Preparing your Contacts Database

Modified on Wed, 30 Nov 2022 at 09:15 AM


 

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, and your data does not include country codes, you will segment your list 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 lists for each segment you would like to target, and upload each list separately into a different list

  • .

  • Will you want to personalize 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. You will first need to create ‘custom data’ before uploading to assign it.

  • Will you be utilizing 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

We highly suggest that you ensure that each mobile number only appears in your list once. But not to worry, if a contact's number is listed more than once, they will be filtered out during the sending process, so you won't send a message to the same mobile multiple times.

 

 

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 personalized 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 a different country code prefix to be checked for and applied 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). If your list has ‘hyphens, brackets, spaces or any non-numeric characters’, that’s not a problem, we filter all of those out so that we're just left with the digits. If your contacts are from mixed geographic regions and you are choosing not to upload contacts listed by region, the mobile field will need to contain the correct country code prefix.


Rules related to phone number handling


  1. If the number starts with a ‘+’ then no transformations are applied but only the digits are stored.

  2. If the number does not start with a ‘+’ and a user sets a default country then it will be prefixed with that number except where the starting digits of the number match the IDN, for example if the user has selected a Country code as Australia and a is 614xxxxxxxx then no transformation will apply as the IDN matches the starting component of the number

  3. If the user selects no default country then the number will be processed as-is, this will result in numbers such as 04xxxxxxxx being stored which is an invalid number (lacks and IDN) and therefore will not match for example, in Opt-outs when processing a list of numbers that for instance contain +614xxxxxxxx.


Test Examples for mobile handling in the platform


The options highlighted in ‘Green’ denote the usable mobile numbers and the options highlighted in ‘Red’ denote the numbers that will fail when sending.


TEST NUMBER

NO IDN SELECTED

61 IDN SPECIFIED

64 IDN SPECIFIED

614xxxxxxxx

614xxxxxxxx

614xxxxxxxx

64614xxxxxxxx

+614xxxxxxxx

614xxxxxxxx

614xxxxxxxx

614xxxxxxxx

04xxxxxxxx

04xxxxxxxx

614xxxxxxxx

644xxxxxxxx

4xxxxxxxx

4xxxxxxxx

614xxxxxxxx

644xxxxxxxx

6104xxxxxxxx

6104xxxxxxxx

6104xxxxxxxx

646104xxxxxxxx

61614xxxxxxxx

61614xxxxxxxx

61614xxxxxxxx

6461614xxxxxxxx



 

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 personalizing 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 lists in mind, or if your customers are from a mix of regions. Splitting your contacts into separate sheets based on lists makes it so you can add each sheet to a list upon upload, rather than having to add them individually after the fact. This is super important if you are adding a country code prefix.

 

Examples:

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 personalized 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 lists/segments, you are ready to upload. See Importing your contacts


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