Instant Delivery Setup

Last modified March 25, 2020

What is Instant Delivery?

Publishers who choose the Subscriber Management access model are also set up with Instant Delivery. Instant Delivery allows new subscribers who sign up between issues to instantly begin accessing the latest issue.

Instant Delivery is a simple setup that allows a beacon on the Publisher’s website to communicate to GTxcel’s systems to automatically grant access to new users once they have completed the subscription sign up process. There are a few technical requirements to setting up Instant Delivery, and they are outlined below.

Guidelines for Instant Fulfillment

GTxcel can accommodate the instant fulfillment needs of both publishers and fulfillment houses. Instant fulfillment (Instant Delivery) involves establishing subscriber identity with GTxcel and then transmitting a URL to the subscriber to give them access to the publication’s current issue.

The instant fulfillment process involves three to four distinct stages:

  1. The initial collection of subscriber data
  2. Optional validation of subscriber data
  3. Data transfer to GTxcel who recalls or establishes a unique subscriber identity
  4. Transmission of a URL for the publication’s current issue provided by GTxcel to the subscriber.

We offer two basic methods for instant fulfillment as described below – the Beacon Method, and the XML Feed Method.

The Beacon Method involves the provision of an image call in which subscriber and publication data can be embedded. This approach begins when a subscriber submits data (e.g., name, email address, and so on, such as when they are signing up for a subscription) via a Web form. The Web form (hosted by the fulfillment house or publisher) responds automatically when the subscriber is directed to a static confirmation page (i.e. “Thank you for buying a Subscription with Such-and-Such Magazine.”) The subscriber’s browser then triggers the transmission of data (via a beacon) to GTxcel. The confirmation page acknowledges that access has been granted and the subscriber will receive an email notification shortly containing the URL to the issue. GTxcel then follows up with an email to the subscriber that includes the URL to the current issue of the publication. The following diagram assumes a user has requested and been provided with a subscription page (Web form) and then shows how the data moves through the process.

The XML Data Feed method involves direct interaction between the fulfillment house and GTxcel. Initially, a subscription Web page (hosted by a fulfillment house or publisher) is filled out by a subscriber and submitted. Once the subscriber data has been validated, the subscriber data is POSTed (in XML form) to a GTxcel server. The GTxcel server responds to the fulfillment house with a status report that includes the request status, subscriber ID, and URL to the issue. The fulfillment house reads, optionally validates the response, and then sends a Web page response to the subscriber that may or may not contain a URL to access the current issue. GTxcel can also follow-up with an email to the new subscriber with the URL.

The following diagram assumes a user has requested and been provided with a subscription page (Web form) and then shows how the data moves through the process.

All of the approaches to instant fulfillment involve implementation tasks that must be completed by the customer (fulfillment house or publisher) and GTxcel. These tasks have been identified in this section by method and are preceded by a list of skills required to implement each method.

Option One: The Beacon Method

Assumptions for implementing this method:

  • Basic understanding of HTML structure and conventions
  • Ability to create Web response page with dynamically filled fields

The following steps support instituting instant fulfillment via the beacon method.

Initial Setup Tasks

  • Client: Provide the body content for the email template that GTxcel sends to the new subscribers. This will include the body of the email and the subject line for the email. If you have a specific HTML format you would like to use, you can provide us with the source for the email.
  • GTxcel: Using content provided by you (the Publisher), an email response is created.
  • GTxcel: Creates the image call, and tests it before being sent to you. See the example of an image call below.
  • <img src="http://staging3-cgi.texterity.com/cgi-bin/pwf_eds.cgi ?transaction_type=subscription &subscription_type=digital &email_address={Email Address} &first_name={First Name} &last_name={Last Name} &publisher=rimbach &publication=pollutionequipment &email_tt_body=PEN_Instant_Delivery_Notification.html &email_tt_subject=PEN_Instant_Delivery_Notification.sub &email_type=multipart &email_from_field=Pollution%20Equipment%20News%20%3Cpollutionequipment@texterity.com%3E &urp_to=jstokoe@texterity.com &user_action=sub" height="0" width="0" border="0">
  • Client: Embed the image call into your subscription web response form. Take the image call provided by GTxcel and paste it into the body of your HTML web response form (i.e. appearing in a structurally legal position between the body tags).

Recurring Tasks

  • Client: Pass along user-input (e.g. user email address, username and so forth) to GTxcel via beacon (image call) on the confirmation page. This occurs automatically with the beacon in place.
  • Client: Collects emails of new subscribers (respondents) to add to next months’ digital subscriber list.

Note: The email response template can accommodate parameters that require variable values.

Option Two: XML Feed Method

Assumptions for implementing this method:

  • Understanding of XML tagging scheme and structure
  • Ability to program HTTP transactions
  • Ability to create Web response page with dynamically filled fields
  • Ability to programmatically create and read XML files

The following procedures support instituting instant fulfillment via the XML Feed method. Initial Setup Tasks

  • 1. Client: Provides content to GTxcel for email response and email subject line.
  • 2. GTxcel: Creates an email response template.
  • 3. GTxcel: Pass XML subscription request form to the client (you).

Recurring Actions

  • 4. Client: POST XML block as an HTTP transaction – see example below.

Note: The XML block may be sent to the GTxcel server in either a POST or GET transaction. We suggest a POST to avoid interference between XML markup and special characters in URLs. The GTxcel response contains data, again in XML form, by which the customer may build an appropriate response to the subscriber. In perl, for example, one might use the LWP::UserAgent module with a UserAgent object. $ua If the variable $xml_request contains the XML text, the interaction would look something like the following:

$response = $ua->request(POST ‘http://pubsrv.texterity.com/cgi-bin/pwf_eds.cgi’, [xml_request => $xml_request]);

$response will contain XML text that can be parsed for the content of interest.

