In this article, we will explain how to format your contact import file.
When you import contacts to Sendinblue, the data of your import file will be matched to contact attributes in your Sendinblue account. Certain types of contact attributes, like EMAIL and SMS, require a specific format to be imported correctly.
Before you start
- At least the EMAIL (for email campaigns) or SMS (for SMS campaigns) attribute is required in your import file. Other attributes are optional, but may be necessary to personalize your emails or segment your contacts.
There are 4 default attributes in Sendinblue when you create an account: FIRSTNAME, LASTNAME, EMAIL and SMS. The FIRSTNAME and LASTNAME default attributes name may vary based on the account language you selected during your account creation.
- Learn more about the different types of attributes in What are the different types of contact attributes?.
The following file types are compatible for importing your contacts to Sendinblue:
- .CSV (Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice Calc, Google Spreadsheets)
- .XLSX (Microsoft Excel open format)
- .TXT (Microsoft Notepad)
Column headers are optional but make it easier for our system to match your data to the corresponding contact attributes. Each column in your file needs a unique name and you can arrange them in any order. To simplify the import, use your contact attribute names as the headers in your file. If you don't include column headers in your import file, you will need to manually match each column with a contact attribute.
Each value in your import file must be separated by a semicolon
;, a comma
, or a tab
To import a contact email address, use the EMAIL default attribute as your column header. If a contact does not have an email address, we will create a fictitious email address during the import. This fictitious email address will not be usable but will be unique for each contact. It will follow the format SMSNumber@mailin-sms.com. If you later find out the email address of your contact, you can always replace the fictitious email address we created with the real one.
To import the phone number of a contact you want to send SMS messages to, use the SMS default attribute as your column header. Always include the + sign and the country code for each phone number, and do not separate the digits by any special character.
To import the phone number of a contact you want to send WhatsApp messages to, use the WhatsApp default attribute as your column header. Always include the + sign and the country code for each phone number, and do not separate the digits by any special character.
Text type attributes are used to store a string of any alphanumeric characters, such as a word, a phrase, or a sentence. You can use a text type attribute to import additional data such as your contact's language preferences, favorite color, or company name. When used in an import file, Text type attributes have no limit of characters.
Number type attributes are used to store a string of numerals or numbers written in decimal. You can use a number attribute to import numbers or currency values to your contacts.
For example, if you have an opt-in value, you can create a Boolean type attribute named OPT_IN which can only contain empty, Yes, or No as values.
Category type attributes are used to store values which can contain only one value from a defined set of possible values.
For example, if you have a gender value, you can create a Category type attribute named GENDER and define possible values as “Female”, “Male” or “Unknown”. The attribute GENDER of each contact will then only contain one value among “Female”, “Male” or “Unknown”.
In your import file, only include the category option ID number. For example, you could have:
- 1 if the GENDER attribute is “Female”
- 2 if the GENDER attribute is “Male”
- 3 is the GENDER attribute “Unknown"
Import file examples
- Each contact must have their own row.
- Each column must include a single piece of information.
- Each contact must have their own line.
- Separate each value by a semicolon
;, a comma
,or a tab
Sample import file
To help you format your import file, we have created 3 sample import files that you can download:
- Click to download sample import file (semicolon delimited)
- Click to download sample import file (comma delimited)
- Click to download sample import file (tab delimited)
After you update the sample file with your contacts information and save it, learn how to Import your contacts to Sendinblue.
The largest file size that can be imported to your Sendinblue account is 250 MB. There is no limit on the number of contacts you can import at once.
In case you encounter the following error "The imported files encoding is not supported. We mainly support UTF-8 as a file encoding format" due to an invalid file encoding, please follow the steps below to save your file as UTF-8.
Encoding a file in UTF-8 with Microsoft Excel
- Open your file and go to File > Save As.
- In the menu, name your file and select CSV UTF-8 (Comma delimited) (.csv) as file format.
- Click Save.
Encoding a file in UTF-8 with Google Spreadsheet
To save the .CSV file as UTF-8 encoded, you can upload the file on Google Drive and easily store it as UTF-8.
- Open your Google Drive account.
- Click the New button in the top left corner.
- Click File Upload.
- Browse for the required .CSV file and select it.
- Open the uploaded file with Google Spreadsheet.
- Navigate to File > Download as, and select the Comma-separated values (.csv, current sheet) option.
Encoding a file in UTF-8 with Notepad
- Right-click the file that contains your contacts.
- Select Open with > Notepad.
- Click File and select Save as.
- Add the .CSV extension to your file name.
- For Type, choose All files.
- For Encoding, choose UTF-8.
- Click Save.
Encoding a file in UTF-8 with Libre Office
- Open LibreOffice and go to Files.
- Click Open and select the file from your computer.
- Go to File > Save as.
- Type the name of the file in the dialog box.
- From the Save as type drop-down, select Text CSV (.csv).
- Check the Edit filter settings options.
- Click Save.
- In the Export Text File dialog box, select the Unicode (UTF-8) option from the Character set drop-down.
- Set the field and text delimiter as you wish, or leave it as it is.
- Click OK.
This will save the file as UTF-8 encoded in LibreOffice.