Contact Import Character Sets

When you import a file you need to identify the character set used in the file so your contact data is imported properly.

A character set is a collection of characters with a defined set of rules, or encoding, that interprets and determines how those characters will be displayed. Because different character sets use unique encoding rules, it's important that you specify the character set your file uses when you upload contact data. If you specify the wrong character set for a contact import then the incorrect file encoding rules will be applied and your contact data will be incorrectly formatted in Bronto.

For example, there are differences in the way character sets manage the Latin letter é. So, if you have Québec as a city in your file and your data is imported incorrectly, Québec could possibly be saved in Bronto as Québec, which is how it would display if you used this contact field in a message.

So how do you know what character set your files use? Because character set encoding is so complicated there is no easy set of rules we can provide to help you identify the encoding for your files. Therefore, we recommend contacting the person who made the files to find out. You can also see if the file has any metadata that tells you what character set was used. If there isn't any metadata, or if the person who provided the file doesn't know, we provide the option for you to indicate that you do not know what character set the files use when you set up a contact import.

If you don't know what character encoding your file uses, then it is most likely either UTF-8 or ISO-8859-1 (Latin 1) as these are the most widely adopted character sets. So when you choose I don't know my character set from the Character Set list, Bronto will import the file as UTF-8. After the initial import, the platform will run a validation check on the imported data. If the imported data is not valid UTF-8, Bronto will remove it and reimport the files using ISO-8859-1 (Latin 1) encoding. This does not guarantee the files are using the ISO-8859-1 (Latin 1) character set. You should look at the contact data you imported to make sure it appears as expected.

When the import completes, you should validate the contact data in your file against the contact data in Bronto to ensure the proper character set encoding was applied to your data. To do this, go to Contacts > Manage, click Special Reports, and generate a report with contacts who were assigned onboarding status. Or, if you have imported the contacts into one list, you can use a list report for comparison by exporting your list from Contacts > Lists. Once you have an export, compare the contact data in the report with the contact data in your file. Pay particularly close attention to the formatting for any special characters your file may have, such as é. If the encoding is correct, you do not need to take any further action. If the encoding is not correct, contact your account manager for further assistance.