Example Usage of

Edit existing contact.

Description: Edit an existing contact in the system.
Endpoint: /admin/api.php?api_action=contact_edit
HTTP method: POST
Supported output formats: xml, json, serialize
Requires authentication: true
* indicates requirement. Underlined params include in URL, otherwise as part of the post body. POST data must be formatted as
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
. We don't accept any other input formats like JSON.
Variable Description
api_key*Your API key
api_outputxml, json, or serialize (default is XML)
overwrite1 (DEFAULT: overwrite all contact data), or 0 (only update included post parameters)
id*ID of the contact you want to edit.
email*Email of the new contact. Example: '[email protected]'
first_nameFirst name of the contact. Example: 'FirstName'
last_nameLast name of the contact. Example: 'LastName'
phonePhone number of the contact. Example: '+1 312 201 0300'
account_nameOrganization/Account name. This will be added to the Contact.
customer_acct_nameOrganization/Account name (if the Account/Organization doesn't already exist, this will create a new Organization/Account) - MUST HAVE CRM FEATURE FOR THIS.
tagsTags for this contact (comma-separated). Example: "tag1, tag2, etc"
field[345,0]Custom field values. Example: field[345,0] = 'value'. In this example, "345" is the field ID. Leave 0 as is.
field[%PERS_1%,0]'value' (You can also use the personalization tag to specify which field you want updated)
p[123]*Assign to lists. List ID goes in brackets, as well as the value. WARNING: if overwrite = 1 (which is the default) this call will silently UNSUBSCRIBE this contact from any lists not included in this parameter.
status[123]The status for each list the contact is added to. If left blank, the status will default to 1 (active). WARNING: If you change a status from unsubscribed to active, you can re-subscribe a contact to a list from which they had manually unsubscribed. Examples: 1 = active, 2 = unsubscribed
formOptional subscription Form ID, to inherit those redirection settings. Example: 1001. This will allow you to mimic adding the contact through a subscription form, where you can take advantage of the redirection settings.
noresponders[123]Whether or not to set "do not send any future responders." Examples: 1 = yes, 0 = no.
instantresponders[123]Use only if status = 1. Whether or not to set "send instant responders." Examples: 1 = yes, 0 = no.
lastmessage[123]Whether or not to set "send the last broadcast campaign." Examples: 1 = yes, 0 = no.
sendoptout[123]Use only if status = 2. Whether or not to set "send instant responders." Examples: 1 = yes, 0 = no.
unsubreason[1]Reason for unsubscribing. Include list ID in brackets.
Example response:
Variable Description
result_codeWhether or not the response was successful. Examples: 1 = yes, 0 = no
result_messageA custom message that appears explaining what happened. Example: Contact updated
result_outputThe result output used. Example: serialize

PHP Example

This is an example of using the contact_edit call with PHP. You can replicate the same idea in virtually any other programming language. The example shown is using serialize as the output format. You can change that to XML or JSON if you would like.


// By default, this sample code is designed to get the result from your ActiveCampaign installation and print out the result
$url = '';

$params = array(

	// the API Key can be found on the "Your Settings" page under the "API" tab.
	// replace this with your API Key
	'api_key'      => 'YOUR_API_KEY',

	// this is the action that modifies contact info based on the ID you provide
	'api_action'   => 'contact_edit',

	// define the type of output you wish to get back
	// possible values:
	// - 'xml'  :      you have to write your own XML parser
	// - 'json' :      data is returned in JSON format and can be decoded with
	//                 json_decode() function (included in PHP since 5.2.0)
	// - 'serialize' : data is returned in a serialized format and can be decoded with
	//                 a native unserialize() function
	'api_output'   => 'serialize',

  // by default, it overwrites all contact data. set to 0 to only update supplied post parameters
  //'overwrite'    =>  0,

// here we define the data we are posting in order to perform an update
$post = array(
	'id'                       => 1, // example contact ID to modify
	'email'                    => '[email protected]',
	'first_name'               => 'FirstName',
	'last_name'                => 'LastName',
	'phone'                    => '+1 312 201 0300',
	'account_name'			   => 'Test Account',
	'customer_acct_name'       => 'Acme, Inc.',
	'tags'                     => 'api',

