Did you know that you can import a list of contacts to receive your text messages? First make sure you have the appropriate consent from people to send them texts. Then all you need to do is put that list of people into a spreadsheet and you can import hundreds or thousands of contacts at once! Here are 5 simple steps on how to add contacts from a spreadsheet.
(If you don't want to worry about formatting your own spreadsheet, you can skip to the "Advanced Import Options" section below for info on how to let the system format things for you.)
Step 1: Create and Populate a “Number” or "PhoneNumber" Field.
To import a list of contacts from a spreadsheet, the only column heading that you need in your spreadsheet is a “Number” or "PhoneNumber" heading. Under this heading you should input a list of all the phone numbers that you want to upload:
At this point you could save and upload the spreadsheet as is, but if you want to include other information (such as your contacts’ names, emails, etc.) you can follow step 2.
Optional Step 2: Create and Populate “FirstName,” “LastName,” “Email,” and “Group” Fields.
You have the option to include contacts’ first names, last names, and email addresses in your spreadsheet to upload to your account. You can also include a “Group” or "GroupName" column, if you want to add contacts to a particular group on your account. (Note: the group must already exist on your account under your Manage Groups page). You can put contacts in more than one group by adding more than one “Group” column.
It does not matter what order your column headings are in.
Step 3: Save Your Spreadsheet in the Correct Format.
After you have inputted all the information that you want to include, you need to save your spreadsheet. Make sure that it is saved in an XLS, XLSX, ODS, or CSV format.
Step 4: Go to the “Import Subscribers” Page on Your Control Panel.
Log in to your account with your username and password. Then click the “Subscribers” link on the navigation bar on the left side of your screen. Click “Import Subscribers.”
Step 5: Drag or Click to Upload Your Spreadsheet.
Select the indicator that says, "I affirm the subscribers in my spreadsheet have opted in to receiving messages."
Then after you click that button that says you're ready to upload, the final step is to drag and drop your spreadsheet file into the given box - or you can click the box to find the file on your computer.
Your contacts will then all be uploaded, and you will be able to start sending messages right away!
Advanced Import Options
If your spreadsheet isn't in the exact format described above, you can still upload it using the "Advanced Options" button on the "Import Subscribers" page.
After loading your desired spreadsheet into the upload box, click the "Advanced Options" button.
The "advanced importer" allows you to manually assign the data from your spreadsheet to the data within Mobile Text Alerts, so that you can have control over what information gets loaded in.
Here's the lowdown on how this works:
- Exclude first row - Since the first row in a spreadsheet often contains column headings rather than actual data, you can select whether or not you'd like to skip this row when loading in the data
- Ignore all unmapped fields - Selecting this option will skip over any data elements in your spreadsheet for which you don't designate (or "map") a field within Mobile Text Alerts
- Identify matching records by... - This will designate how you'd like to identify current subscribers within your Mobile Text Alerts database. You can either identify current subscribers by phone number, or by email address. (Depending on which option you select here, if the system identifies a "current subscriber" in your database that matches a phone number or email address on the spreadsheet, it won't add in a new contact for that entry when you upload. Instead, it will update the current contact entry within your subscriber list.)
- Selecting fields - Select which field you'd like to assign to corresponding columns within your spreadsheet. For example, if you have a column in your spreadsheet that lists all the phone numbers, you can select the "Phone Number" field for that column.
Click "Import Subscribers" when you're ready to import your spreadsheet.
TROUBLESHOOTING SPREADSHEET IMPORT ISSUES
Check out this article for tips on troubleshooting spreadsheet import issues.
Start sending mass text alerts today with Mobile Text Alerts!