update of custom field option, how does this affect subscribers?

I have found the API reference that describes how to update the custom field options in a subscriber list.  The question I have is this.  If I have options assigned to subscribers, and I update the options, how does this affect the selection options for each subscriber?

For example, if I have a custom field for subscriber location with the following options

Los Angeles
New York

and I have subscribers assigned to all of these locations, I then change the locations to:

Los Angeles
New York

What happens to everyone who had Boston as a selection?

edit to help clarify:

I am asking this from an API perspective.  I realize that, if you edit a custom field like this via the Lists & Subscribers web interface it handles it in the following manner.

if I change the name of Boston to Providence everyone who was Boston gets changed to Providence.

If I delete Boston and then Add Providence it removes Boston from everyone, leaving that selection on that entry empty/blank.

But, when you do this via the API it only allows you to do an all or nothing replacement of the Custom Field options.  So my question is what happens to those orphaned entries?  I'm guessing they are set to empty/blank.  I don't want to test this as it will require me to go back through and redo all of my 2000+ subscribers

Greg Strutton Greg Strutton, 3 years ago

Hey peteb,

Thanks for the post. There isn't a way to update a specific custom field option via the API, but this is something I've just added your vote for in our feature request list.

As the 'Updating custom field options' method is destructive, the best way to achieve this right now would be to create a new option via the API for the custom field, but making sure the "KeepExistingOptions" is set to true. This is so when adding the new option to the list, all the current options are kept and will not be removed from subscribers or segments.

For example:

    "KeepExistingOptions": true,
    "Options": [ "Portland"]

Will add a new option 'Portland' to the custom field, while making sure all current options remain untouched.

You can then create a method which then updates the subscribes with the older option to the newer option you've just added.

There isn't a way to remove a single option from the custom field, so this is something you'll need to do via the interface.

I hope that makes sense and helps!

peteb, 3 years ago


Yes, that does, and thank you for the response.


See why 200,000 companies worldwide love Campaign Monitor.

From Australia to Zimbabwe, and everywhere in between, companies count on Campaign Monitor for email campaigns that boost the bottom line.

Get started for free