	// any custom fields
	//'field[345,DATAID]'      => 'field value', // where 345 is the field ID, and DATAID is the ID of the contact's data row
	//'field[%PERS_1%,0]'      => 'field value', // using the personalization tag instead (make sure to encode the key)

	// assign to lists:
	'p[123]'                   => 123, // example list ID (REPLACE '123' WITH ACTUAL LIST ID, IE: p[5] = 5)
					   // WARNING: if overwrite = 1 (which is the default) this call will silently UNSUBSCRIBE this contact from any lists not included in this parameter.
	'status[123]'              => 0, // 1: active, 2: unsubscribed (REPLACE '123' WITH ACTUAL LIST ID, IE: status[5] = 0)
	//'first_name_list[123]'   => 'FirstName', // overwrite global first name with list-specific first name
	//'last_name_list[123]'    => 'LastName', // overwrite global last name with list-specific last name
	//'noresponders[123]'      => 1, // uncomment to set "do not send any future responders"
	// use the folowing only if status=1
	'instantresponders[123]' => 1, // set to 0 to if you don't want to sent instant autoresponders
	//'lastmessage[123]'       => 1, // uncomment to set "send the last broadcast campaign"
	// use the folowing only if status=2
	//'sendoptout[123]'        => 1, // uncomment to send opt-out confirmation email
	//'unsubreason[1]'         => 'Reason for unsubscribing',

	//'p[345]'                 => 345, // some additional lists?
	//'status[345]'            => 1, // some additional lists?

// This section takes the input fields and converts them to the proper format
$query = "";
foreach( $params as $key => $value ) $query .= urlencode($key) . '=' . urlencode($value) . '&';
$query = rtrim($query, '& ');

// This section takes the input data and converts it to the proper format
$data = "";
foreach( $post as $key => $value ) $data .= urlencode($key) . '=' . urlencode($value) . '&';
$data = rtrim($data, '& ');

// clean up the url
$url = rtrim($url, '/ ');

// This sample code uses the CURL library for php to establish a connection,
// submit your request, and show (print out) the response.
if ( !function_exists('curl_init') ) die('CURL not supported. (introduced in PHP 4.0.2)');

// If JSON is used, check if json_decode is present (PHP 5.2.0+)
if ( $params['api_output'] == 'json' && !function_exists('json_decode') ) {
	die('JSON not supported. (introduced in PHP 5.2.0)');

// define a final API request - GET
$api = $url . '/admin/api.php?' . $query;

$request = curl_init($api); // initiate curl object
curl_setopt($request, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0); // set to 0 to eliminate header info from response
curl_setopt($request, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1); // Returns response data instead of TRUE(1)
curl_setopt($request, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $data); // use HTTP POST to send form data
//curl_setopt($request, CURLOPT_SSL_VERIFYPEER, FALSE); // uncomment if you get no gateway response and are using HTTPS
curl_setopt($request, CURLOPT_FOLLOWLOCATION, true);

$response = (string)curl_exec($request); // execute curl fetch and store results in $response

// additional options may be required depending upon your server configuration
// you can find documentation on curl options at
curl_close($request); // close curl object

if ( !$response ) {
	die('Nothing was returned. Do you have a connection to Email Marketing server?');

// This line takes the response and breaks it into an array using:
// JSON decoder
//$result = json_decode($response);
// unserializer
$result = unserialize($response);
// XML parser...
// ...

// Result info that is always returned
echo 'Result: ' . ( $result['result_code'] ? 'SUCCESS' : 'FAILED' ) . '<br />';
echo 'Message: ' . $result['result_message'] . '<br />';

// The entire result printed out
echo 'The entire result printed out:<br />';
echo '<pre>';
echo '</pre>';

// Raw response printed out
echo 'Raw response printed out:<br />';
echo '<pre>';
echo '</pre>';

// API URL that returned the result
echo 'API URL that returned the result:<br />';
echo $api;

echo '<br /><br />POST params:<br />';
echo '<pre>';
echo '</pre>';?>

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