Database sync for importing contacts



Database sync is an import function that allows you to connect a MySQL database to your ActiveCampaign account so that you can add contacts to a list. Similar to an import, this is can only be run manually and cannot be scheduled to run at a future date or time. Because the database sync will only import contacts from an external source into your ActiveCampaign account, it will never modify or alter any data in your external database.

To create a database sync, follow these steps:

  1. Click Contacts on the left menu.
  2. Click Database Sync under Manage.
  3. Click the "Add Sync" button.


  4. Complete the fields located on the Database Sync page, including the Sync Name and Database Connection Details. Please note that only MySQL is supported.
  5. Using the dropdown, select a list to add your contacts to, then click "Next Step." Note that you can only select one list.
  6. On the next page, select the table by clicking it, then click "Next Step."

  7. Map your fields. If your table has a tag that you wish to sync into your account, you can select “Tags” from the field dropdown. Then click "Next Step."

  8. On the Rules and Sync Options page, you can create rules for your database sync. Rules are optional and can be used to add specific logic conditions to your sync. For example, if you only wanted to add contacts from your external database where the “ID” is greater than 1, you can create that rule here. If no rules are created, all contacts from your table will be selected for the sync. Once you have created your rule, click “Add.”

  9. Under “Sync Options” you can choose from three different import options:


    • “Delete all items that are not affected by the sync each time the sync runs” means that all contacts who are present in your account, but not present in the external database, will be deleted. Please note that nothing will ever be changed or deleted from your external database.
    • “Update existing contacts” means that any contacts that already exist in your system, and are being synced again, will be updated with any new information they have in your database. If a contact in your ActiveCampaign account is unsubscribed from your list and are being synced again, we will update their profile with new information but they will remain unsubscribed. If this box is unchecked, any pre-existing contacts will be skipped during the sync. Duplicates will never be added to your account.
    • “Send the last broadcast campaign when importing” option will send the last campaign you sent to each contact as they are imported.
  10. Next, you will see the options to add your sync, test your sync, or run your sync. Select from any of the options by clicking it.


    • “Add” will allow you to save the sync to your Database Sync page so that you can run it later.
    • “Test” will allow you to see how many contacts will be synced.
    • “Run” will run your sync right away.
  11. After you run the sync, you will be able to view the synchronization report. To view the report, click “View Report” from the “Initiating Synchronization” window.


    The report will show you how many items were synced and how many were not. If you had any failed rows, the report will list the reason why, similar to our import results report.

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