Building a list of recipients from a CSV file

Activity Messenger makes it easy to import recipients from a CSV file. You can either type in your comma separated values manually, paste them from another application or upload a file.

CSV stands for Comma Separated Values. It is a text format often used with tabular data and is supported by all major applications like Excel. If you are importing thousands of contacts or participants, we suggest you upload the file.

To build your own CSV, you can use this sample CSV file.

# Upload a CSV file

To get started, create a new list and choose "Upload a CSV file". Once your list is created, you will be able to upload your CSV file.

After you upload your CSV file, you will be shown a table with the uploaded data. Activity Messenger will ask you which columns to use for the contact name, mobile phone number and email. You can use two columns for the contact name (first name and last name). Click Save to import recipients.

# Importing registration information

Your CSV file can contain columns for registration information. Support columns are: child name, child gender, child date of birth, activity name, activity start date and activity start time. Activity Messenger will attempt to automatically detect those columns. Alternatively you can specify the names of those columns to import.

Once imported click on a row to expand. Activity Messenger automatically mapped the participant, the account owner, the children, the activity name and activity start date/time. These become available as placeholders in emails and SMS you send.

Activity Messenger will detect siblings of a same family by looking at the email and child name columns. In such a case two rows with the same email and different children would exist. Activity Messenger will only import one row yet include both children. You can then use the "Children names" placeholder in email or SMS messages.

# Columns

The first row of your CSV file must be the column header. Each column header should be separated by a comma. Activity Messenger will import these columns: name, mobile, email, child name, child gender, child date of birth, activity name, activity start date and activity start time. Other columns may be specified but will be ignored.

Columns are all optional. You should at least have either mobile or email. Column name is useful for you to identify who the person is.

Note that you may use a mix of upper or lower case. For example "name", "Name" or "NAME" are equivalent.

# Rows

Subsequent rows are considered to be recipients. There should only be one person per row. Values should also respect the column order you have specified in the column header. If you are missing a value, simply put in a space or no value at all.

# Parsing phone numbers and email addresses

Activity Messenger will parse emails and phone numbers removing white spaces and formatting phone numbers. Activity Messenger will also validate emails and phone numbers. Invalid emails or phone numbers will be highlighted in orange. When neither a valid phone number or a valid email is found, the entire row will be marked in red. Activity Messenger will not import invalid rows.

# Saving

Click on Save to save the CSV and list of recipients. You can come back later to modify your list.

# Sending a message

From here, you can click on the New Message button to send an SMS and/or email to the list of recipients you have imported.

# Type in CSV

For small lists you can choose to type in the CSV instead of uploading a file. Create a new list and choose "Type in CSV". Once your list is created you will be presented with a screen consisting of a panel and a table. The left panel contains a text box to paste or type in the CSV data. The table shows the recipients of your messages.

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