You tried to import your contacts but it didn't work. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Luckily, this is easily fixed!
The most common reasons why your contact import failed
Listed below are the most common reasons why your CSV import didn't upload all of your contacts, along with recommended actions you can take to avoid these situations in the future.
- "Existing contact details NOT updated" error.
If you see this error next to contacts in the Import Results, it means that the contact on your CSV is an existing contact in your account. To fix this, check the "Update existing contacts while importing" box in the Import options section when mapping fields before the next import. This will look for a matching email address in your account and add any additional contact data from your file into the contact record. We will not update existing contacts without this box checked.
- Your CSV file was not UTF-8 encoded.
If your file is not UTF-8 encoded, then none of your contacts will be added to your account. This can happen if you are saving an XLS file as a CSV file. What you can do to ensure your file is UTF-8 encoded is to use Google Sheets to create the file and then export that as a CSV.
- Your file is too large or has too many custom fields.
Especially large files or having several extra custom fields can cause the importer to fail. We recommend breaking the file down into smaller, multiple files and removing any fields that you don't need.
- Your contact(s) doesn't have an email address.
Valid email addresses are required for all contacts. If you do not list an email address, or if you have included an email address that is not properly formatted, the contact will get skipped by the importer.
- Your contact(s) is on the exclusion list.
If your contact is on the exclusion list, then the importer will skip them. You can read more about exclusion lists here.
- Your contact has bounced in the past, is unsubscribed, or you have duplicates of the same contact in your file.
If you have any contacts in your file who have bounced in the past, is unsubscribed, or if you have duplicate contacts in your file, the importer will skip them.
- Your file contains special characters.
Special characters include but are not limited to apostrophes (') and backslashes (\). If you have any characters in your file, you will want to make sure to enclose that particular field with double quotes. For example, if a contact in your file has the last name of O'Conner, you will want to make sure that it appears as “O'Conner” in your file.
- Your CSV file has more contacts than your plan allows.
If you wish to increase the number of contacts that your plan allows, then you will need to upgrade your account on the Billing & Upgrade page.
Check your most recent imports
To check your most recent imports:
- Go to the Contact page in the platform. In the upper right corner, click on the "Import" button.
- Click on "View recent imports," located below the "Import From File" button at the top of the page.
- A modal will appear indicating the date of your last import and the method of import.
If the listed reports are hyperlinked in blue text, you can click further into it for a more detailed report.
The report will look like this: