Now as we have learnt to add contact details manually to the list, let’s discuss the second part of adding contacts details from a file direct to your contact list. The import contacts feature helps you add sizable amount of contacts to the contact list of your choice with few simple selections, as discussed in the following area.
The contacts you will add through import or any other way of adding contacts like through API or web form, will be displayed under View/Search Contacts menu which has already been discussed here in another article.
Navigate to Add Contacts
Main Navigation -> Contacts -> Import Contacts from a File
Instead of following the pattern of other help center articles that discuss the mandatory and then the optional part of some process to complete, we would discuss the import contacts process step by step; second field/selection followed by the first one is the pattern of this article.
The destination of the file that needs to be imported and you have the following two option to select one appropriate.
Upload Now from System-If the file that you need to import is in your computer, then select this option. The process needs the file to be uploaded first from the field underneath.
- Select File- Proceeding with the option Upload Now from System would require selecting the file from your system to upload and import.
Select From Files Uploaded to Server Folder - If the file has already been uploaded to the server folder under your installation, then the system will simply provide you an option to select this file from its name and get it instantly imported, without having to upload it from your computer. You can also upload files using FTP to place within the server folder and later selecting the desired ones for importing.
- Import File- You will see all uploaded files to select one, if you select the second option to choose an already uploaded file from the server folder.
Email format that the contact are flagged to receive as default. Default selected value is HTML, because in case of HTML, contacts will still be able to receive and view the text campaigns. But if the selected format is text, then such contacts will only receive text version..
By default confirmed is the value of this option, but if you are following the strict standards of email hygiene, always consider sending a confirmation email to update the contact status as confirmed. For this case you can mark the status of the contact as Unconfirmed to later send an email with confirmation link.
The value by default is active to consider newly imported contacts as Active. Inactive contacts wouldn’t receive the email campaigns.
If the file that contains contact information include first row as header, then, select this option as Yes. It will give system an indication that the first row of the importing file belongs to the titles of the columns and not the original contact information; therefore, ignore the first row (Headers) while importing the contact information. If you wrongly select this option as “No” and the importing file contains first row as header, then system will import header names i.e. First Name, Gender and others as record values. Therefore, if the first row of the importing file isn’t the header then select No otherwise go with Yes option.
The file to import the contact details has to be either in .CSV or in Txt format. Select the right option.
What course of action should the process opt if it finds any duplicate entry. Following are couple of options to select the appropriate.
- Skip- If you want the duplicate contacts to be skipped while the import process, keep this default option selected.
- Overwrite- Select this if you want the existing duplicate entries within the destination contact list to be replaced with the new matching records in the importing file. The existing entries will eventually be removed and replaced by the matching records.
Mapping the Fields
After you are done with the preferred selections, system reads the file intended to get imported and will show you the values in the file to be mapped with correct database fields. You need to appropriately match the importing file columns with the fields in your list to store right information in the right fields. E.g. contacts’ country information should be stored in the field for the Country in your list. Following image further demonstrates this process.
Once the mapping process completes and you select to proceed with your preferred selections, function starts reading your file to count total number of contacts. Process of importing involves couple of checks, i.e. it looks and processes the duplicate entries according option taken earlier for the duplicates. It further would apply the check to remove the entries with invalid format, a format that doesn’t appear to be of an email, i.e. a record without @. While importing is in the process, you can perform other tasks by navigating away from importing page, the process continues to run in the background, until cancelled or completed.