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Understand the import report
Understand the import report

The Import report gives a detailed breakdown of the contact data you import to Dotdigital.

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

Find the import report

When you perform a manual bulk contact import in Dotdigital, you’re taken directly to the Imports in the last 24 hours screen, and can select the Report icon to view the import report.

Import reports are stored for 30 days. To see imports from more than 24 hours ago, select DATE RANGE in the top right, then expand the Date range drop-down menu, and select the time period you want to view. Select APPLY to confirm.

To locate import reports at any other time:

  1. Expand the User menu and go to Settings > Contacts > Import history.

  2. Select the Report icon.

The report is split into two sections; the Contact import summary and the Channel data report.

Contact import summary

The contact import summary displays a high level representation of what actions have been taken with the contact data you’ve uploaded.

  • Total uploaded contacts
    The total number of contacts that were included in your import file.
    This can differ from the number of contacts we’re able to successfully import to your account.

  • New and updated contacts

    • New contacts
      The number of brand new contact records created from this import.

    • Updated contacts

      The number of existing contact records which have been updated with the data in your import file.

  • Contacts not imported
    The number of contacts we were unable to add to your account.
    You can look at the Channel data report, and export these contacts as a CSV file, to understand more about why they could not be imported.

Learn more in the sections The faults file and Channel data report.

The faults file

Where there are contacts in your import file that have not been imported, you see the option to Export as CSV in the Contacts not imported tile.

The file that is exported is named importFaults, and when you open it on your device, you see columns for Reason and ReasonDescription alongside the contact data for the unimported contacts. These columns give a more detailed breakdown of the reason a contact could not be imported to your account.

The possible reasons you might see:


Reason description


Cannot update: an identifier appears more than once in the import file.


Cannot update: ContactID does not exist or is incorrectly formatted.


Cannot update: enter email addresses in the format:


Cannot update: enter phone numbers in the format: +447700900000, 447700900000, 00447700900000.


Cannot update: no valid contact identifiers were entered.


Cannot update: enter the email address domain in the format:


Cannot update: channel data belongs to another contact.


Cannot update: the contact is suppressed.


Deleting contact; try again later.


Cannot update: the channel identifiers do not match.


Cannot import contact: the contact already appears in this import using another identifier.


The list IDs provided are not valid.


Cannot import contacts to Test list.


When providing the ContactId column, MatchIdentifier must be ContactId.


Match identifier not provided.


No {0} identifier found in array identifiers.


Cannot update: email address is blocked by our watchdog.


Cannot update: the contact email address is on the global suppression list.

* For imports through the API only. Not applicable to manual or scheduled file imports.

Channel data report

The Channel data report shows the possible statuses for an imported channel, and how many of the contacts’ channel identifiers from your import file are in each status.

Channel statuses




Number of email addresses and mobile numbers found in the import file


Number of contacts with at least one channel marked as Subscribed.


Incorrectly formatted email addresses or mobile numbers. For example, mobile numbers missing the country code, or email addresses not following the format.


Email addresses or mobile numbers included in your import file which are already associated with another contact record.

Learn more in the section Conflicts.


Email addresses or mobile numbers which appear more than once in your import file.

Where duplicates occur, the first instance of a duplicate in the file is the one imported.


Email addresses or mobile numbers that have opted-out of receiving your communications.

Hard bouncers

Email addresses or mobile numbers that have previously hard bounced and subsequently been suppressed.


Email addresses or mobile numbers that have been marked as suppressed by a user on your account.


Email addresses or mobile numbers that have been blocked as a result of exhibiting known characteristics of suspicious data.

Globally suppressed

Email addresses which have complained directly to Dotdigital, or are know spam traps, resulting in their being added to our Global suppression list.

ISP complaints

Email addresses which have submitted spam complaints through their mailbox provider.

These are at your account level only.

Mail blockers

Email addresses which have received messages that their provider does not want to process, possibly because of attachments.

These are at your account level only.

Domain suppressed

Email addresses belonging to a domain which you have suppressed from your account.

Pending double opt-in

Email addresses which have been sent a double opt-in confirmation email, but are yet to confirm their opt-in.


A contact record in Dotdigital is identified by a unique numerical identifier, the Contact ID. For each contact record, it’s possible to assign two channel identifiers; an email address and a mobile number. Contact records can exist with one or both channel identifiers.

Learn more in Understand contacts.

Each channel identifier that you assign to a contact must be unique at an account level. This means that multiple contact records cannot share a channel identifier; a single email address or mobile number cannot belong to more than one contact record.

Conflicts can arise when a channel identifier exists anywhere in the account, including the suppression list, pending email addresses, and contacts in the Recycle bin, as well as your subscribed contacts found in the Audience area of the platform.

If you attempt to import an email address or mobile number which already exists in your account as part of an existing contact record, the import report flags this as a conflict. Conflicts are handled in this way because the platform cannot assume an intended behaviour for channel identifiers which already exist.


Let’s say a contact exists in your account with the email address, and the mobile number 447000000001.

You import a file which matches that same mobile number with a different email address; In this scenario, we can’t determine whether the intention is to update the existing record with a new email address, or to create a new contact record.

For this reason, we reject this contact import and mark it as a conflict.

Resolving conflicts

In order to resolve conflicts in your data, you can:

  • Double check the data you’re trying to import to ensure it’s the data you intended.

  • Follow the relevant guidance for your account type in the Merging contacts section of the Help Centre.

  • As a short term solution, for the purposes of sending a broadcast SMS campaign, for example, import a list which contains only the contact identifier you want to send to. For an SMS campaign send, this would mean uploading a file and mapping mobilenumberid without mapping email.

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