Importing Contacts Using a Tab-Delimited File

You can import contacts into Bronto using tab-delimited files.

About this task

We do not support Excel file imports. To import an Excel file, choose "Save As" in Excel to save your file in a supported format: CSV or tab delimited.

Before you import a file, make sure your file is properly formatted.

Procedure

  1. Go to Contacts > Manage.
  2. Click Import.
  3. Check the box in the Certify List Compliance section to acknowledge you have read and agree to our terms of service/permission marketing policy.
  4. Identify the source of the contacts you are importing in the Where did you obtain these contacts from text box.

    If a source is provided, it will appear on the Contact Details page for that contact. For more information, see Contact Details General Information.

  5. Click Next.
  6. Click the Import from a tab-delimited file or files radio button.
  7. Click Choose File.
  8. Select the file you want to import.
  9. Click Open.
  10. Optional: Check the First row of file(s) is header row box if you want the first row in the file to be the header.
  11. Select a character set encoding type to apply to your contact import files from the Character Set list.

    The character set selected must match the character set used in your file(s) or your contact data will not be processed correctly. Also, all of the files in a single import must use the same encoding. If you're not sure what to select here, you have the option of selecting I don't know my character set. When you select I don't know my character set Bronto will attempt to import and validate the imported data as UTF-8. If Bronto determines that the file was not using UTF-8, the platform will then import the file(s) using ISO-8859-1 (Latin 1). 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 was stored as expected. Pay particularly close attention to any special characters your data may have, such as é.

    For more information see Contact Import Character Sets.

  12. Click Next.
  13. Choose what you want to do with the contacts once they are imported into your account.
    Each option is described below:
    • Contact status specified in the import file adds any new contacts to your account and updates existing contacts with the contact status you have included in your import file. Valid statuses are active, unsubscribed, unsub, onboarding, transactional, and ß. Any other contact status will be ignored. Contacts assigned the active or onboarding status will have the onboarding status until they have completed the automated onboarding process.
    • Update existing contacts, Add new contacts adds any new contacts to your account and updates any field for contacts who already exist in your account. This is a good option when your list contains a mix of existing and new contacts. When you pick this option, you cannot update the email addresses field for existing contacts. You can only update an existing contact's email address on the contact details page or by using an updateContacts API call.
    • Add new contacts adds any new contacts to your account. This option does not affect existing contacts in any way.
    • Update existing contacts updates the field data for any contacts who already exist in your account. When you pick this option, you cannot update the email addresses field for existing contacts. You can only update an existing contact's email address on the contact details page or by using an updateContacts API call.
    • Unsubscribe both new and existing contacts gives any new contacts being added during this import a status of unsubscribed. It will also change the status of any existing contacts affected by this import to unsubscribed.
    • Unsubscribe existing contacts unsubscribes all of the contacts who already exist in your account.
      Note: Skip to the last three steps in the import process if you select this option.
    • Remove existing contacts deletes all of the contacts who already exist in your account.
      Note: Skip to the last three steps in the import process if you select this option.

    If a contact on the import list already exists in your account and has a status of transactional, their status will be switched to onboarding if you choose Update existing contacts, Add new contacts or Update existing contacts.

    For more information on each type of contact status, see Contact Status.

  14. If your import includes updating existing contacts, the Existing transactional contacts remain transactional box is checked by default.

    If you do not select this box, contacts with a transactional status are automatically moved from transactional to onboarding status. Unless your import is meant to change the status for these contacts because they opted-in, you should have this box selected so there is no status change for your transactional contacts.

  15. If your import includes updating existing contacts, check Existing active contacts need to reconfirm their subscription box if you want updated contacts to be required to provide consent again.
    Because the EU has determined that consent can expire, this check box gives you the option of asking contacts to refresh their consent. When you check this box:
    • An existing contact in this import will have their status reset to unconfirmed.
    • On the next page, you will need to send updated contacts a subscription confirmation email that contains a %%!confirm_url%% webform tag (link). This webform link allows contacts to refresh their consent.
  16. Click Next.
  17. Select how you want to inform new contacts that they have been added to your account.
    New Bronto contacts will need to go through Bronto's automated onboarding process, which begins the first time a contact is sent a message. For contacts being added, you can select:
    • Do not inform them.
    • Send them a welcome message.

