Importing & Exporting Subscribers

Last updated April 17th, 2018

Importing & Exporting Subscribers FAQ:

How to send a confirmation email to unconfirmed contacts you have imported

If you are wanting to make sure that people who sign up for a newsletter through your website get a confirmation email - Email Marketer does this without any complicated setup necessary - just read this article for more information.

This article explains how to send a confirmation email to unconfirmed contacts in a contact list. Here is an example of when you might want to do this:

Perhaps you are importing your list from another software where you have not been sending emails regularly, so you want to "clean" your list by making sure everyone on your list still wants to receive emails.

Here are the steps to take (there is also a video at the bottom of this article going through these steps):

  • Make sure all the contacts that you want to get the confirmation link are set as "Unconfirmed".
  • Go to Autoresponders -> Create an Autoresponder
  • Name it "Confirm subscription of unconfirmed contacts"
  • Pick "Only contacts who match my search criteria (below)"
  • Set "Match Confirmed Status" to Unconfirmed
  • Hit Next
  • Check the checkbox for "Send to Existing Contacts?" - this way, the next time the autoresponder runs, all unconfirmed contacts in the contact list will get the confirmation link.
  • Hit Next
  • Create your "Confirm your subscription" email.
  • Select the text you want to make into your "confirm your subscription" link and click the insert link icon. Set the Link URL to: %%confirmlink%%
  • If you want a modify detail link, create a "Modify Details" form with Forms -> Create a Website Form first, then create a link in this email using the "Modify" Built-In Link after clicking the insert link icon. This is handy if you want to give your subscriber the option to pick from several lists they want to be subscribed to or update/add custom field details.
  • Click Save & Exit. Make sure your autoresponder is active (there should be a green checkmark next to it - if there is a red X, there will probably be a note about why it was set inactive that you may need to take action on). The next time your autoresponder is set to send (see Settings -> Cron Settings), it will send to any contacts that have been added to the contact list since the autoresponder was last sent who are set as unconfirmed. If you picked the "Send to Existing Contacts?" option, it will go out to all contacts in your list that are set as unconfirmed.

If you import more contacts via CSV as unconfirmed, these contacts will get the autoresponder, as well.

How can I import data for a field with multiple checkbox values?

If you've created a custom field that uses multiple checkbox values, you may find that you are unsure of what format you need to import data for this field to be properly recognized by Email Marketer. When you have a checkbox field, use commas as separators between all true (checked) values. As an example, for a checkbox field called Test with the unique values A, B, and C, you would want to use an import file similar to the following:

  • Email Address, Name, Test,
  • "bob@example.com","Bob","A,C",
  • "jim@example.com","Jim","B",
  • "jane@example.com","Jane","A,B,C"

When importing contacts from a CSV file, special characters (e.g. è, é, ê...) are not visible

It is important to ensure that your CSV file is encoded with the same character set that Interspire Email Marketer is in (UTF-8 by default).

Unfortunately Microsoft Excel has trouble saving CSV files with a UTF-8 encoding. Another tool to use is OpenOffice.org Calc (which is similar to Excel and free).

To change a CSV file to use UTF-8 encoding with OpenOffice.org Calc, follow these steps:

  1. Open your CSV file in OpenOffice.org Calc with its original encoding, e.g. Western Europe (Windows-1252/WinLatin1).
  2. Verify that your special characters are appearing properly - if they are not, try another encoding when you open the file.
  3. Go to File -> Save As and save the CSV file as an ODF Spreadsheet (in the 'Save as Type' drop-down).
  4. Go to File -> Save As again and save the ODF file as a CSV again (Text CSV).
  5. If you are prompted to Keep Current Format or Save in ODF Format, elect to Keep Current Format.
  6. You will now be prompted to choose the character set, so choose UTF-8 from the drop-down.

The newly saved CSV file will now have a UTF-8 encoding, with all the special characters converted properly. You can then upload the file to Interspire Email Marketer and it will preserve the special characters.

