Get started with contacts

Learn all about contacts and how to manage them.


Contacts are the people whose information you store in your account. Your contact data is the backbone of everything else that you can achieve with Dotdigital.

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

  • 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.

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Types of contact data

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

  • Contact details
  • Contact data fields
  • Insight data

Contact details

The core information you can store about a contact is their contact 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
  • Gender
  • Postcode
  • Email type
  • 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.

To learn how to create custom data fields, check out the article Create, delete, and edit custom data fields.

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. To learn more, check out the article Add data field personalisation to your email campaign or landing page.

Insight data

Insight data is a collection 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.

To learn more, check out the article 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

There are a number of ways to import contacts into Dotdigital:

Other contact related tasks you might want to complete:

SMS contacts

SMS contacts and address books are created separately from your email contacts and address books.

To learn more, check out the article Create, edit, and upload SMS address books and contacts.

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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