  • 5. Client: Pass along data, (e.g. URL) to subscriber using response from POST.
  • 6. Client: Collect emails of new subscribers (respondents) to add to next month’s subscriber list.

 Example XML Feed Method

<subscription_reponse xmlns=”http://www.texterity.com/eds”> <subscriber> <email_address>jsmith@world.net</email_address> <name>__________</name> <subscriber_id source=”texterity”>??????</subscriber_id> </subscriber> <subscription> <publication></publication> <subtype>new</subtype> <start_date>20060611</start_date> <end_date></end_date> <start_issue pub_id=” ”/> <end_issue pub_id=” ”/> <url> </url> <email_tt_body>anvil-issue-email0072782-A.html</email_tt_body> <email_tt_subject>anvil-issue-email0072782-A.sub</email_tt_subject> </subscription> <request_status>granted</request_status> </subscription_reponse>

Note: The customer POSTs an XML transaction containing all the pertinent data.

In response to an XML transaction, GTxcel returns an XML block containing all the data interpreted from your request as shown in the example below.

The URLs available for GTxcel servers are:

XML Feed Method: Using Parameters

Parameters are descriptors that are implemented as XML tags and the content in the tag defines that characteristic for a particular individual subscriber/ subscription (e.g., <email_type>html</email_type> ). Parameters are categorized into three main groups, required, optional, and custom. Custom parameters are used to collect specialized data.

Listing of established parameters

The following is a categorized list of parameters that are available to use when implementing instant fulfillment. The status column identifies a parameter as  R (required) or O (optional).

“u1″ – u[digits]Optional(For XML Feed, use user-defined[digits]) Optional, will append a &u1=anything to your url string, e.g. for promo codes or special popups. Can also be used as an open-ended field for tracking different uses of instant delivery, for reporting purposes. email_copyOptionalbcc email address

Category Parameter Status Description
Emailemail_addressRequiredInput by the user – cgi will send an error message to the url_to address if no email address is give. (Note: Include a validation code on form so that no requests are passed to GTxcel without an email value.)
Emailemail_tt_subjectRequiredContains the subject line of the message that will be sent. (Note: GTxcel tells client what value to use).
Emailemail_tt_bodyRequiredThis is the name of your email address file. E.g. “newtrial.html” or “newtrial.txt”. If you are using multipart, specify only the name of the html message (Note: GTxcel tells client what value to use).
PublicationpublicationRequired(Note: GTxcel tells client what value to use).
Emailemail_typeOptionalChoices are: text(only), html (only) or multipart. Text requires only a text format message, html only an html message, and multipart will send both and let the user’s mail program make the choice. Multipart is recommended over html, default is text.
Publicationurp_toOptionalAn email address to which error messages are sent, usually the GTxcel Digital Specialist. (Note: Internal tool used for debugging purposes).
PublicationagentOptionalThis could be used to indicate a 3rd party referral such as a fulfillment house.
PublicationpublisherOptional(Note: GTxcel tells client what value to use).
Personalfirst_nameOptionalInput by user; recommended
Personallast_nameOptionalInput by user; recommended
Personalfull_nameOptionalInput by user; generally instead of first and/or last name
 campaignOptionalAllows tracking of the campaign code/source code/response_key that publishers use to determine where a reader has come from when reaching the subscriber page.
Issuesubscription_typeOptionalDefaults to ‘trail_subscription’ if it’s not specified, meaning it will default to a sample issue if one exists. Other options are: ‘subscription’ (will not look at samples); ‘unsubscription’, ‘print_subscription’, ‘digital’, ‘back_issue’: used for publications that sell back issues.
Issuestart_issueOptionalThis is an alternative to current_issue = the 2 parameters should not be used together. It allows you to fix the issue for which the notice is sent, rather than sending the most recent.
IssueissuesOptionalUsed to request more than one issue. Takes a comma separated list. (Note: GTxcel tells client what value to use).
 confirm*Must be hosted by GTxcel.
 email_from_fieldOptionalAllows use of alternative email address.

Diagnosing Processing Errors

In an effort to anticipate possible errors that might occur during processing, the following list identifies errors most commonly found.

Q: What are the circumstances that would return a “not granted” reply (i.e. database error, system down)? What are the messages returned by GTxcel?

A: The documented returned status messages are “granted,” “unfilled,” “denied,” and “unrecognized.” Most of these are self-explanatory. The most common status messages, “granted” or “denied,” are returned to the calling application. If the system is down, the process would not progress to this point, but this is an unlikely scenario.

Q: What is the default URL a fulfillment house should display on their confirmation page if they cannot connect to GTxcel’s server? Assuming the subscriber should still be offered the instant issue.

A: A “super user” account would need to be set up for this circumstance. Once this account has been set up, GTxcel can provide the fulfillment house with the URL along with the sub_id.

Q: What is the link the fulfillment house should display on their confirmation page?

A: The fulfillment house would take the entire URL element from <url> through </url> that is included in the response.

Q: If the fulfillment house is not sending start issue, end issue or account number, do they have tor remove those ekements from the post or do they send them blank?

A: Either way will work, but if start issue is included and it has any value at all, the value has to be something GTxcel recognizes or it will result in an error. If there is no value or the variable is absent, GTxcel will handle it properly.

Q: Is it acceptable if a publication is a 3-position alpha magazine code?

A: The fulfillment house cannot use their values. They must use the collection name used by GTxcel in our database.

Need Help?
The Digital Help Desk is the process for communicating with GTxcel regarding new title setups, questions, and technical issues for the Web Reader and/or Apps.

You can submit a request to us through the Request Help button located in the Publisher Dashboard or call the support number: 800-609-8994, option 3.
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