      A welcome message is an automated message that is sent to new contacts. The message does not require any action or confirmation. You might consider using a welcome message to send a standard (or "welcome") message to all new contacts.

    • Send them a subscription confirmation.

      A subscription confirmation message requires contacts to click a link to confirm they want to subscribe to your messages (double opt-in). Contacts who are sent a subscription confirmation message remain in unconfirmed contact status until they click the link. Unconfirmed status means a contact is unable to receive marketing messages from you until they confirm subscription.

      Remember to include the %%!confirm_url%% tag in your message.

    Note: Any message you send will need to be approved for transactional sending. For more information on getting an email message approved for transactional sending, see Request Transactional Message Approval.
  18. Select how you want to inform existing contacts that they have been added to your account or have been updated.
    If you selected Existing active contacts need to reconfirm their subscription on the previous page, you must select Send them a subscription confirmation so these contacts have an opportunity to consent to receiving messages. Until contacts refresh their consent, they will remain in unconfirmed contact status. For contacts being updated, you can select:
    • Do not inform them.
    • Send them a welcome message.

      A welcome message is an automated message that is sent to new contacts. The message does not require any action or confirmation. You might consider using a welcome message to send a standard (or "welcome") message to all new contacts.

    • Send them a subscription confirmation.

      A subscription confirmation message requires contacts to click a link to confirm they want to subscribe to your messages (double opt-in). Contacts who are sent a subscription confirmation message remain in unconfirmed contact status until they click the link. Unconfirmed status means a contact is unable to receive marketing messages from you until they confirm subscription.

      Remember to include the %%!confirm_url%% tag in your message.

    Note: Any message you send will need to be approved for transactional sending. For more information on getting an email message approved for transactional sending, see Request Transactional Message Approval.
  19. If you selected an option that includes sending a message:
    1. Click Pick Message.
    2. Click in the row associated with the message you want to send.
    3. Click Select.
    4. Add a from name for the message in the From Name text box.
    5. Add a from email address in the From Email Address text box.
  20. Click Next.
  21. Map columns from your file to fields you have created for your contacts.

    The columns from your file will appear on the left, and a pull-down menu containing all of the fields you have created will be on the right. You are able to import additional data fields into your list. To do this, you need to make sure that you've stored the desired additional data fields in the file that you're importing. During the import process, you'll be able to map the fields in your file to fields you have created in your account.

    The first fields listed as available for mapping are reserved fields. These fields are created by Bronto and are different from the custom contact fields that you can create.

    Table 1. Reserved Fields
    Field Description
    Email Address The email address stored for the contact. An email address is required in order to send emails. In some cases, you may not have an email address and may only have a mobile number or twitter handle.
    Message Type Preference Indicates whether a contact prefers to receive messages as text or HTML.
    Opt-in Consent Date (consent_date) The date of the last change or addition to the consent log for the contact.
    Consent IP Address (consent_ip_address) The IP address that is associated with a consent record.
    Note: If you are mapping data from your file to a field with a type of checkbox, the following values will clear the check box:
    • 0
    • unchecked
    • false
    • no
    • n
    • "" (an empty string)
    All other values will set the check box to checked.
  22. Click Next.
  23. Specify if you want to remove these contacts from any lists.
    This step in only available if you choose Update Existing/ Add New Contacts or Update Existing Contacts.
  24. Click Next.
  25. Specify if you want to remove these contacts from any lists.
    This step in only available if you choose Update Existing/ Add New Contacts or Update Existing Contacts.
  26. Click Next.
  27. If you wish to be notified via email when the import is finished, check the Send email box and provide the email address that will be notified when the import is complete.

    The email notification will tell you how many contacts were added to your account. It will also tell you how many contacts were not added because they are invalid, duplicates, or previously unsubscribed.

  28. Click Next.
  29. Review the details you have selected for the contact import.
  30. Click Finish to complete the set-up and begin the import process.
    Small imports (less than 20k contacts) will complete in less than a few minutes. Imports larger than 20K contacts will take longer.