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Importing Contacts from File or Other Services
Importing Contacts from File or Other Services

Learn how to import contacts to your Audience tab from files or third-party services

Ira avatar
Written by Ira
Updated over a week ago

Omnisend syncs data with your store, so your store contacts are added to Omnisend automatically. You can also import contacts from a file or from other services.

Change Customer Data Format

You need to change the format of the fields before uploading the file to Omnisend:

  • The first row in the file contains column headings or your customers' data; the document has only one sheet and is recorded in one of the following formats: .csv .xls .xlsx .ods.

  • A single file may contain up to 200 contact properties (1 column = 1 property). If you want to upload more information, you can split the data into several imports.

  • All information about each contact goes into one separate row, and each column contains a single type of information, e.g., First name, Last name, City, etc.

  • You have at least an Email address or the Phone number for each of the contacts.

  • The phone number should be recorded in the international format: +11231234567 (+ country-code area-code phone number). To tell Excel to treat this data as text, not a function, you may add an apostrophe ('+1 ...) or change the format of the cell to the text one.

  • Time stamps should be imported in ISO 8601 format. Example: 2020-01-01, 2020-02-29 14:23, 2020-02-29T14:23Z, 2020-02-29T14:23+02:00, etc.

  • When using the format "2020-01-01" without specifying a time, it defaults to 12:00 p.m. Moreover, opt-in/opt-out dates that are in the future won't be saved in the system.

  • There is only one Address field in Omnisend that accepts the values from Address 1 and Address 2 lines and merges them to a single comma-separated string Address 1, Address 2. Make sure to combine both fields in the file.

    The information for import should be recorded in a table similar to the one presented below.

Once you're finished setting up your file, follow the steps below for a successful contact import.

Import from File

To import your contacts from the file, go to the Audience tab β†’ click on the Add contacts button β†’ Import contacts from a file β†’ Select file.

The import process consists of the following stages:

  • Upload File, where you should select the file to upload.

  • Map, where you should assign the fields from the file to the ones available in Omnisend.

  • Organize, where you can specify the status for imported contacts, at this stage you can also choose whether you want to add a tag or create a Segment.

  • Review that summarizes the information recorded with your contacts import.

Map Customer Properties

In the drop-down menu, you can choose the mapping for the properties you have in the file. The list of the fields you can map consists of the default and custom properties. If you can find the default field, it is better to use it instead of creating a custom one.

After selecting one of the properties from the drop-down menu, the following property is mapped as:

  • Default property (common information that is the default property for most contacts).

    The default information includes the following data:

    • Personal data: Email address, Phone number, First name, Last name, Birthdate, Gender.

    • Address: City, State/Province/Region, Country, Country code, Postal/Zip code.

    • Opt-in status: Email opt-in date, Email opt-out date, SMS opt-in date, SMS opt-out date.

Important! If the opt-out date provided for the contact is later than the opt-in one, the customer is added with an unsubscribed status.

  • Custom property (some specific information about your contacts you would like to keep, like their clothes size, etc.). In case you are adding some custom property and you don't have any contacts that have this property added yet, you need to type in the name you'd like to call it and click Create new.

It's critical to know that there are some name restrictions for custom properties:

  • Can contain only Latin characters, numbers, "_" (underscore) sign.

  • Max name length - 128 symbols.

  • Name is case-sensitive.

Once the attribute is set, it will be marked as mapped. You can still change the property after mapping.

After mapping all properties and clicking continue, newly created properties will be available in forms, on the contact's profile page, in segmentation, etc. Read more about custom properties here.

TIP! It's significant to remember that if you have the field for both the email address and phone number, it is always better to record your customer phone number as a default property instead of a custom one. When mapped as a custom property, the phone number won't trigger the automation workflow.

For the first import, we recommend mapping all the properties available. If you added the information about your customers already and want to upload your contacts to the Segment, it is sufficient to map the email address or the phone number field only.Β 

πŸ’‘ If you wish to import a list of tags to Omnisend, you may use custom properties instead of the tags.

Organize Customer Data

Contact Statuses

On this page, you can choose whether you want to import them as subscribers or with undefined status (non-subscribed). If you add customers with email addresses or phone numbers, and without the property defining your contacts' opt-in statuses, you will be able to select your customers' subscription statuses for Email and SMS channels.

When one of these boxes is unchecked, the customer is added to the system with non-subscribed status. Non-subscribed contacts per default are those that placed an order in your store, abandoned a cart, created an account, but never agreed to receive your marketing. Uploading contacts with non-subscribed status will provide the following benefits:

  • all data about your customers will be kept in one place;

  • we will make sure you are not sending marketing messages to them (transactional emails can still be sent to these customers);

Important! The box for the Email, unlike the one for the SMS channel, is always pre-selected. Check this article to learn more about your contacts' statuses definition on Import.

Update Customer Data

If you want to upload more information to your customers' profiles, you can import the file with the new data or with the data to be updated. Keep in mind the list you upload should contain the email address or the phone number to identify your customer; you don't need to add all the information about the user.

Omnisend doesn't duplicate your contacts but only adds new information to the system. However, you should be careful with your customers' statuses. If you upload them with subscribed status, the customers having non-subscribed status may get converted; unsubscribed status is not affected.
Therefore, if you require updating your customers' data, make sure to uncheck the checkbox and import your customers with non-subscribed status.

In that case, your customers' data is updated in the following way:

Add Tags

When you import contacts, Omnisend adds two tags automatically:

  • source: manual import;

  • imported from file on DD/MM/YY HH:MM:DD, for example: imported from file on 27/03/20 09:57:05am.

Apart from the tags added automatically, you can also add one manually by selecting one of the existing tags or creating a new one. You can add as many tags as you wish. When you add a tag, all file contacts will be tagged so you can filter and segment them in the future to use for more targeted communication.

Create Segment of Imported Contacts

Even though you can always create a Segment based on the tag added manually, you can also create a Segment based on the unique tag we add automatically. The segment will be named after the type of import and date of import: "Contacts imported via <manual_import_type> on <date_of_import>”.Β 

You can find the imported Segment by navigating to Audience > Saved segments.

Trigger Segment-based Automation

If you have any Segment based automations enabled, you may choose to trigger it for the contacts added to the Segment.Β 

Review Import Details

In this section, a summary of the file is shown. You can see the number of contacts found and tags that should be assigned.Β 

Once you click on the Import button, you will be brought back to the Import tab, where you will see the progress of your import.

Click View Import Details to see the detailed report on how many new and existing contacts have been added, as well as how many good/bad emails/phone numbers were found.

That's it; your import is completed, and you can send your emails to imported users πŸš€ Β 

⚠️ If you get problems with non-Latin letters not being displayed correctly, save the .csv file in UTF-8 format and upload your contacts again.

Have more questions? Feel free to contact us at [email protected].

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