Preparing your contact database

Modified on Tue, 28 May 2019 at 04:38 PM

Please note: Our Contact Management platform accepts only CSV and Excel formatted files.

The amount of data your contact list needs depends on your particular use case. Ask yourself these questions to understand what data your contact list will need.

  • How will you be distributing your message? If you are sending emails, we won’t need your contact’s phone numbers, and vice versa.

  • Are all of your contacts within Australia? Different regions use different country codes, and this code is specified when uploading the contact list. If different country codes are required, your contact list will need to be segmented into geographical regions.

  • Will you want to target different segments of your contact list with a different landing page or message? You should split your contacts into groups for each segment you would like to target, and upload each list separately as a group.

  • Will you want to personalise your content beyond a first and last name? If you want to reference for example, a customer’s account number, that account number will need to be part of the contact list upload.

  • Will you be utilising a barcode on your landing page? For this, we need each recipient to have a unique ‘barcode value’ against their name in the contact list. This value will need to be recognisable by your POS system.

There are a few necessary steps you need to take to ensure that your data will be uploaded as expected. This includes:

  1. Clearing your database of all duplicate values.
  2. Checking for empty values.
  3. Formatting the mobile number correctly
  4. Formatting the name field correctly
  5. Removing any unnecessary customer data
  6. Possibly segmenting your database before uploading

Clearing Duplicates

Please ensure that each contact appears in your list only once. If a contact's number is listed more than once, they will receive more than one message. This may make your recipient feel as though they are being spammed. Please be aware that you may have two different contacts that have the same mobile number.

Dealing with empty values

Some empty values are acceptable, depending on the value missing and your particular use case. For example, if you are missing the first name for a customer, and plan to send personalised greetings, you may substitute "valued customer" or similar in the name field. This avoids them seeing an empty space where they would expect to see a name. If you are planning on sending text messages, and you have contacts with missing phone numbers, then these are best removed. 


Handling contacts from various regions

If you have contacts that reside in different geographic regions, it is generally best to separate them into different sheets, with each region having its own sheet. This allows you to specify the Country Code Prefix for each upload to the platform, rather than having to add the country code manually for each contact. 

Correct Mobile format

The mobile field is arguably the most important one, (unless of course you are only sending emails). You must ensure that there are no symbols or non numeric characters anywhere within this field. If you contacts are from mixed geographic regions and you are choosing not to upload contacts grouped by region, the mobile field will need to contain the correct country code prefix.

First and Last names

Your contact's name should be separated into a first name field, and a last name field. This allows for greater flexibility when personalising your messages. If you only have a 'name' field, you will be using your contact's full name every time you address them. This would feel impersonal, as well as adding to the length of the text message. It is possible to separate a 'name' column in excel, however, this may add more confusion if your contact has two first names or two last names. Manual intervention would be required to determine if the extra name belongs with the first or last name. For example "Sloane Le Gallo" and "Barbara Anne Partleton".

Removing unused data

It is good practice to remove any contact data that you will not need, before you upload it. Things like home address and date of birth aren't necessary to include if you aren't referencing them in your campaigns, and removing them will give you a cleaner contact list to manage.

Splitting your database

This may be the best course of action if you already have a defined set of groups in mind, or if your customers are from a mix of regions. Splitting your contacts into separate sheets based on groups makes it so you can add each list to a group upon upload, rather than having to add them individually after the fact. This is super important if you are adding a country code prefix.


This is a bad example because the name field is not split into first and last names. This means if you want to send a personalised greeting to your recipient, you are forced to use their full name. This will increase the length of your SMS, and give you less flexibility overall when addressing your recipients. The mobile numbers in this example also contain symbols. Remember, all non numeric symbols should be left out of the mobile field.

This example is bad because there are missing fields, as well as duplicate values. We recommend that if you do not have the first name for someone, you replace it with “valued customer” or similar. That way, if you send them a message that uses the {FNAME} field, they will not see a blank space where you expect them to see their name.

The name field is broken up, the mobile number is in the correct format, and there are no duplicate values.

Once your contact list is clean, and possibly split into different files based on groups/segments, you are ready to upload. See Importing your contacts

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