Successful importing of Contact or Distribution Lists into your Text-Connect account starts with the correct contact number formatting. Correctly formatted lists will have numbers formatted with no zeros, ‘+’ symbols or spaces and will be saved as a CSV file.
When creating a Distribution or Contact list in a spread sheet you should have the mobile phone number in column A and the contact name (if present) in column B. The email address (if present) will be in column C with custom data following on.
Below are the steps for formatting your data before exporting to a text or CSV file.
Formatting Distribution Lists: Step 1: Removing Spaces
- All spaces must be removed from the numbers. To do this, highlight the whole column then push Ctrl + H (Find and Replace).
- This screen should then appear:
- In ‘Find what:’ type a single space, then type nothing in the ‘Replace with:’ box (because you want to replace all the spaces between the numbers with nothing)
- Click ‘Replace All’. You should get confirmation of how many replacements have been made. Then close the dialogue box and there should be no more spaces in your numbers.
- You will also notice that all of the 0’s at the beginning of the numbers have gone, this is ok, it is just a feature of Microsoft Excel.
Importing Distribution Lists: Step 2: Saving the File as a CSV
- To import a file into Text-Connect it must be saved as a CSV file. To do this go to ‘File’, ‘Save As’. Enter your file name in the ‘File Name’ box and then under ‘Save as type’ select CSV (comma delimited) from the drop menu.
- Then click ‘Save’.
- If you get an error message like this click ‘Yes’
- Now close the excel sheet.
NB: DO NOT RE-OPEN THE SPREADSHEET YOU HAVE JUST SAVED
The resulting plain text file might look something like this:
"07974600005","My Name","email@example.com","123","456" "07779600004","Your Name","firstname.lastname@example.org","789","012" "07866400003","Their Name","email@example.com","345","678"
Importing Distribution Lists: Step 3: Importing your numbers into your Distribution List.
- Choose which distribution list you would like to add the numbers to within Text-Connect : https://goto.text-connect.co.uk/lists
- Create a List into which you are going to import your file and data, giving the list a name and variable names for any additional data fields beyond the default Number, Name and Email fields which are assumed:
- Click ‘Save’ which is at the bottom of the screen.
- Back on the ‘Lists’ page, click ‘View Entries‘ on your new list and then ‘Import‘ from the ‘More Actions’ drop down.
- The pages will give a review of the expected format for your CSV \ Text file. Select your file and click upload.
- If the upload has worked correctly you will be able to see how many contacts have imported. Take a moment to review the new list and ensure the numbers and data have imported correctly.