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Import contacts


The process for importing contacts via the Cordial user interface (UI) has been updated. The UI process described here will soon be deprecated. You can learn about the updated process for importing contacts via data job here.

Before you can send messages with Cordial, you need to import your contacts. While you can add contacts one at a time, you'll most likely import them using a CSV (comma-separated values) file.

Before importing, we recommend that you do some list hygiene to help maintain healthy deliverability. You can learn more about list hygiene here.

Read on for a step-by-step guide on importing contacts.

Import contacts via data job

Learn how to import contacts via data job here. This is the recommended process for importing contacts in Cordial.

Import contacts via the UI

The process for importing contacts via the UI has been updated. The UI process described here will soon be deprecated. You can learn about the updated process for importing contacts via data job here.

1. Once your data file is prepared, log into Cordial and navigate to Contacts > Import Contacts.

2. Fill out the form and select Continue.

  • Import Source: Select whether the source is a local file or hosted remotely.
  • Header Row: Select if your data file has a header row. We recommend that you use a header row to make it easier to match the columns with their corresponding attributes when importing.
  • Choose Delimiter: Specify delimiter type.

3. Follow the prompts to upload the file and then map each column of the data file to the appropriate attribute.

  • For attributes and lists that already exist in the system with the same name as the header column, they should be automatically mapped.
  • For attributes that have a different name than the header column, use the dropdown labeled Choose to map to a previously created attribute in the system.
  • To create new attributes and lists, click + Attribute or + List to add a new one and map it accordingly.
  • You can also select the Ignore checkbox to ignore the column entirely.

4. After mapping the appropriate fields, click Continue and complete the import options.

5. Give the import a name and description (optional). The import name may only contain letters, numbers, and dashes.

6. Select one of the Import Options:

  • Import all contacts: Insert new contacts and update existing contacts.
  • Ignore new contacts: Only update existing contacts.
  • Ignore existing contacts: Only insert new contacts.

7. Choose whether or not to suppress message triggers.

8. Choose whether or not to send an email notification when the import is complete.

9. Click the Submit button to start the import.

10. You will be taken to the Jobs page, where you can view the status of all import jobs.

Verify upload was imported without errors

To verify that the import was created without errors, hover over the arrow in the import row to see the Details of the import job. If any contacts were rejected, you will have the option to download a list of these records. This file will show the line of the rejected record and an error message.

You can access the Jobs page at any time by clicking the  icon in the header bar of the application.

Import contacts on a recurring schedule

1. Navigate to Contacts > Import Contacts.

2. For Import Source, choose HTTP/HTTPS, FTP, SFTP, S3 Amazon, or Google Cloud.

3. For Schedule, choose Import on a recurring interval.

Public key authentication can be used when the import source is SFTP.

4. For Source URL, enter the URL path for the data file.

  • The input field supports Smarty so you can use Smarty variables in the URL path. For example, you could name your data file with the desired import date (contacts_2020_09_14_09.csv) and then use Smarty to render the current date in the Source URL at the time of import: contacts_{$utils->getNow('America/Los_Angeles', 'Y_m_d_H')}. This example uses the $utils.getNow utility so that the import is deployed according to the account timezone. If $ is used, the time will be UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). Learn more about date and timestamp variables here.

5. Set the Schedule interval to the desired interval.

6. Select the Start Date and optional End Date and click Continue.

7. Map the data file to the contact attributes.

No data will be imported during data mapping. If you schedule an import for a future date, you will still need to map the data with a file that is immediately available on the designated server source.

8. After data mapping you will be taken to the Data Automations page where you can view, disable/enable or remove a scheduled import.

Import contacts via the API

You also have the option to import contacts via the API.

Add a contact via JavaScript

Contacts can also be added via JavaScript listeners that reside on your website.

In the next article, you can learn how to export contacts.



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