Build contacts lists for your email marketing campaigns

In order to successfully import a file with your list of contacts, it is important that you prepare your file with the right format. The following rules are considered as the standard way to format your file for importing it into your Sendinblue account.

If you want to make a file containing a SMS list, follow our tutorial: Creating a list for your SMS campaigns.

  1. Heading
  2. Separators
  3. Attribute Names
  4. Upload Limit
  5. File Extensions
  6. File encoding


Add a proper heading in the first row of your file. For the email column, the best name is "EMAIL"; for other columns, write the title of the column as the name of the attribute it contains (ex. MOBILE).


Avoid using a blank "space" as a separator as the importer will ignore "spaces". Instead, separate each value by a semicolon ;, comma , or tab       .

Not specifying a delimiter will result in an upload failure and will display the error “The separating character between fields is missing or erroneous. Please separate each value with a comma or semicolon”.


Attribute Names

It is not possible to put special characters as or with the attribute name. However, if any of your headings contain a special character, the import wizard will not stop you from uploading it and will force you to choose a different name for that heading on the next page: "Attributes Mapping".

Upload Limit

We do not accept files that are over 250M. If you try to upload a file over 250M, you will get an error message "File upload limit is 250M, please split your file into small files and try the upload again".

File Extensions

We only accept files with the following extensions .txt or .csv (the .csv extension is offered when you use Microsoft Excel).

To properly import data containing special characters, make sure to save your data as a .txt or .csv ("comma delimited" or "comma separated value") file type.

File encoding

We only support two types of file encoding, UTF-8 and Windows-1252. These encodings make it possible to read the content of your file when it contains special characters.

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

  1. Open your file and go to File > Save As.
  2. In the menu, name your file and select CSV UTF-8 (Comma delimited) (.csv) as file format.
  3. 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. 

  1. Open your Google Drive account. Click on the NEW button on the top left corner.
  2. Click Upload files.
  3. Browse for the required CSV file and select it.
  4. Open the uploaded file with Google Spreadsheet.
  5. Navigate to File > Download asand select Comma-separated values (.csv, current sheet) option.

Encoding a file in UTF-8 with Notepad

  1. Select the file that contains your contacts and right click.
  2. Then select Open with, then Notepad.
  3. Click on File and select Save as.  
  4. Add the .CSV extension to your file name.
  5. For "Type" choose All files.
  6. For "Encoding" choose UTF-8
  7. Click Save.


Encoding a file in UTF-8 with Libre Office

  1. Open LibreOffice and go to Files.
  2. Click on Open, and select the file from the computer.
  3. Go to File > Save as.
  4. From the dialog box that opens, type the name of the file.
  5. Select Text CSV (.csv) from the Save as type drop-down.
  6. Check the Edit filter settings options.Libre_Office_EN.png
  7. Click Save.
  8. The Export Text File dialog box appears. Select the Unicode (UTF-8) option from the Character set drop-down.
  9. Set the field and text delimiter as you wish or leave as is.
  10. Click OK.

This will save the file as UTF-8 encoded in Libre Office.

Good to know: If your contact data contains a UTF-8 replacement character "�" , it will be skipped and the corresponding attribute value will not be stored in your contacts database. This character can be introduced in the export of some tools, it is used to replace an unknown, unrecognized or unrepresentable character.