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How to import subscribers in bulk to my mailing list

Posted on Saturday, January 5th, 2013.

To import many subscribers in one go use this option – called ‘Bulk Import’.

Pre-flight tasks

The bulk import process accepts CSV and Excel spreadsheets.   It is important to make sure the spreadsheet is formatted correctly – if it is not the import will fail.

First row of spreadsheet must have corresponding subscriber field names per column

The first row of the spreadsheet file must contain the normalized name of the associated subscriber field e.g. email, first name, and other data you may wish to use when you select recipients for your eDM (email marketing delivery).  Please make sure there are no spaces between words – therefore join words together as in ‘firstname’.

The image below shows a spreadsheet file where the first row contains “Email, FirstName” – these are the normalized names of the subscriber fields the data below belongs to and these two data fields are in your account by default.  To add more data fields you can set up the criteria before you import your spreadsheet or csv or afterwards.  You will need to set up the subscriber data fields before you wish to use a ‘mailing list segment‘ to target subscribers that that data.  e.g. to send an eDM to subscribers who have Auckland in the ‘Region’ column of your csv or spreadsheet.


Microsoft Excel


Importing Subscriber Data Fields

You only need to import subscriber fields that are needed for your email marketing e.g. if your spreadsheet contains postal addresses that are not needed, then you can either remove these columns before import or select “ignore” in Step 2 of the import.

No extra blank lines

Make sure that there are no extra blank lines within the CSV file. The import process continues processing records until it locates the end of the file. By having extra blank lines within the file could stop the subscribers below the line gap from being uploaded.

Check your content for the delimiter

Check the data within the CSV for the delimiter symbol. For example, if you use the comma as a field delimiter then make sure the comma is not within the data itself. A good way to test this is to load the CSV file into a spreadsheet application such as Microsoft Excel, then do a search for the delimiter. If the search does locate a comma(s) they will need to be removed, or if you want, change the field and/or row delimiter.

Turn off word wrap

If you are using a text editor such as Microsoft’s “Note Pad” or “Word Pad”, make sure you turn off the word wrap feature (normally located under the “Format” menu option). This feature can cause additional unsupported characters to be added to the CSV file causing the importation process to fail.

Follow the steps below to bulk import subscribers into your account:

1. Log into your account.
2. From the main menu click the “Subscribers” icon.


3. Within the Subscribers section click “Subscriber Management” then “Bulk Import Subscribers”.


4. The next page will display a list of the mailing lists within your account that you can bulk import subscribers into. Select a mailing list to import the subscribers into and click the “Next” button. If you do not see any mailing lists then you need to add a mailing list to your account first.

5. The next page will display the import options.

Option Purpose
Mark as Confirmed This option will either set each subscriber record to “confirmed” or “not confirmed”. If the subscriber record is set as “not confirmed” then the subscriber will not be selected for any mail outs. The recommended option is “Confirmed”.
Format Select “HTML” option if all imported subscribers will receive the HTML version of emails. Select “TEXT” if the subscribers are to receive the TEXT version of emails. The recommended option is “HTML”.
Set as unsubscribed? If the subscribers are to be marked as “unsubscribed” then click this option. A reason for selecting this option is if you need to set a bunch of existing subscribers within your account “unsubscribed” because the subscribers have requested unsubscription by not using the system provided unsubscription form for example they rang you and asked to be unsubscribed.
Overwrite existing details When selected this option will overwrite the existing subscriber data with the existing subscriber record in the CSV file. Only subscriber fields within the CSV file will be overwritten in the account – subscriber fields not provided within the CSV file will not be touched.
Remove existing mailing list subscriptions When selected this option will remove all current mailing list subscriptions for each subscriber.
Disable Email Validation The import process checks the email address of each record within the CSV file for validness. If the email address for a record is found to be invalid then the record will not be processed. If this option is selected the import process will not check the email address for each record.
Do not process duplicate records (Foreign Key
/Email Address)
When this option is selected the import process will not process any records within the CSV file that have already been processed during the current import run. The “duplicate” records will be added to the bad data log that can be downloaded once all records have been processed within the current import run. NOTE: the check is only performed on the email address or foreign key within each record.
Select Signup Form Select the signup form that the subscribers will be set with. The signup form will be used in such events as a subscriber changing their subscription preferences or unsubscribing.
Field Seperator The CSV column delimiter used to separate columns within a CSV file role. Normally this is the comma symbol. If you are unsure leave the default value.
Field Enclosure Sometimes CSV file data is wrapped in quotes such as “Bob”, “Smith”, “Smith Bob” – if this is the case with the CSV file to be imported add the symbol in this option. In our example you would add .
Upload CSV File Select the CSV file to upload.

6. Once you have set the options click the “Next” button. The system will then check the CSV file for any errors. If no errors are located the next page displayed will be the import summary page.


7. Review the information and if correct click the “Import” button. The system will then import the subscribers into your account based on the import options. If there are many subscribers to import you will see a status dialog box that provides a status of the import.

8. Once the import is completed the system will display a completion report. The report provides a status of successful rows imported and rows that failed to import due to data being invalid – for example an invalid email address. If there are invalid records you can download the rows via the “[download]” link.


9. Thats it!

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