How to add and subscribe Contacts to your ActiveCampaign account


After creating a list in your ActiveCampaign account, you can add opted-in contacts. In this article, you'll learn about different ways to add contacts to your list(s). 

After you import your contacts, learn more about contact management.

Watch a video about Contacts

Import contacts from a CSV file

If you're coming from another provider, you may have exported a CSV file of opted-in contacts. Using the import tool, you can easily import these contacts into your ActiveCampaign account.

Note that the unique identifier for contacts in your account is their email address. Each contact in your file must have a unique email address.

Learn how to prepare your CSV import file.

Learn how to import contacts from a CSV file.

Manually add one-off contacts

You can manually create one-off contacts in your account and add them to a list.

  1. Navigate to the Contacts page by clicking Contacts in the left menu.
  2. Click the "Add a contact" button.
  3. An "Add a Contact" modal will open. Complete the fields and click "Add."
  4. On the next screen, you can add Contact Actions, such as add to lists, add to deal, add to automations, add tags, and advanced list options. Click the "Add to Lists" action option and click each list the contact should join.
  5. Click any other action you'd like to apply to your contact.
  6. Click the "Apply" button.

Create and publish subscription forms

We offer a robust form builder to collect contact information and grow your lists. You can publish forms on your website, WordPress site, and Facebook page.

You can also use our Forms for iPad app to collect subscribers offline.

Additional benefits of using an ActiveCampaign subscription form include the following:

  • The ability to leverage site tracking
    Using an ActiveCampaign subscription form will allow you to leverage our Site Tracking feature. When a site visitor submits your form, a tracking cookie will be placed on their browser. We'll then log each visit that contact makes to your site. Note that you'll need to enable Site Tracking before you can collect data. Tracking cookies will not be added to contacts who submit a form on the Forms for iPad app.
  • The ability to use either single opt-in or double opt-in
    Double opt-in is enabled by default, but you can use single opt-in if that makes more sense for your business. Learn the difference between single and double opt-in.
  • The ability to use additional form actions
    For example, for each contact who submits your form, you can apply a tag to their profile record, create a deal, or email the form results to yourself or someone on your team.

Learn how to create a form in your ActiveCampaign account.

Sync contacts from other apps with integrations

If you use other apps to manage contacts (such as appointment scheduling apps, help desk solutions, Ecommerce solutions, project management apps, and more), you can integrate those apps with your ActiveCampaign account. Doing so will automatically feed contacts into your ActiveCampaign account so you can begin automated marketing follow-ups and manage deals through different stages of your sales process.

View the ActiveCampaign app marketplace and learn how to connect your favorite apps.

Subscribe by email

The subscribe by email option lets potential subscribers send an email to an ActiveCampaign-generated email address to opt into your list.

Learn how to use the subscribe by email opt-in method to grow your list.

Subscribe by SMS

Plans available:

  • ActiveCampaign for Marketing - Add-on for Marketing Plus, Professional, and Enterprise
  • ActiveCampaign for Sales - Add-on for Plus, Professional, and Enterprise
  • 2024 ActiveCampaign plans - Pipelines and Sales Engagement add-on


Sales Plus, Professional, and Enterprise.

The subscribe by SMS method lets potential subscribers opt into your list via text message. The potential subscriber would send an SMS message to an ActiveCampaign-generated phone number containing a keyword. Once the system receives this text, the individual will be added to your list.

This option is available on Plus, Professional, and Enterprise plans and does not use SMS credits.

Learn how to use the subscribe by SMS opt-in method to grow your list.

Import contacts from an external database

You can add contacts from a MySQL database using our Database Sync feature. This sync can only be run manually and will not modify or alter any data in your external database.

Syncing contacts from MSSQL and PostgreSQL is available via Zapier only.

Database Sync is available for Plus, Professional, and Enterprise plans.

Learn how to use Database Sync for importing contacts to a list.

Import contacts through the API

We have a robust and well-documented open API that developers can use to add contacts and perform various other actions.

Read more about the ActiveCampaign API.


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