Network for Good recently integrated their DonateNow online donation application with Constant Contact. In this post, Network for Good’s Tanya Lee, Vice President of Program Management, talks about the process of integrating with Constant Contact.
Using Network for Good’s integration with Constant Contact, nonprofits can automatically manage their donor mailing lists. Customers no longer have to go through the manual steps of exporting their donor lists from one system and manually importing them into another.
DonateNow customers complete a simple, one-time setup to connect their donation pages to a Constant Contact mailing list of their choice. A new mailing list can also be added directly from the DonateNow configuration area. Once enabled, donor details are automatically added in real-time to the selected Constant Contact mailing list after each successful donation.
Nonprofits can also purchase a fundraising bundle that includes Constant Contact directly from Network for Good, streamlining their billing and account management. Network for Good automatically creates a new Constant Contact account within seconds of the initial purchase and the customer receives a single consolidated bill from Network for Good for both services.
We chose to divide the Constant Contact project into three phases:
- Integrating the product
- Selling the product as bundled service
- Transitioning existing customers.
Following our established agile methodology, we organized each phase into two-week sprints with frequent checkpoints for internal demos.
We found that working in these phases allowed us to focus attention on specific functional areas and deliver value at multiple milestones throughout the project. The first phase allowed us to bring value to customers who already had DonateNow and Constant Contact services independently, while the later phases allowed us to introduce the power of the joint products to new customers on both sides. Dedicating a phase to customers who were using a different email marketing platform was also critical. These customers required the additional support of moving over their existing data with confidence and getting acclimated to the new product and its more robust features.
Developing the integration
Constant Contact’s v2 API enabled development for the project, which gave us the flexibility to integrate Constant Contact services with the Network for Good platform in ways that were not readily available from other providers. We wrote the integration in C# and, while the Constant Contact SDK for that language was not yet available (Constant Contact C# Library is now available), we were able to directly call the APIs that we needed.
Phase 1 – Build the integration
In the first phase, we used the Contacts and Contact List API endpoints to automatically add donors from a DonateNow page to our customers’ Constant Contact mailing lists in real-time and to support creating new lists from within DonateNow.
Phase 2 – Create Constant Contact accounts
During the second phase, we used the Partner Provisioning endpoints to remotely create and manage Constant Contact accounts in addition to the Contacts and Lists functionality. Constant Contact’s single billing functionality allowed us to consolidate all of our customers’ billing activity at the partner level. Together, these features enabled us to bundle Constant Contact with DonateNow in our marketing and sales efforts, making the purchase and setup process seamless for our customers as well.
Phase 3 – Transition our existing users
In the third phase, we committed to seamlessly transitioning over 1,000 customers from our previous email marketing provider to the new Constant Contact integration. Constant Contact supported the process by mass provisioning the new accounts using high-level customer data provided by our team. We worked with our legacy provider to export all contacts and mailing lists for our customers in CSV format. Network for Good then wrote a light utility that used the Bulk Activities API endpoints to import the customer data representing 1.3 million individual contacts into the new accounts. Once we imported the data, we granted customers access to their new Constant Contact accounts and provided a period of overlap with the legacy system for a few weeks to allow them to compare lists and make any final adjustments.
Customers receive a series of communications from Network for Good throughout the process to guide the transition. They also receive onboarding calls from the Constant Contact team shortly after getting access to their new accounts. There was no service interruption during the transition and the period of overlap between systems made customers more comfortable with the switch.
As expected when moving between providers, we did run into some data issues while mapping customer contact lists. Many of our customers relied heavily on custom fields in the legacy system and we had to work closely with the Constant Contact on-boarding teams to help customers map that data correctly. We were also pleased to discover that Constant Contact was in the process of launching enhanced contact management functionality to better support custom fields soon after our release.
Throughout the project, the Constant Contact API Support Team was incredibly responsive and easy to work with. We had direct access to a team of smart people, who were clearly very familiar with their product. They advised on best practices for implementing the APIs, were responsive to any identified issues, and shared upcoming features on their roadmap for our future consideration.
Network for Good is proud to have Constant Contact within our suite of offerings. Paired with DonateNow, Constant Contact email marketing services allow us to provide a more comprehensive toolkit for our nonprofit customers to maximize their donor relationships. Our customers are equally excited about the Constant Contact integration, finding it powerful and easy-to-use, and are very impressed with the support they receive from the Constant Contact team during the transition process.
We look forward to more great success stories from customers empowered by our services and encourage you to explore how integrating with Constant Contact can strengthen your product lines.