We recommend you read more about segmentation best practices before importing your list.

Quick tips and overview:

  • Use a CSV file that includes a header row with field names (view example).
  • Be sure to assign an interest or subscription in the "Add contacts to this list" section. This allows you to segment your list later. Interests are internal tags, subscriptions are contact facing and appear on the "Subscription manager" page that is linked from every email. 
  • If you are unsure about what the "source" field is then use the same source for each import list and call it "internal database".
  • Contacts will be merged by email address if they already exist in your database.

Additional details

Import page in the interface

To import contacts to your Envoke account go to the "People" tab in the navigation and click on the "Import" link.

List file

Prepare your import file in Excel or Google Sheets or export it from another source. In the end the file needs to be saved in a CSV format. Each column in the file needs to include a header to indicate the name of each field. (view example)

At a minimum your file must include an email field, however, we recommend you also include additional fields that you can use for personalizing email messages. For example, importing "first name" will allow you to add a personalized salutation or merge this or other imported fields into the body of your messages.


Envoke’s importing function ensures you will never have more that one contact record per email address. For example, if your import file contains duplicate records they will be automatically merged based on the email address. If your file contains records that are already in your Envoke database then imported fields will be updated to the existing contact record. 

Field updates

Text fields are overwritten / updated except where the field in the import file is blank.
Existing data won't be overwritten with blank values. For example if an existing contact has their "last name" field populated and you import a list that doesn't include "last names" the existing data for last names won't be lost. If the import does contain "last names" then they will replace exiting values.

Interests and subscriptions are cumulative - nothing is overwritten or removed, new interests and subscriptions are appended to records.

Upload and import

On the import page, click the Browse button, select the import file and click the “Upload and Import” button.


From the import setting page, click the Preview link to see the first ten records of your file. This provides you with a way to confirm the fields aren’t misaligned or scrambled. If you do encounter a problem it’s usually because your import file is not in a CSV or Windows compatible CSV format. In the rare circumstance you encounter a problem that’s not related to your file format then submit a support ticket and we can sort it out for you.

Field mapping

Fields with standard names are automatically mapped to the matching fields in your Envoke database. For fields that are not automatically mapped use the drop-down selectors. You can also use the “Skip this field” option to exclude a field from the import.

Country field

Here is a list of ISO country codes and names that are supported when you're importing contacts. All other data in the country field will be rejected. 

Lists (interests)

Be sure to assign an interest or subscription - this allows you to segment your contacts later. Interests are internal tags, subscriptions are contact facing and appear on the "Subscription manager" page that is linked from every email. You can find more details about this here.


The source indicates the original acquisition point of your imported records. Unlike Interests, this field cannot be changed so that you always know the original source of your contacts.

Most of the time you'll need to use interests for segmentation unless you want to segment by where contacts originally came from - not what they are interested in / tagged with.

If you aren't sure whether you should use sources or interests for list segmentation then you should use interests.


Select the consent level for the contacts in your file. If you select Express Consent you’re indicating you already have documentation that shows when and how these contacts provided it.

If you don’t have documented Express Consent then choose one of the Implied Consent options. Envoke has built-in functionality for logging changes to your contacts' consent status and for upgrading contacts to Express Consent in accordance with new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation. 

Contacts with existing express consent will not be "downgraded" to implied consent status if you are re-importing existing contacts.

Submit import & approval

Finally, click the Import Contacts button and your file will be send the import queue.

Import requests from new users are manually reviewed to maintain Envoke’s deliverability ratings and for security reasons. This manual review process generally takes less than 60 minutes during regular business hours. After you've sent a few email campaigns without generating above average complaints we'll enable auto-importing and this review process will be bypassed.

Import completed

When the import is completed you’ll receive an email confirmation with a summary showing new contacts added, contacts updated, duplicate records merged and records that didn't get imported such if they had an invalid email address.

You can view your imported contacts by going to the interests page. Browse or search for the interest you used in your import and click the icon next to the Interest name.

Emails not imported

Email addresses are checked for syntax before they are imported and invalid emails will be skipped. If you notice seemingly valid email addresses that aren't imported chances are the email address field in your import file contains invisible characters such as spaces or tabs. Please ensure each email field in the import file only contains an email address.

There is a new CSV file saved in the same folder where your original file is with the word "rejected record" appended to the file name. This contains all emails that didn't get imported. For example: if your original is called "ABCimport.csv" then the rejected emails will be in a file called "ABCimport - rejected records.csv"

Adding a single contact to your account

To manually add contacts to your account, you can click on the People tab and then on the New button in the top left of the page. This opens up a contact info page where you can add email, first name, last night, company and consent status. On the next page, you have the option to include additional information and assign lists/interests to the contact. 

Removing an interest or subscription via import

Importing by default only adds new data to your list. If required, you can remove interests and subscriptions via import like this:

STEP 1: Add the word "delete" in the import file in the interest / subscription column. 

  • "delete" means remove interest
  • "1" means add interest

STEP 2: When you import the list, map the interest/subscription field from your file to the corresponding interest/subscription in your account:

STEP 3: Turn on the "Allow bulk interest / subscription delete" option under "advanced settings" on the import settings page.

Foreign key importing

This is an advanced option and should be used with care and only if you are certain you need to use foreign key. 

It's possible to use an ID as the key field when you're importing, that way the list won't be automatically de-duped by email. Using this approach - as there will be duplicate emails - you need to be careful when segmenting the list for sending to ensure that there are no duplicate emails on the target list for any e-blast.

On the import page click the "Show advanced settings" link at the bottom and in the "Key field" section select "Customer ID". This will make the ID the key field. For this to work you need to have an ID column in your CSV file and it needs to be mapped to the "Customer ID" field in the "Field mapping" section at the top of the import settings page.

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