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Opt In Email - Import Subscribers via CSV, Excel, SQL Question / Answer

There have been some changes over the last few years related to the Opt In Email list import features and I wanted to highlight some of the changes, functionality, and provide some sample import files that you can use.

General functionality and quick explanations:

  1. You can execute an import using a CSV/XLS file import, by DotNetNuke Security Role, from another Opt In List, and from a SQL Import

  2. If you are using a CSV File or SQL Import option and have 4.3 or higher then you can also import ‘Extended fields’.

  3. There is no direct way (at this time) to automatically ‘sync’ a users security role with an opt in list. Although we might find a way of keeping these in sync later its difficult because the emails must remain in a separate table with a separate identity column. This is necessary in order to manage a users subscription settings, allow the user to opt out, link tracking, newsletter tracking, etc… 

  4. Starting on the latest patch of 4.3 (4.3.62 or higher) you can now import XLS and XLSX files and also the CSV/XLS file import option now supports 64 bit operating systems.

Importing subscribers multiple times

With any import option, the import routines are setup to ignore an email address if it already exists within the system. This functionality means that if a subscriber is being re-imported then it won’t impact any subscriptions settings that they have previously saved.  So if you imported the same email list on a weekly basis and a subscriber  had previously opted out of the list, then during the import process it would skip this email and therefore leave their opt in settings in-tact.  This functionality is based on a per opt in list setting, so if you were create a new list such as ‘Opt In List B’ and re-import the list that subscriber would successfully be added to that opt in list,

Instructions on CSV/XLS/XLSX Files

The format of the file needs to be in (CSV, Comma or other Delimited, or a Excel 97/2003 XLS or XLS Files having columns in the order first name, last name, email address).  It is best to define the first line of your import file to include the column names firstname, lastname, and email address. You can import extended fields, each extended field will be imported based on the extended fields sort order. So if you import a 4th column this would import the first extended field within the system (1-3 are reserved for firstname, lastname, email address).

Please download these sample files, all representing different configurations. Within the zip file you will find:

•   Standard CSV file (comma separated, no extended fields) – By default, the file

•   Advanced CSV files (# separated, with extended fields) – Need to include ‘Pound’ in the filename
•   Advanced CSV files (; separated, with extended fields) – Need to include ‘Semi’ in the filename
•   Excel Workbook 97 - 2003 (XLS) file (without extended fields)
•   Excel Workbook 2007 (XLSX) file (with extended fields)

Download Sample Opt In Email Import Files

Before you can import the file you must choose the 'Upload File' button.

*Note: Versions priority to 4.3.62 do not support 64 bit operating systems for file import. Additionally only the latest 4.3.62 build or higher support XLS and XLSX (previous versions support CSV files only)

Instructions on SQL Import options

The SQL query for an import needs to at least have an EmailAddress column within your SQL query, you can optionally import FirstName and a LastName column.

Columns names must be spelled exactly as FirstName, LastName, and EmailAddress. Note: You can import extended fields. You will need to import extended fields based on the short field name of the field. For example, if the short field name of your extended field is 'Zip' then you should return a column called 'Zip' from within your query. Once you are ready, click Import!


Other Considerations

All imports are handled directly upon the click of the import button, if your import file or list is very large you might consider increasing the execution time out on the server for the import.  You can review this forum thread to find out more on how to handle this:

I would welcome anyone's comments or suggestions! I just wanted to post this blog with some explanations as we have many questions and also its only been recently updated to support 64 bit operating systems.



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