Learn how to import multiple contacts into an existing or new address book.
You can bulk upload contacts into a new or existing address book using our contact importer.
Before you start
Things you need to know:
- You can only import Excel, CSV, TXT and ZIP file formats.
- You must have an address book ready to import the contact data into.
To learn how, check out the article Create an email address book.
Import contacts into an address book
To import contacts into an existing address book:
- Go to Email > Contacts > My contacts.
- Find the address book you want to import to, then select Add contacts.
- On the Import contacts page, select Add a list of contacts from an Excel or CSV file.
- On Upload a file with new contacts to Importing contacts, for File, select +Choose file.
- Find and select the file you want to import.
- For Email address to notify, enter the email address you want us to send the import-complete report to.
- For Encoding type, expand the drop-down menu and choose the encoding type of your file.
UTF-8 supports most languages.
- Select Upload.
- Under Data mapping, use the Map to drop-down menus to map your file column to a data field in your account.
To learn more, check out the section How to map your contact data.
- Select Finish.
We now upload your file and import the contacts. This might take a few minutes.
View your import report
To see a breakdown report of your contact import, go to Contacts > Advanced features > Import history > Report.
How to map your contact data
On the data mapping page, expand the drop-down menu of each field and select the appropriate contact data field for each column, or create a new contact data field by selecting Add new data field.
If your file contains consent data, then you'll need to map any columns to the appropriate consent fields in the dropdown - 'consentdatetime', 'consentip', 'consenttext', 'consenturl' and 'consentuseragent'. You don't need to include all five consent fields to be able to map this type of data successfully.
Mapping an opt-in type
To import contacts with an opt-in type, map the following values to the 'optintype' contact data field:
If you don't map one of these values to this contact data field, the value will get set to 'Unknown' by default.
If you don't have verified double opt-in turned on for all signups (under 'Regulatory settings' in your account settings) and you map 'Verified double' as a value to this contact data field, the value will be changed to 'Unknown'.
Mapping a contact ID
If you map a column to the contactID field, we will try and match that contact based on its dotdigital contact ID and then update any matching contacts accordingly. You must use numerical values only for the contactID.
Only use dotdigital contact IDs
You should only populate the contactID field with contact IDs from dotdigital, for example, synced using our API. If you try to import IDs from an external source, then mapping the column to dotdigital’s contact ID might override or erase some of your contact data for any matching contact IDs.
If your import file uses our standard contact data field labels as column names then these will be automatically mapped for you.
Using column names that differ to our standard contact data field labels
If you've included column names that differ from our standard contact data field labels in any way, you'll need to click on Change settings and tick First row contains column names.
This lets the importer know it should recognise the top row of your import as column names rather than a standard data row, and will prevent the importer from rejecting the row for being an invalid email address.
Extra options for CSV/TXT file formats
If you've used a CSV/TXT file format, extra options are available from Change settings to allow you to set your column delimiter, text qualifier and escape mode.
Overwriting data by importing contacts into an existing address book
- If you're importing into an existing address book, and overwriting contact data, select Show advanced settings to choose a data merge option.
- You can either choose to:
- update all of the existing contact data fields with the imported data
- keep existing data in contact data fields from being updated with any imported blank values
- merge your imported data so that you keep any existing values in contact data fields.
- When ready, click on Finish and the file will be imported into the selected address book.
Successful imports are confirmed by a clearance message from our powerful and intelligent data analysis tool, the Data Watchdog.
If any records failed to import successfully, a faults file will be available for you to download at the foot of the confirmation report.