Quick tips:

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

  • Use a CSV file that includes a header row with field names. The file can't have blank rows or columns on the top or on the left. View example.

  • Be sure to assign at least one tag or subscription during the import process so you can easily segment your contacts later. 

  • Contacts will be merged by email address if they already exist in your database.

  • Existing, unsubscribed contacts will remain unsubscribed after any import

Watch the video below for a brief overview of importing contacts:

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 in the first row 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.

Consent changes for existing contacts

Existing contacts with express consent will retain their "express consent" setting and won't be "downgraded" to implied consent status.

Existing contacts with revoked consent (unsubscribed contacts) will retain the unsubscribe status and won't be re-subscribed if they are re-imported.

Duplicates and existing contacts fields

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 for the existing contact records.

It's possible to use an external ID as a key field instead of the email address. This is an advanced setting, please contact support for more details.

Importing unsubscribed contacts

You can bring over unsubscribed contacts into your Envoke account. You need to import these unsubscribed contacts in a separate CSV file, not mixed with other (subscribed) contacts. During the import process you will have the option to mark them as unsubscribed. This way they will be added as unsubscribed contacts.

Importing tags and subscriptions

There are three ways you can assign tags and subscriptions.

  • Everyone on the import file is part of the same tag or subscription

  • Multiple tags or subscriptions are stored in single column in your import file

  • Multiple tags or subscriptions are stored in separate columns in your import file

Watch the video below to learn how to assign tags and subscriptions to your contacts as you're importing them:

⚠️ NOTE: Throughout the video we're referring to "tags" as "internal lists" because the name of this setting has recently changed but the video isn't yet updated. The change only applies to what these settings are called, functionality didn't change.

Field updates

Fields for existing contacts are overwritten when contacts are re-imported, except for blank values.: Fields are only updated, not deleted.

Tag and subscription assignments are cumulative. New tags and subscriptions are appended to records but never removed.


On the import settings page you'll see a preview of the list. This provides you with a way to confirm the fields aren’t misaligned or scrambled. If the preview looks good you can continue to the next step, otherwise the file format needs to be fixed first.

Field mapping

Map fields from your file to the corresponding field in Envoke. You can also use the “Skip this field” option to exclude a field from the import.

Original consent date

This is an optional field and applies only to contacts with implied consent that expires. You may include a field in your import field with the original consent acquisition date using a YYYY-MM-DD format and map this to the "Consent effective date" field. This way expiry of consent will be tracked from this date rather than the date of the import.

Map your original consent date to the "Consent effective date" field:

Import processing

After you click the Import button your file will be queued for importing. Importing generally takes only a few minutes.

You can track the status of your import from the imported files page. See the Status column for details. This page doesn't refresh automatically, click your browser's refresh button to update the status message.

You can click the number under the Contacts column to view a list of contacts who were imported. You can make changes to these contacts in bulk (for example to add or remove a tag or subscription or to change consent settings)

Manual review

For security reasons and to maintain good deliverability across the system, import requests from new users may be flagged for manual review by Envoke staff. Manual review can take up 2 business days.

Rejected records

Contacts that didn't get imported due to an error (for example a syntax error in the email field) are saved in a separate file for your review. The words "rejected_records" is appended to your original file so if your original file is called "January List.csv" then any rejected contacts from this file are saved in a file called "January List - rejected_records.csv". You can download this file from the secure files folder.

Country field

If you're importing a country field, you must use ISO country codes and names. All other data in the country field will be rejected.

CSV file formatting error

Envoke doesn't make modifications to the uploaded CSV file and we aren't able to assist in correcting formatting errors as these are happening on your end when the list is being exported / downloaded. You may have to enlist internal IT help to troubleshoot. Some apps, Excel is the main culprit but not the only one, can create corrupt files with invisible formatting issues, often related to encoding. An example is extra characters in the file but these don't show up in Excel so you can't fix this easily.

Google Sheets is our recommended list management / spreadsheet tool. It tends to show characters that are invisible in Excel. We suggest you open the file in Google Sheets and check for extra characters, especially in the email fields. These may look like a space after the field and need to be removed.

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