In order to send campaigns, the first thing you need to do is to add contacts to your database. There are several ways to do this in Flexmail:
- Upload a CSV file
- Add a single contact
- Connect with the API
- Other options
This article will guide you through the process. We made this as easy as possible, so you will have your contacts in your account in no time.
- To add contacts to your database, go on Contacts > All contacts section of your account.
- On your contact overview, you'll find three tabs:
- Confirmed contacts: overview of all the active contacts in your account
- Unconfirmed contacts: overview of all the contacts who have received an opt-in message but haven't confirmed yet.
- Blacklisted contacts: overview of all the blacklisted contacts in your account
- At the top of those three tabs, click on Add contacts.
- Here you can choose between the different import possibilities.
Upload a CSV file
You can add contacts to your database by importing an existing contact list. If you have a file with all your contact data, save it as a CSV file to add the complete list in your Flexmail account. Don't know how to save your spreadsheet as a CSV file? Click here.
- To import an existing contact list, click on the import possibility Upload a file.
- First, select your CSV file. Check if your file meets the following guidelines for a flawless import: (guidelines visible in the application)
- Your file should be saved with the .csv extension (e.g. contacts.csv).
- The file should be less than 25MB and contain fewer than 100,000 rows. Use multiple imports for larger files.
- Label each column with a name that is recognisable to you by adding a header row like email, name, first name, language, ...
- Columns should be separated by commas or semi-colons.
- Multiple values in a cell are separated by a comma. If a value in a cell contains a comma, you'll need to enclose that value in double quotes to retain the comma.
- Multiple values for preferences or interests should also be combined in a cell, separated by a comma. You'll need to enclose those preferences or interests within that cell with double quotes to retain all the values.
- Already existing values for preferences or interests will not be overwritten.
- For multiple choice fields, all choice options you wish to retain should be in your file. The entire field will be overwritten.
- To ensure that date fields are processed correctly, use an ISO8601 format (e.g. 2018-08-25).
- Sources, preferences and interest labels are case sensitive, so the uppercase and lowercase should match exactly in your CSV file.
- For your contact languages, we only identify the ISO values, e.g. nl, fr, and en. To add other contact languages, you first need to specify them in the settings.
If you import already existing contacts in your database, first learn more about how overwriting existing contacts works in Flexmail.
- Before you can upload your file, you need to indicate that you obtained the contact data rightfully. Read more about it here.
- Next, you need to link the contact data from your file to the corresponding database fields in Flexmail. We'll use the first row in your file to get that information. That's why that first row should never be an actual contact or email address. This way we can store all your collected information in the right place. To make this process more intuitive for you, we'll always remember the last mapping used. Need extra help? Click here.
You cannot replace existing values in fields with an empty value by means of an import. If you do wish to empty a field for a specific contact, you could use a . or -.
- After you've mapped your fields, we will check all the data in your file, based on the email address column. If we can find any invalid or blacklisted contacts, we'll show you the results of those errors in an overview. For every error, we'll give you more context and an option to correct potential mistakes whenever possible in the .csv file you can download there. For more information about the possible import errors, click here.
- Once you're done, simply click on Finalise import.
- In some cases, it's possible that you need to take one extra step before you can complete your import. The contact fields language and source are mandatory. When those mandatory fields are not (fully) included in your import file, we will ask you to select which value we can enter automatically as fallback for those fields.
If there are no interests in your file, an additional step will be displayed in which you are asked if you want to add an interest to these contacts.
- Do you want to add an interest? Choose the right interest via the drop-down list or create a new interest. You can assign up to five interests per import.
- If you do not want to add an interest to the import, click Skip step and finish import.
Your contacts are now added to Flexmail and ready to receive campaigns from you. It could be a good idea to automatically send them a welcome email.
Add a single contact
Besides adding an entire list of contacts, you can add contacts one by one.
- To add a single contact, click on the import possibility Add one contact.
- Insert the contact's data into the contact fields you need. Email address, language and source are mandatory.
- Before you can add the contact, you need to indicate that you obtained the data rightfully. Read more about it here.
- Once you're done, simply click on Add contact to save your contact in your database.
Connect to the API
If you wish to add your contacts automatically from somewhere else, the best option is to build your own connection with our REST API. To get more info on this, simply contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org to get your User ID and token.
Our manual for setting up the API can be found here.
When you have added new contacts, you will be notified in several ways:
- Notification bar at the top of your contacts overview
When you've completed an import in your Flexmail account, we show you a green notification bar to show you how many new contacts were added with your completed import.
- Ranking and notation of the insertion date of your contacts
If a contact has just been created, it will show "Just now" as the creation date during the first 60 minutes after your import. After that first hour, "Today" will be displayed. From the second day onwards, only the creation date is displayed. You can of course also sort your contacts by this date.
- Email import report
When you have added new contacts using the API or the import in your account, you will receive a confirmation email after the import is completed. This email is sent to the user who performed the import.
This lists all the important numbers and warnings. You will also find a link to a file with any email addresses that could not be added, including the reason why.
The above options are the ones that are most frequently used. However, there are a couple more options to automatically add contacts to your database:
- Opt-in forms: You can create an opt-in form and place the link on your website. Interested visitors can then subscribe to your newsletter. To learn how to create an opt-in form, click here.
- Connectors: Our CRM partner Efficy has created their own Flexmail connector which you can use, if you use both platforms.
Still not entirely clear how you add contacts by uploading a CSV file? Watch this video: