Managing contacts

11th August 2009 By Matt Davy in Email design

Getting your contacts into little green plane couldn't be easier. Simply select a contact list and click on the 'Import Subscribers' link under manage contacts. You now have two options; 'Import from File' and 'Basic Import'.
 
Basic Import

If you simply have email addresses to add to a list, select the 'Basic Import' tab. Now copy your email addresses in, one per line, into the box and click 'Import'. The easiest way to get these one per line is to copy a column from a spreadsheet and simply paste in.
 
Import From File

This option should be used if you have more information to import than simply email addresses. We would always recommend using extra information if you have it available. If you know someones name, use it to personalise the email. This is a very simple yet highly effective way to begin an email conversation with your contact and yet very underestimated and under used. Further to the name fields, little green plane gives you basic company and address data fields and also 10 custom fields that allow you to store whatever information you desire to be used in your campaigns.
 
To import from a file, click the 'Select' button and select the file to upload from your local machine or network. Where possible use a .CSV or Comma Separated Value file. You can save any excel file in CSV format, simply select File > Save As and select CSV from the file type box. Once you have selected the file to upload, click the continue button. little green plane will upload and analyse your file to identify the column headings. You will be presented with a data mapping screen allowing you to set up the data to import, as follows:
  
You then have two import options; 'Maintain' and 'Update'. Maintain is the default option, this will only add in new email addresses and new items of data found for contacts and maintain all other data as it currently is for your account. The second option is to update, which will add in all new email addresses, but also update all data associated with a contact. So if you're looking to update a list with a new set of data / refresh a data list, use the 'Update' option.
 
When you're happy simply click the 'Import' button to begin the import. You will then see a results page telling you how many records have import successfully and how many have failed.

From here you can easily export the failed addresses to a CSV file. This is very useful is you have received a list only to find that 20% of the anticipated send volume has already been removed due to invalid email addresses. You can also look at these and find the common mistakes such as '.co.u' and no '@' symbol and correct these easily.

Matt Davy
About the Author

Matt Davy