Get started with contacts

Your contact data is the backbone of everything else that you can achieve with Dotdigital.

Laura Russell avatar
Written by Laura Russell
Updated over a week ago

Contacts are the people whose information you store in your account.

You can store all sorts of data for a contact, for example:

  • communications channels, like email address and mobile number.

  • personal details like name, address, and date of birth.

  • interests and preferences.

  • purchase history, web browsing behaviour, and consent data.

We provide a flexible range of options for storing data about your contacts, as well as different ways to manage all of that data.

Watch the video

Channels and contact identifiers

To add a contact to your account, all you need is at least one way to contact them - an email address or a mobile number. We call these channels or channel identifiers.

Each contact in Dotdigital is assigned a unique numerical ID at the point of creation. This ID is fixed, which means that a contact can update any of their other details; their email address, mobile number, or name, for example, and all of their associated historical data is still linked to their record.

Types of contact data

The types of data you can store for your contacts can be split into three main categories:

  • Personal details

  • Contact data fields

  • Insight data

Personal details

The core information you can store about a contact is their personal details – also known as default data fields. This is the most basic information you might keep for a contact:

  • First name

  • Last name

  • Full name

  • Email

  • Mobile number

  • Gender

  • Postcode

  • Notes

Data fields

With contact data fields, you can store customised information about a contact in fields that you create. Custom data fields can be Text, Numeric, Date, or Yes/No format.

Any additional data that you can store about your contacts allows you to more effectively target and personalise your communications.


When you create campaigns or landing pages, you can add personalisation to display some contact details fields and custom data fields.

Insight data

Insight data is made up of collections of structured data you can store against your contacts - in basic terms, you can store any data that is serialisable to JSON as Insight data. Some common uses for Insight data are:

  • Purchase history, stored in an orders collection.

  • Browsing behaviour, stored in a WebInsight collection.

  • Consent data, stored in a ConsentInsight collection.

  • Abandoned cart data, stored in a cartInsight collection.

For general information about Insight data, check out our Non-developer’s guide. For a more technical overview, you want the Developer’s guide.

Single customer view

You can view all of a contact’s data through the Single customer view (SCV). This is where you can gain oversight into your contacts’ data, engagement, and behaviour all in one place.

Learn more about the Single customer view.

Where to go from here

These articles can guide you through the fundamental steps you need to take to start making the most of your contact data in Dotdigital.

Import contacts into Dotdigital

Additional methods to add contacts:

Manage your contacts

Other contact related tasks you might want to complete:

Do more with contacts

Other related features you might want to explore:

  • Marketing preferences
    Marketing preferences and categories are used to organise your contacts based on their likes and interests.

  • Contact scoring
    Contact scoring allows you to score and rank your contacts against a scale that you create, based on their engagement with you and the data you hold on them.

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