API Limitations

Hello,

I am new to the Campaign Monitor API / forums and have been busy implementing an interface to communicate with your API. While doing this, I have come across a few "show stoppers" in terms of API limitations, and was hoping the Campaign Monitor team could provide some work around or ETA for this functionality.

API Limitations
+ Cannot create a new list.
+ Can only import new subscribers one at a time.
+ Can make custom fields for segment use but can't actually create a new segment or edit / manipulate existing segments.
+ Cannot send a demo / email preview of less than 6 subscribers - thus incurring the $5 fee to "test" the API.
+ Cannot create a new client.


From the API page:

"You can use your own in-house software to store customer or member details, and then outsource your email delivery to Campaign Monitor."


These limitations hinder the type of solution we can offer our customers and doesn't really let us achieve the use of the API you have outlined.

** edit **
Just thought it was worth pointing out that the segmented list functionality is a very good feature and something we had anticipated making use of.


Is there some functionality which I have overseen here? I am really looking forward to getting the show on the road.

Kind Regards,
Anthony.

snowman18, 8 years ago

Hi, Antony!

I think you are correct in most of your assertions but the guys at CM can respond. I have been working around the new list issue by using the same list and unsubscribing everyone and then re-adding. As you can see from my earlier post it seems that the system seems to not handle heavy load very well, and re-adding as a separate soap request is certainly slow.

Also unsubscribing one at a time is an issue.

the API is more limited than the UI, but these guys seem to suggest it will improve soon :-)

I think many of us on the list are waiting for this!

uogecko, 8 years ago

We're doing the same thing with our API - using one list and unsubscribing everyone from it and then subscribing new list members.  It's not a big deal but we're not able to send to less than 6 people which is a problem.  Our development is complete but we can't finish the integration until Campaign Monitor starts allowing the API to send to fewer than 6 people.  It could happen today, could happen next year.  We have no idea.

snowman18, 8 years ago

The problem we have found is that the speed to unsubscribe and re-subscribe is limited to about 300 people until we get a browser time-out.

The alternative is using multiple loads of the page to prevent browser timeouts...messy

uogecko, 8 years ago

Sounds like you're using much larger lists than we are at this point.

aj[FP] aj[FP], 8 years ago
snowman18 :

The problem we have found is that the speed to unsubscribe and re-subscribe is limited to about 300 people until we get a browser time-out.

The alternative is using multiple loads of the page to prevent browser timeouts...messy

When speaking of a browser time-out, are you referring to the maximum execution time of your script? That is probably a server configurable setting - change that and you might avoid the timeout - or at least send more recipients.

Obviously this is not a good work around, however given that the functionality is limited, it might be the only way until Campaign Monitor delivers it's complete API.

uogecko :

Sounds like you're using much larger lists than we are at this point.

Some of our clients have lists in the 30,000+ area. Maybe the implementation of the API should be revised, or it may get messy.

Kind Regards,
Anthony.


Fatpublisher Website Design & Development
P: 02 9699 7144
F: 02 9699 7147
W: http://www.fatpublisher.com.au
snowman18, 8 years ago

It is partly design on our side. The api is designed more to make constant small updates than add a new list. If it is used correctly, the list would be changed constantly "little" by "little."

However, the inability to create a new lists causes some of these creative approaches which also hit road blocks.  The best way for us is to use more of an incremental approach to updating lists through the API. This is more work than we had expected, but not unreasonable.

aj[FP] aj[FP], 8 years ago
snowman18 :

It is partly design on our side. The api is designed more to make constant small updates than add a new list. If it is used correctly, the list would be changed constantly "little" by "little."

However, the inability to create a new lists causes some of these creative approaches which also hit road blocks.  The best way for us is to use more of an incremental approach to updating lists through the API. This is more work than we had expected, but not unreasonable.

That may be so, but all these implementations mean nothing if we can't actually administer things like lists, segments, etc. without logging into the Campaign Monitor site (so why bother with an API in the first place, right?)

Looking forward to some feedback from the CM team...

Kind Regards,
Anthony.


Fatpublisher Website Design & Development
P: 02 9699 7144
F: 02 9699 7147
W: http://www.fatpublisher.com.au
snowman18, 8 years ago

Hey, Anthony:

I think it is great you have joined the forum and will help push this api to it maturity. I feel these guys are on the right track, and have being trying to figure out the right way to get a solution into our customers hands. I am really trying to avoid an alternate solution at this point.

Who would have though list management was such a pain!

aj[FP] aj[FP], 8 years ago

Still no reply from CM staff? Would like to know if this is in the pipeline...


Fatpublisher Website Design & Development
P: 02 9699 7144
F: 02 9699 7147
W: http://www.fatpublisher.com.au
Ben Ben, 8 years ago

Hi Guys, sorry for the slow response.

First of all, thanks for the great suggestions! We do plan on implementing this functionality into the API, and I'd love to give you some accurate timeframes but unfortunately we can't do that.

It would be extremely helpful from our end if you could also include the order of importance of each of these new features, so when we do add this functionality we can be sure that we're adding the most important features first.

aj[FP] aj[FP], 8 years ago

Hi Ben,

Thank you for responding.

In order of priority:
+ Cannot create a new list.
+ Cannot send a demo / email preview of less than 6 subscribers - thus incurring the $5 fee to "test" the API.
+ Can make custom fields for segment use but can't actually create a new segment or edit / manipulate existing segments.
+ Can only import new subscribers one at a time.
+ Cannot create a new client.


I hope that helps.

Kind Regards,
Anthony.


Fatpublisher Website Design & Development
P: 02 9699 7144
F: 02 9699 7147
W: http://www.fatpublisher.com.au
snowman18, 8 years ago

Here is mine:
+ Cannot send a demo / email preview of less than 6 subscribers - thus incurring the $5 fee to "test" the API.
+ Can only import new/UPDATE subscribers one at a time.
+ Cannot create a new list.
+ Can make custom fields for segment use but can't actually create a new segment or edit / manipulate existing segments.
+256 character limit on custom fields

+ Cannot create a new client.

aj[FP] aj[FP], 8 years ago

It's been a while now since any update on this topic. Is the CM team planning any updates?


Fatpublisher Website Design & Development
P: 02 9699 7144
F: 02 9699 7147
W: http://www.fatpublisher.com.au
Mathew Mathew, 8 years ago

We are working on some big projects at the moment actually, some of which will impact the API.

We will be adding more API specific improvements in the future for sure, but nothing we can confirm now.


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rmassart, 8 years ago

One thing to add to the list (unless this can already be done, in which case how?):

I would like the CM API to automatically generate the text version from the HTML version I provide (just like I can ask it to do this via the Web GUI). Is this possible?

If not, can it be added? That would be great.

Thanks,
Robin

alistair, 8 years ago

2 months have passed since a last update.

Have any of the items on these wishlists been attended or is there a firmer ETA on the horizon?

We really want to use CM API as an addon for our CMS clients as well as other stand alone applications, however the lack of a few features mentioned above (specifically list creation & test sending) is making it tough for us to make the move.

On the positive side for the Freshview crew, there really isn't anything else out there that we can use instead :-)

Cheers
Alistair

snowman18, 8 years ago

We have been able to get around "Most" of the limitations, and are now using it of our customers. However, if you really cannot use Campaign Monitor then VerticalResponse has a very good API and is comparable in pricing. Unfortunately, the support is pretty poor in our experience.

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