Data imports are an easy way to add contacts to your Emarsys database. You can import new contacts, as well as update the data fields of existing contacts. As well as using the API, there are two types of import available in the user interface: manual imports and auto-imports.
The Import Wizard
The import wizard guides you through the steps of configuring your import process. If there is a configuration error in your import settings (such as no unique identifier set, mismatched field mappings, etc.), or the import file contains errors, you will be informed via a message in the Notification Center.
The format of your import file
All data is imported into Emarsys in *.csv format. In order to avoid errors, we recommend that you follow our guidelines for .csv files. However, contact data files can contain the following exceptions to our standards:
- Field separator – semi-colon and TAB are also supported, but we strongly advise against using TAB as usually not a visible character and can easily break the import process if there are invisible TABs before line breaks, for example.
The most important thing is to ensure that your import/export settings in the Emarsys application match those of the external database, in particular:
- the field separator
- the date format
- whether or not the field names are in the first row
If you are not sure how an import file should look, you can download a sample file with a selection of typical fields here:
Special characters and emojis
You can import any special characters, including emojis, as long as they are not more than 3 bytes in size.
Characters of 4 bytes will cause the import to fail.
As a general rule, the characters from U+010000 to U+10FFFF are encoded with 4 bytes. You can read up more on this here.
Emarsys accounts on the environment www.emarsys.net (Suite1) only support latin1 characters.
Single- and multiple-choice fields
If you are importing single- or multi-choice fields, make sure that both the field and all the available values exist in Emarsys. If the values are identical, Emarsys will match them automatically, otherwise you will have to do that manually in the Match Values step.
How to avoid overwriting crucial data upon import
If you want to regularly import lists with new and edited contact data, please consider that by doing so, all changes done by the contacts themselves via a change profile form (such as new phone number, email address) are overwritten. To avoid this, first export any changes of contact data saved in the Emarsys application, update your own contact data and then import new and updated data records.
The opt-in field cannot be overwritten from
TRUE in an import.
Triggering a message after an import
There are a number of way to send a message to contacts after they have been imported.
Triggering a message after an auto-import
If you are using auto-imports, the only way to trigger a message is to use the Automation Center On auto-import entry node.
Select the auto-import in the node properties dialog and when the auto-import has finished, all the contacts in the import file will be added to the program.
You can then engage with them on the channel of your choice by selecting the appropriate node to follow:
- Send email
- Send SMS
- CRM Ads - add to audience
- Mobile Engage push message
After this, continue to develop your program path(s) as desired.
Triggering a message after a manual import
There is no direct way to trigger a campaign after a manual import, since the Import Wizard does not support this.
However, you can include an extra field in the import file that will always be updated, for example a timestamp. Then you can use the Automation Center Data change entry point, select that field, and proceed as described above.
Encoding an import file to UTF-8
Emarsys requires all contact data to be encoded in UTF-8. If you try to import a file which uses another encoding, the import will not be successful. Most text editors offer functionality to to change the encoding – please check the documentation of the editor you are using. Below are two examples of how to do this, using the standard editors provided by Windows and Mac operating systems.
1. Locate the file you want to import and open it using TextEdit.
2. Open the TextEdit menu and select Preferences. In the Preferences dialog, open the Open and Save tab and under Encoding select Unicode (UTF-8).
3. Your file will now be saved using UTF-8 encoding and you can continue with the import.