact information.
PHASE 1 – CONTACT SYNCING (EASY)
An existing customer of ours came to us and asked if we could make it easy for him to export all his new leads into Constant Contact automatically. He didn’t like the fact that he had to manually export his contacts every time. So, this was phase 1 of our integration with Constant Contact: syncing leads to a Constant Contact account.
To sync leads between Digioh and Constant Contact, we made use of four primary API calls using the Constant Contact C# Wrapper Library:
- SearchContactByEmail: Given an email address that we collect on Digioh’s end, check the user’s Constant Contact account to see if this email address already exists in their Constant Contact account.
- GetContactDetailsById: If the given email address already exists in the user’s Constant Contact account, then get the contact’s details (to make sure we don’t overwrite any existing information).
- UpdateContactFullForm: For any information that is not yet populated for an existing contact, write the new contact details to the user’s Constant Contact account.
- CreateNewContact: If the given email address does not exist in the user’s Constant Contact account, then add them as a new contact along with any associated details.
PHASE 2 – TRACKING & SECURITY (ADVANCED)
After about two weeks, the same customer came back to us and asked if he could also use his download link in his Constant Contact newsletter. Since Digioh works just like a hyperlink, it would work just fine. The only problem was he didn’t want to prompt his existing subscribers to enter in their email address, because they are already on his list. He wanted his existing subscribers to get the download right away!
We didn’t really have that many customers back then, so we thought why not. Let’s just make this customer happy even if he was only playing us $2.99/month.
This was kind of a tough problem. We needed to be able to detect if the subscriber was already on his list and based on that, provide the ability to download it based on that. We leveraged Constant Contact’s merge tags and the ability to pull in existing subscribers to be able to figure out who gets access to the file downloads.
We used Constant Contact’s $SUBSCRIBER.EMAIL$ merge tag to dynamically append each subscriber’s email address to our download links. Along with IP Address and Session checking protocols, this allowed us to offer a “first click bypass” into our security rules, and we were able to achieve the best of both worlds — Security and Convenience. First click bypass still verifies every email address against the Constant Contact’s user’s account. But it removes the unnecessary step of asking the user to input his email address as part of the flow to receive the file download.
TWO WEEKS LATER… BUSINESS SUCCESS!
After a few weeks of work and the help from the friendly Constant Contact AppConnect team (David Berard, Josh Scherman, Patrick Neilley, and Mariana St. Germain), our Constant Contact integration has been a major success. It was definitely worth the time investment. Our main go-to pitch has changed to this: We help Constant Contact customers send large files inside their newsletters and track who is downloading them. Our customers love it when they know exactly which subscriber actually downloaded their file.
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