Troubleshooting Contact Imports – Email Marketing

First of all, if you’re having trouble importing contacts into your subscribers area, don’t panic! We promise, everything will be ok. There are a few common reasons that your upload isn’t going as planned, and we’ll walk through them, here.

  1. Your file really needs to be in one of the following file formats for best outcomes:
    • .csv
    • .txt
    • .xls or .xlsx
    • .vcf (vCard)

    If your file is anything else, please re-save the file as one of those, and try it again. Saving your spreadsheet as a CSV is the best way to troubleshoot file format issues.

  2. Make sure you have headers in your file. The first row of your spreadsheet, or the first line of your text MUST be a header row. For example, your very first row or line should look something like this:Example layout for spreadsheet to import contacts.

    or this:

    Email, Name, Company, Paul Feldspath, Email Marketing

    or like this:

    Email,First Name,Last Name,Company,Paul,Feldspath,IFindHost –
  3. When using CSV or TXT files, the spacing of the headers must match the spacing of the data. If you used a single tab space between your data, there should be a single tab space between your headers. Likewise, if you have no space between your header items, then there should be no space between your data items.
  4. Make sure your headers are appropriately named. You have a lot of flexibility in the actual title you put in the header row, since Email Marketing is good at interpreting your intentions. But if you’re having trouble with an import, change your column headers to match any of the following exactly, and try it again:
    • email
    • name
    • firstname
    • lastname
  5. Your headers should all be a single word, if you’re having any trouble importing your contacts. Use an underscore between words, if you have to, but avoid spaces in your headers.
  6. Don’t use odd characters in your headers. No slashes, or dashes, or hashes, etc.
  7. Look for odd characters in the emails, or any email addresses that are not formatted correctly, like this: —@—.—
    Any email not formatted with an @ and a period will not import into your subscribers.
  8. Scan your file for any hard returns, or blank rows. Those can create problems and partial imports, if present.
  9. Lastly, make sure your file is fully uploaded! You can check the progress of your imports, using the Import history button in your subscribers area. Scroll down the page to the bottom of your lists, on the left. You’ll see the Import History button there, underneath all your subscriber lists. When the file has finished uploading successfully, it will show a green dot and Succeeded. If the dot is grey, and it says Processing, just give it a little bit of time to finish.

Advanced Search Techniques – Email Marketing

Smart Email Marketing – So, you wanna get fancy? The advanced search techniques let you search and sort your subscribers by any number of parameters. You can search for anything in the subscriber detail fields, or by list membership.

To search fields

Type the full name of the field, followed by a colon, followed by the text you want to search for.

[field name]:[search term]

 Note: Keep in mind that there are no spaces in between any of these terms.

Example Result
firstname:Dean All subscribers who have “Dean” in their firstname field.
city:New York All the subscribers who have “New York” in their city field.

 Note: Because this is a text string search, folks who have “NY” in their city field would not show as a search result.

zip:111 All subscribers who have 3 ones in a row anywhere in their zip field.

To search lists

You can search for subscriber memberships with a few different commands. Keep in mind that you must put quotes around the list name.

  • member_of:”List Name will return all folks who are a member of the list you’ve mentioned.
  • only_in_all_list will return all folks who are not a member of any list, and are active subscribers. This is useful in the case where you haven’t specified a list for your signup form, or if you’ve accidentally deleted a list. Find out more about folks only in the All list.
  • member_of:”*” will return all folks who are not a member of any list, including your Suppression list.

To combine search terms

You can use ANDOR, and NOT to combine any of these search terms. Type in your first search item, a space, your connector (AND, OR, NOT), another space, and your next search term.


  • not member_of:”All Stars”
    All subscribers who are not a member of the list All Stars.

     Note: Because this is using a connector, note that there IS a space between not, and member.

  • firstname:Dean and city:New York and member_of:”All Stars”
    All subscribers who have “Dean” in their firstname field, and “New York” in their city field, and are members of the list All Stars. Because these are connected by AND, the results will be only subscribers who fulfill all the criteria.
  • member_of:”Rock and Roll Lovers” and not member_of:”Eric’s List”
    All subscribers who are members of the list Rock and Roll Lovers, but aren’t members of the list Eric’s List.

     Note: This combines multiple connectors, to search for more than one criteria, including a negative list search.

  • member_of:”Rock and Roll Lovers” or member_of:”Eric’s List”
    All subscribers who are a member of the list Rock and Roll Lovers, or they are a member of Eric’s List. Because this is using an OR connector, they could be on one list, or even both lists.

Helping recipients view images in your emails – Email Marketing

Most email programs don’t show images right away and leave it up to the recipients to choose whether or not to load images. This is mostly for the security and safety sake of their users. In almost all cases it’s simply a setting in the recipient’s email client preferences.

If one of your subscribers has complained that they can’t see any images in your email, it’s best to find out what email program they are using, and walk them through these steps. Most folks handle this on a case-by-case basis, reacting to the prompt on the individual emails. But you can encourage your recipients to set emails from you to always show images.

Here’s how to enable images in the more popular email programs:

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If images aren't loading in AOL, click


If images aren't loading in AT&T, click the


If images aren't loading in Charter, click the


If images aren't loading in Comcast, click the

Excite Mail:

Excite Mail has a two step process, click on Junk mail controls, then


Fastmail displays a option at the top of the email to 'click here to show the images'


If images aren't loading in Gmail, click


In Hotmail, click the show content button to display images


If images aren't loading in Juno, click the link in the 'external images blocked' message at the top of the email

Mac Mail:

In MacMail, the button to display images is on the top right side of the email

 In, click the display button on the top right to load your images


If images aren't loading in NetZero, click the show images link


In Outlook, click the message at the top to display pictures


 In RoadRunner, click the message to


If images aren't loading in Yahoo, click the

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Troubleshooting links not working – Email Marketing

Email Marketing Troubleshooting – If your links in your campaigns aren’t working, here are a few things to check.

Issue Try this
Extra http
Typo in link
Missing link reference
This is the #1 reason most links aren’t working. Links use the markdown formatting of [Link display text](

  • Look at your broken link in the composer, and make sure that everything in the rounded parentheses is a complete and correct link URL, with no extra “http”.
  • Copy everything in the parentheses, and paste it into a web browser, to make sure it’s working.

More info on adding links to text and images.

Google Analytics problems If you have Google Analytics integrated, it will add a whole bunch of extra parameters to your links, to look something like this: Marketing&utm_content=xxx…

Copy only the first part, up to the ?, and paste that into a browser. If it works that way, there’s a problem with your Google Analytics set up.

See more info on setting up the Google Analytics addon.

It’s very smart to give all links a quick test before you send the email to others. You can do this in the Preview screen, and by sending yourself a test email.