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Importing Newsletter Subscribers

Comma-separated values also known as CSV is a pretty much standard format for importing and exporting all sort of contact information. For example, Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, and most other email software use this format to manage contact information.

These files are easier to handle and can be managed by both Notepad (Windows) and TextEdit (Mac). We can also save Excel sheets as CSV files.

Here’s how a sample CSV looks like:

– Email, First Name, Last Name

While it’s known as comma-separated, semicolons and tabs can at times be used instead of commas.

Make Sure You Have Explicit Permission to Email Imported Subscribers

All imported subscribers will automatically be listed as “confirmed” subscribers and no confirmation email will be sent to them.  So it’s important that your list consists of people who have actually asked to be on your list, otherwise, you’ll be known as a spammer.

Avoori Email Marketing understands CSV and takes column headings into account. So given the CSV sample, you will see the first row of comma-separated text are headers. It tries to match the given headings with existing fields and populate data accordingly.

Import a List of Subscribers with Custom Fields

To begin the import process, go to Newsletters > Subscribers. On top you will see an option to import, click on it and you will be redirected to the subscribers import screen.

The importing process is as flexible and practical as possible. You can import custom fields that don’t exist yet. You also have the option to automatically create new fields during the import process that dont initially exist.

Importing Duplicate Subscribers

Don’t hesitate to import exiting subscribers because if they already exist, the subscribers accound will be not be duplicated by default. Avoori instead updates the subscriber’s data with new information present in the import file. You can choose to turn the option “Update existing subscribers’ information” off by selecting “No” radio option.

Recommendations & Checklist

If you are planning to import subscribers, these recommendations might come in handy to decide either you should import your subscribers or not.

  • List over 2 years:
    • As a thumb rule, you should not be importing any list that’s over 2 years old. It’s the most common reason why most users get poor deliverability or even get banned from sending additional newsletters in the future.
  • For my other website:
    • While it’s one of your other websites but the subscribers didn’t specifically ask to receive emails from your other/new website.
    • It’s best to not import in this case, as you will either be marked spam or entirely blocked from ISPs from delivering email from your email address or domain.
    • What you can do is to send them an introduction email, inviting them to join your new website list. Simply provide them with a link to a page that has a preconfigured Newsletters Opt-in module to join the list and whoever wants to join will follow the guidelines.
  • From other departments
    • It’s similar to the other website scenario, but it’s even more tempting to use other department lists. Projects differ between departments and its safe to not import such lists. Because the same risk applies here and it isn’t affordable; getting unblocked takes serious work. So we recommend staying away from importing in such case too.
    • You can always send them a newsletter too, requesting to join the other department list.
  • Just bought a list
    • Most people feel like they’ve earned the list if they have paid for it. The truth is 99% of the lists you will purchase will get you loads of spam complains. Because the subscribers never opt-in to your list.
    • Plus, very few of them may be somewhat interested in your offer or information, something that increase bounce rate and low open rates as well. So it doesn’t really help to import such lists as the consequences are much higher than gains.
  • My personal address book
    • It’s always a good idea to send your personal contacts an email with a page link containing your Newsletter Opt-in subscription form.
    • It would not be a good idea to directly import personal contacts in your list without asking them first.
  • I have got business cards
    • Well, you should not be adding business card contacts to your list. Until only, they know you will be using the business card for this mailing list purpose.
    • You can still use the business cards to send them an email and ask them to join using a page with a Newsletter Opt-in form.
  • Switching from other email systems to Avoori Newsletters or vice versa
    • One of the best use cases for importing your subscribers is when you are changing the way you send emails to your subscribers and you have an already preconfigured, spam free list of subscribers who opted-in to receive communications from you.
    • For example, if you use MailChimp (or any other email marketing provider) and are switching to Avoori Newsletters. It’s perfectly legit to export your list from MailChimp (or any other service) and import it to Avoori Newsletters to send emails to the same users for the same project.
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