How do I import contacts without triggering an automation?

Below are two recommendations to avoid triggering automations when importing your contacts: 

1. Make your automations inactive while you import contacts
By making the automation inactive, it will pause for all contacts who are currently in your automation. It will also prevent contacts you import from getting added to it. Because triggers are not retroactive, contacts you add via import will not be added to your automation once you set it back to active.

To make your automation inactive:

  1. Click “Automations” located in the top navigation menu.


  2. Click the dropdown for the automation you wish to make inactive and select “Make Inactive.”

  3. Click “OK” in the confirmation pop up.


Once the import is complete, you can set your automation back to active.

2. Use a segment as part of your start trigger to exclude contacts from entering
With this alternative option, you will not need to make your automation inactive. This may be handy if you would rather not temporarily pause your automation or if you want other new non-import contacts to continue to be added to your automation from other means (ie, other automation actions, form submissions, etc) while you complete your import.

This option uses the advanced checkbox in your automation's start trigger, as pictured here:


Prior to importing your contacts, add a Tag column to your CSV file and apply a value to that column for all contacts, such as "Import." Do not import your file yet.

Next, in your automation trigger, click the "Advanced" option and create a segment that is "Tag Does not Exist Import." Make sure the tag listed in your trigger segment exactly matches the tag in your CSV file. Then click “Save Start.” 


Now you are ready to import your CSV file. Make sure to map the tag column in your file with the Tags Field:


Follow the rest of the steps to import your file. You can learn more about importing a CSV file here.

Once you are done importing, contacts will be added to your account but will not be added to your automation. 

Have more questions? Submit a request