Before you can start sending messages via email, SMS, or voice broadcasting, you need to import your contact database into the system. This section will show you how to do that and how to pull reports on those imports.

Contacts Import Overview

How to Import Contacts

Tutorial Video

Prepare Your Contacts

If you’re going to import your contacts from an Excel spreadsheet, first prepare the data by:

  • Organising the data, so each field has its own column (email address, name, surname, etc.)
  • Making sure that each contact’s details are captured in their own row
  • Fixing incorrect email addresses before importing (e.g. ‘[email protected]’ is probably incorrect and should be changed to ‘[email protected]’)

Download our Import Sample File if you get stuck – this will give you an idea of what to aim for.

Once imported, contacts are stored in the system as lists, which are basically spreadsheets housing each contact’s details.

Select Your Import Type

To import contacts, go to Database Management > Imports. On this dashboard, click the New Import button. From here, you can import your contacts in the following ways:

1. Upload a CSV, Excel, or Text file from your computer

Use this option when you have an existing database stored on your computer. We support TXT, CSV, XLSX and XLS file formats.

  • Click the Upload icon
  • Click the Browse button
  • Browse for your file and click Open

Download our sample file to see what your Excel file should look like.

Once you’ve uploaded your list, you have the following options:

  • Set contacts as ‘unconfirmed’ on import and send them a confirmation mail.
  • Update all existing contact details in the system with the imported data.
2. Copy and paste a few contacts into a text box in the platform

If you only have a few contacts to import, you can use the copy and paste function to manually add them to your list from an Excel spreadsheet (with separate tabs) or a comma-, pipe-, or semi-colon-delimited text file.

  • Click the Copy & Paste icon
  • Copy and paste your contacts’ details from your text file or Excel spreadsheet. Ensure each row is copied and pasted separately on its own line.
  • Click Next
Contacts Copy and Paste

Once you’ve copied your contacts into your list, you have the following options:

  • Set contacts as ‘unconfirmed’ on import and send them a confirmation mail.
  • Update all existing contact details in the system with the imported data.
3. Upload from an HTTP, FTP, or SFTP server

You can upload from an HTTP, FTP, or SFTP file server. For files hosted on an HTTP server, paste the URL into the field provided. If your file is hosted on an FTP or SFTP server, enter the server URL, username, password, and file name when prompted.

Once you’ve uploaded from the server, you have the following options:

  • Set contacts as ‘unconfirmed’ on import and send them a confirmation mail.
  • Update all existing contact details in the system with the imported data.
  • Schedule the import by date and set a recurrence date for when the file will be imported again.
4. Upload from an integrated service like Google Contacts, Google Docs, or Salesforce

Follow these steps to import a list of contacts from a web-based service like Google Contacts, Google Docs, or Salesforce:

  • Click on the Service Integration icon.
  • Select the service you want to use.
  • In the pop-up window, verify that you want to allow the system to access your selected account and follow the steps relevant to that service for the connection.
  • Once you’ve enabled the connection, select the data you want to import.

Once you’ve uploaded from the selected service, you have the following options:

  • Set contacts as unconfirmed on import to send them a confirmation mail.
  • Update all existing contact details in the system with the imported data.

Once you’ve specified the source for your import, click Continue to move on to step 3.

Map Your Fields

Tell the system which field it must apply to each column of your data. The system will assign fields automatically, but if the wrong field has been applied, click the drop-down menu on the field name and choose the correct one. Any column without a field assigned to it will be excluded from the import.

When you’re happy with the fields assigned to your import, click Continue.

  • If you’d like to use a custom ID to identify your contacts (e.g. pet’s name), create one before you start the import. To use it in this step, select the My unique ID radio button in the left-hand Properties panel and choose the correct field from the drop-down menu. Please note: We recommend using an email address, mobile number, or another field that is unique to each contact to avoid sending duplicate messages.
  • If your first row is made up of field names, un-check the Import first row radio button so that the system doesn’t import it.
  • If you copied and pasted your data in, specify the type of delimiter you used to separate the contact data.
  • If any of your contacts don’t have info in your included fields (e.g. mobile number, email address), they will be excluded from the import.
  • If you use a company’s landline number for multiple contacts and designate it as a mobile number, they will be tagged as duplicates and excluded from the import. This is because Mobile Number is treated as a unique identifier by the system.
Import with a Unique ID

You can import your contacts using your own unique reference number as their unique identifier in the system. You’ll be able to search the database, view contact reports, and update contact details using this number. Create a custom field for this unique identifier before starting the import.

Follow these steps to use a unique identifier:

  • Select My Unique ID in the left-hand Properties.
  • Select the field that contains your identifier from the drop-down menu.
Importing Multi-Value Custom Fields

To import contacts with multiple-value custom fields, the fields must exist as custom fields set to Multiple Value before they can be imported with your contacts.

  • Use the sanitised name found under Custom Fields as the import values. You can comma separate them to apply more than one option.
  • In the import document, each multi-value option must have its own column. Before importing, set the value in the file to either on / true for true, or off / false for false.

Select Your List

Once you’ve mapped your contacts, move to the list-selection page by clicking Continue. Check the checkbox next to a list’s name to add your contacts to an existing list or click Create List to create a new list. In the modal that appears:

  • Enter the name of the new list
  • Enter the email address that the system can send list reports to
  • Enter the list owner’s name
  • Select the list group from the drop-down (not required)
  • Click Create List

Choose Import Options

In this section, you can set the following options:

  • Set contacts as unconfirmed on import to send them an opt-in confirmation mail
  • Update all existing contact details in the system with the imported data
  • Send a progress email to an email address of your choice
  • Tag all new and existing contacts with tags from the newly imported list or create a new tag before importing

Confirm Your Import

Review the import settings you’ve selected and, if you need to, set any scheduling. If you notice any errors, you can return to a previous step by clicking the Back button in the bottom-left corner of the screen.

  • If you go back to the first step, all your changes will be lost and you’ll have to start again from the beginning.
  • Confirm that your list is permission-based and doesn’t contravene the system’s anti-spam policy by checking the checkbox in the top blue bar.

Once you’ve confirmed that the settings are correct, click Start Import. From here, your import goes into a queue and you can carry on with other work in the system (like composing an email campaign). You’ll receive an import summary email once the import is complete.

Import Reports

View import statistics on the Imports page by clicking on the name of the import. This will show you import stats by:

TotalThe total number of contacts that were processed.
New ContactsNew contacts added to the system.
Existing Contacts UpdatedContacts that were already on the selected list that were updated.
Existing Contacts Added to ListsContacts that were already in the system that were updated and added to the selected lists.
FailedContacts that failed to import.
Duplicates RemovedDuplicate contacts that were removed from the list during the import.
  • Imported files expire after 7 days and can’t be edited. Scheduled imports will not expire.
  • To export lists of the duplicates, failed, and fixed domain contacts, click on the Export tab at the top right and select All. The whole list will be exported in .CSV format. You can then make any corrections you need to and re-import the corrected .CSV list.