I knew for a long time that Subscriber Email Communications were an important ingredient in growing an online community. It was only recently, however, that I felt the need to start actively using Email Campaigns to communicate with Sueetie Nation. So I thought, how better to put Sueetie and its community in the bonus than to add Constant Contact integration into Sueetie Subscriptions!
Here’s a look at the Sueetie Subscriptions Main Menu. You can see the types of features available like managing Constant Contact Subscribers, create Constant Contact Import files to build your contact list, various subscription support functions, and a feature I think is hugely valuable, populating Constant Contact Lists from site member groupings. More on that in a bit.
You can search users to manage their Constant Contact Subscriptions or display all subscribers as shown below.
Sueetie and Constant Contact, An Efficient Integration Architecture
The Constant Contact API is very robust and enables you to perform most services remotely, as you’ll see implemented in your Sueetie v3.4 Community. As an example of the clean Sueetie-Constant Contact integrated architecture, look at a Sueetie Subscriptions Contact Management form below. There is no local data or storage requirements for any Constant Contact data displayed, which includes the Contact List subscriber data. We’ll see this demonstrated again later with the Member Profile pages where site members can manage their own subscriptions.
Constant Contact Lists Based on Community Dynamics
Like I mentioned a second ago, a function of Sueetie Subscriptions that I think is very powerful is the ability to add members to Constant Contact lists based on your site’s member criteria. Here’s an example to demonstrate how powerful this function is.
We’re going to start with three email lists at Sueetie.com: The Sueetie Monthly Newsletter, New Product Release Announcements, and Sueetie Insiders. We want to send out a New Product Release Announcement to all members who downloaded any version of Sueetie. With Sueetie Subscriptions we can generate a list of all members who fit that criteria and automatically add them to the Constant Contact New Product Release Announcements List. And if members don’t want to receive the new release announcements, they can unsubscribe at any time both at Constant Contact and on their site member profile.
Below is a screenshot listing the various Member Group Types that can be used to populate Constant Contact Lists. Those groups are
- All Active Members
- Members who subscribed to your Site Newsletter
- Members who authored content in your site forums
- Those who purchased products in your Marketplace
- Combined members who authored content and purchased Marketplace products
- Combined authors, purchasers and newsletter subscribers
- Members who are active but who never created any content, subscribed to the newsletter or purchased any products
Self-Service Member Subscription Management
Your members can manage all of their site publications on their member profile page. As we mentioned before, all list data is generated through the Constant Contact APIs, so any list or list subscription changes on Constant Contact are instantly reflected in the Sueetie Member Profile pages without any changes required on your Sueetie site.
Non-Constant Contact Email Subscriptions
If you don’t want to use Constant Contact and simply want to list emails for your own email efforts, all group definitions listed above can be displayed for cut-n-paste into your BC field.
Site Newsletter Now Integrated into Constant Contact Services
The "Subscribe to Site Newsletter" checkbox on the site registration form is now integrated into Sueetie Subscriptions. Since we’re communicating with Constant Contact through a remote process we built in safeguards by using a Subscriber Queue and a background task to perform the Constant Contact creation process. That way we know nothing can get in the way of a positive, error-free user registration experience.
Getting Started with Constant Contact
The easiest way to get started with Constant Contact is by using an Import Contact File. First we’re going to use the Sueetie Subscriptions "Create Contact Import File" function to create an import file of precisely the members we want to add to our Constant Contact Account.
We’re next going to use Sueetie’s contact file to create our Constant Contact List. Here’s what that looks like at Constant Contact. In your Contact Management area, select "Add Contacts" then "Update Existing Contacts."
Constant Contact Fields
Regarding the use of Constant Contact fields, Sueetie uses First Name, Last Name, Email and Company Name. These are equivalent to Email – SueetieUser Email, First Name – SueetieUser Display Name, Last Name – SueetieUser UserID, and Company Name: SueetieUser UserName. We are using those fields because Sueetie doesn’t use "First" and "Last" name fields, and the remaining UserName and UserID fields can meet any analytics needs for links and associated reporting. They also populate Constant Contact’s default contact list nicely.
Setting Up Your Constant Contact Account in Sueetie
Sueetie Subscription Settings are where you’ll enter your Constant Contact API Key and Account information to use Sueetie’s integrated subscription services. The Newsletter List ID is used in the API for adding subscribers to your site newsletter. Once you provide that info you’ll be good to go!
Sueetie Product Keys and Feature Freedom
Constant Contact Integration Services are only available to users with a Sueetie Supporter Product Key. Users of a Free Product Key can use the Subscription Services to generate email addresses based on Site Member Criteria for their own email efforts. Free and Sueetie Supporter Product Keys are available in the Sueetie Marketplace.