Merging contact lists

How to merge multiple contact lists into one list

Marek Szwed avatar
Written by Marek Szwed
Updated over a week ago

You can find why is it better to keep all your contacts in one contact list here.

If you already have several lists in Ecomail and you want to merge them, we have prepared a simple tutorial on how to do it.

You can merge lists in two ways. For big amounts of contacts use exporting and then importing the contact lists into one list. For smaller amounts of contacts use the move contacts option, which allows you to move up to 25 contacts from one list into another. The history of each contact will be preserved in both cases.

Export & Import

Before merging the lists, you first need to export the individual contact categories separately:

  • Active

  • Unsubscribed

  • Bounced (Auto - returned)

You can export each selected category by pressing the Export button at the bottom right corner.

The exported file will be sent to the email address you are logged by.

This way you export active, unsubscribed and bounced contacts - select the relevant contact category as you can see in the preview below and click Export these contacts at the bottom of each category.

Be careful not to swap active and unsubscribed contacts. We recommend that you first export the active contacts from each list, then the unsubscribed contacts from all lists, and finally the bounced contacts.

If you need to differentiate the contacts in the new list, e.g. to see where they came from, just add a column in Excel and import it together with the emails. You can use the Custom Fields.

Example: List 1 contained contacts collected from the Running Competition, List 2 contained contacts collected from the Swimming Competition.

In each exported file, create a new column called Competition in which you add where the contact was obtained from (Running, Swimming, etc. ).

If you cannot edit the file because it is in CSV format, you can convert it to Excel.

In the app, in the new list of contacts (which you now wish to work with), click on Custom fields in the right column and create a new custom field called Competition. In the merge tag line, for example, insert Competition.

Now you have a custom field ready in the final list. You can now start importing files from individual contact lists.

For this particular case, open the given contact list where you want to add the other lists and select import From XLS file.

Importing active contacts

To import active contacts, import all active contacts export files one by one.

Select Import contacts, insert your contacts and click on Import.

In the next step, you will set the email, first name, last name, etc. for each column and finally the custom field you created earlier - here Competition (source where the contact came from).

Because you are uploading your active contacts, you need to import the contacts as Subscribed.

Then click on "Import contacts".

Repeat the same process with any other active contacts lists you have exported from the app.

Importing unsubscribed contacts

Before importing unsubscribed contacts, check that you are actually uploading unsubscribed contacts. If you would have uploaded active contacts as unsubscribed, you cannot overwrite them as subscribed.

If you have checked the type of uploaded contacts, you can proceed with the import. You proceed in the same way as with active contacts. The only difference is that you import the contacts as Unsubscribed.

In case you make a mistake and accidentally upload your unsubscribed contacts as subscribed (Active), upload the contacts again, but this time as unsubscribed contacts, and check the "Update data for all existing contacts" box. This will unsubscribe the contacts.

Importing bounced contacts

To import your bounced contacts, follow the same process as explained above. Select the type of contacts as Bounced.

Importing spam complaints

If you have also exported "spam complaints", you can upload them back to Ecomail as unsubscribed contacts. This way, they will not receive any newsletters from you.

Moving contacts between lists

Within contact lists, you can also move contacts between lists. For example, if you want to merge multiple smaller lists into one, you can create your new list. Then in all your smaller lists, just tick the contacts you want to move into the new list. Then select the option Move to list in the menu next to the marked contacts. The selected contacts will then be moved to your new contact list with all their history.

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