I get the error Uninitialized string offset when I import users from a file

This usually means you've got bad data inside your import file.

If you're importing using a CSV (Comma delimited file) and your file contains more commas than it should, then you're going to receive errors when importing.

So lets say we have this:

Name, Email, Address

joe, joe@gmail.com, 12 Huntley St NSW Australia

mary, mary@blah.com, 15 Smith St USA

john, john@blah.com, 22 Blah St, Mexico

joanne, 15 Something St Canada

Notice the 3rd line has 4 commas, while the rest are only 3? It should instead look like this:

john, john@blah.com, 22 Blah St Mexico

Also, notice the 4th line has only 1 comma? This should look like this:

joanne,,15 Something St Canada

The quickest way to clean up your CSV is to open it up inside a spreadsheet application such as Microsoft Excel.

Then, search for any commas inside the file and remove them. Notice that Excel will detect your separator commas and make them into columns instead, so only rogue commas that shouldn't be there will be found when you search.

Once you've removed all the commas, then scroll through your file and look for any rows that seem out of line. Remove or fix any that don't fit the exact number of columns that should be there. So in our example above, Joanne's address would have been inside the email column. We need to move that to the address column instead.

Once that's been done, you can now save the file as a CSV file and re-import into Interspire Email Marketer.

I am trying to import a contact list into Interspire Email Marketer and am receiving errors when I know the data is correct. What could be causing this?

One of the most common reasons for your contact lists being rejected by Interspire Email Marketer as having bad data is because of trailing space characters on your emails.

Interspire Email Marketer does not know what you want to do with this and treats it as a bad email.

Simply remove these trailing spaces and you will be able to import your list.

I am trying to import a contact list into Interspire Email Marketer but keep getting errors stating that the file could not be loaded.

This generally happens because you are trying to import a large CSV file. By default PHP has a 2 meg upload limit.

There are 2 options you can take here.

  1. You can edit the php.ini and change this upload_max_filesize = 2M to be a larger limit.
  2. You can break your import file up into smaller parts and just import more files.

Can I import and export data between Interspire Email Marketer and another application?

Yes, Interspire Email Marketer allows you to import contacts using CSV files and to also export your contacts also in CSV format. In the 'Contacts' drop down menu, you will see the option to "Import Contacts" or to "Export Contacts". Select which option you would like and follow the on-screen instructions.

To export your contacts list follow these simple steps:

  • Select 'Export Contacts' from the 'Contact' menu
  • Select what contact list you wish to export and if you want to filter the list at all (perhaps you only want to export all users from a particular domain).
  • Set up the options on how you wish to have the export file formated
  • Start the Export.

To import users in to Interspire Email Marketer follow these simple steps:

  • Select 'Import Contacts' from the 'Contact' menu
  • Select what contact list you wish to import the contacts to
  • Match the formating details to that of your import file
  • Start the Import

Remember that if you are importing users into your database and you have custom fields that you will have to set these fields up before attempting to import data into them.

When I import emails into a new contact list, some are not being imported because they are banned. How can this happen?

Assuming that the contacts aren't on the global ban list (for Interspire Email Marketer and later versions) then this is generally because there is bad data in the CSV file you are trying to import. For some tips on how to make sure there is no bad data in your CSV file.

This has been fixed in Interspire Email Marketer and if your import file contains errors you'll be notified during the import process.

I am having some problems importing contacts. The fields seem out of place. What could be wrong?

This usually occurs if your import data file contains bad data or invalid columns etc. For example:

Email, Name

email@interspire.com, Smith,Chris

1

Note that the number one above, will affect the importing of this file and must be removed before importing. Also, the above assumes we have 2 fields, one for email and one for name, however the data shows there are 3 fields, email, last name and first name. This will need to be adjusted before importing to make sure the number of fields in the header, match the number of fields in the data.