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CRM - Importing Contacts

CRM - Importing Contacts

Contacts can either be entered into e-shot™ through our API, or imported through the e-shot™ UI using a CSV, XLS or XLSX file.  Importing contacts from a spreadsheet allows you to remap spreadsheet columns and duplicate email addresses will be cleansed. 

See our guide specifically on preparing your files for import.

To import contacts the first step is to click the link from within CRM, which will take you to an audit page that lists all imports that have been made to the sub account.

On this page you can search or sort the imports to find a particular upload and to commence a new import.

contact import

Simply click on New Import to begin the wizard process. 

The first element offers you 3 options for you to select the type of import that you would like to perform:

add new contacts


The standard option, allowing contacts to be added to the e-shot™ contact group of your choice 

Repopulate group with import

This option allows you to import a set of contacts into a group, which will remove all the other contacts in the group apart from those in your import spreadsheet

Contacts to unsubscribe (contacts to be supressed in the account)

This allows you to import a set of contacts with just their email address, but they will be marked as Unsubscribed.  Importing an account wide suppression list could be useful if you're transferring from another email service provider, or have a list of contacts who have requested not to receive emails from you.  

Uploading your data

Once you have selected the kind of import you wish to perform, the next step is to upload your data. You have two options of how to bring your data into the import:

upload a file or paste data directly

Choose a CSV, XLS or XLSX file or drag it to the left pane, or copy and paste rows from your data into the right-hand pane.

N.B. Ensure that your data has a header row, as this will be required for your data mapping later on.

If you are uploading an .xlsx file you will have the option to enter a password for the workbook if applicable.

if your file is password protected you can add it at this step

Once you confirm that you agree to the terms and conditions, click continue to proceed.



The next section of the flow is the Details section. 

From here you select the Group, or create a new group, preferences, Source and enter the email address you would like to be notified on and select your import spreadsheet before continuing.

match the import fields to the e-shot fields

If you have e-shot ultimate, you will have an additional option to auto-assign contacts to accounts based on the domain part of their email address. For any domains where an account does not already exist, e-shot will create one. Existing account associations will not be changed. Generic domains such as will be ignored. 

assign contacts to accounts based on their domain

When selecting preferences (and channels if they are enabled on your account) ensure to click “Add Preference Mapping” before continuing.

include preference mapping where necessary

Email confirmation of the upload is automatically sent to the logged in user’s email address. You also have the option to enter additional email addresses to receive the confirmation. If you wish to enter multiple addresses simply separate them using commas.

determine who receives confirmation of the import

The next step is to select your source or add a new one.

add the correct source

Every contact that is added to the system will be tagged with a Source of your choice. 


It enables you to analyse bounces and unsubscribes for a given Source of data, regardless of which groups they reside within. For example, contacts collected at events, or via your website would have respective Sources tagged to them. Also, if you have purchased data from a list broker, it would be sensible to tag the chosen supplier as the Source as it can be helpful when analysing the quality of data, number of bounces etc.


Finally, you are also given the option to overwrite fields for existing contacts with imported data.

choose if you wish to overwrite existing data

The next step of the process is the Column Mappings page.  Your spreadsheet columns will automatically be matched with the e-shot™ fields as long as the names are identical.  Your file columns can be manually matched with your database columns if required by selecting an item from the dropdown list.

map your fields

You have the option to choose and manage you mappings by creating mapping templates.

When you click ‘import’ you will be taken back to the import audit page, where your import will appear at the top of the list.  

watch to see that your import is successful

Please note, processing imports can take up to an hour during particularly busy period, so please allow for this time. As soon as the import has been processed the status will show as ‘Imported’.

Adding default import settings

If you select the settings option on the main import page you can set up your default options to save time and effort on future imports – choose a default source, default preferences and manage your mapping templates.

save a template of settings for future imports

When you return to the import list you will see your most recent import at the top of the list, along with the status i.e. processing.

Upon completion of the upload the person detailed will receive the notification along with details of any issues or contact duplicates (who were not added again). Please note: If the status states "Error" this doesn't necessarily mean a complete fail, the most likely cause is missing email data or similar - but the error records will be detailed in the confirmation email attachments.

What if my import takes me over my contacts limit?

  1. Any contacts in the file you import that already exist in your account will be processed. The contacts will be added to the selected group(s) and all related fields will be added or amended (based on your Overwrite choice).

  2. Any new contacts within your container limit will be added (in alphabetical order).

  3. New contacts exceeding your contact limit will not be added and will be listed in the NotImported CSV file attached to the e-shot™ Import exceeded contact limit Notification emailed to you.

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