Thursday, April 5, 2012

How to Add Emails in Constant Contact

I get this question about twice a month.

"Hey, Bill!  I know you use Constant Contact for Wilton Manors Main Street, but how do you add new Email addresses?"

Actually it's dead simple and there are five ways to do it.

My best recommendation is that you should add them to a spreadsheet, and save that in Excel to an xls file.  It can also be saved as a text file or a csv but since Excel wants you to save as an xls file, that's the one to look for.

Why use Excel?  Simple, because that way you can use that tutorial I wrote yesterday to clean the data.  You can look for duplicates, sort it into alphabetic order, and it's easy to go through and eyeball it for any strange looking addresses.  Also, if you have it in an Excel Spreadsheet, it will be a fairly easy matter for you to compare it to the result you get when you add your email contact list.

If not, you can type them in directly, or paste them in from any program that supports copy and paste.  Right now when you go through the steps, Constant Contact will present you with a light box with a place for you to paste in or type a list, one after another, each one per line.   Since the method I used in that tutorial yesterday will result in a column of email addresses, I am going to assume you're going to use that program and method to get your list.  Simply highlight the column you need and CTRL+C to copy or right click and select copy from the dialogue pop up.

If you really hate Excel, you can also import them from your Gmail account or Outlook.  Those methods will pull everything down from those address books, so you may want to be very careful when you're through to get rid of any inappropriate addresses... which is a good rule to follow any time you do a large "import" like this.

Method 1:  Copy and Paste

Log into Constant Contact.  On the right there is a Contacts tab that will get you into the Contacts Management Page.  There is a helpful button labeled "Add & Update".  Click on the button and you will get to the page that I have pictured here. Since you have already copied into your clipboard the addresses you want from Excel, the next step is to paste them into the box labeled "Contact Email Addresses".

Place your mouse cursor inside the box, click on it, then you may right click and select "Paste" from the pop up, or simply "CTRL+V" to paste in your address list. 

Once your list is in the box, click on the handy "Next" button at the bottom of the window, or click cancel if you have something in there that does not belong so you may try again.

The next screen that is brought up is the New List dialogue.  You can add your email addresses to an existing list by selecting the box next to the list on the left, or enter in a new list name in the box that I have highlighted in red on this picture.

For this blog posting, I entered in "Test" and then clicked on the Save button.  After it added the list Test with no entries, then click the Submit button at the bottom of the screen.

You will then be returned to the Add and Update web page with the Success Message.  You can select that list to look at the email addresses that you just added to make sure you did everything correctly.

Method 2: Import from Excel

Since I have this email list posting from yesterday that says how to go about creating a sorted list, I'm going to use this list that I saved in an Excel xls file to directly import the email addresses.  There will be none of that Copy and Paste exercise, since Constant Contact will do all that heavy lifting for you.

  • In the Contacts Add and Update page, click on the blue Add and Update button.
  • Select the third tab on the panel for From A Spreadsheet.
  • Click on the "Browse" button. 
  • A "standard" Windows dialogue box will pop up (if you are on Windows) to allow you to select your Excel Spreadsheet.
  • When you find the spreadsheet, click next on the bottom of the page.

The next page allows you to tell Constant Contact which column in the spreadsheet has the important information.  Constant Contact will allow you to add names and addresses as well, so you have the opportunity to import more than just an email list. 

Since my Excel Spreadsheet only has an email address column, I selected "email address" on the column 1 select box, and then clicked the Next Button at the bottom of the page.

Constant Contact then gave me the "Where The Contacts will be Saved" page. 

You may add a new list by entering in the new list name in the area that I highlighted in red, or select an existing list.

If the list is good, you will get a Success message saying that your email addresses have been added to Constant Contact.

One thing to keep in mind:  If you are adding many email addresses using the Spreadsheet method, Constant Contact does the add on it's own schedule.  They may not show up immediately on your email list.  When I did it for this blog posting, I had to wait a few seconds before the imported spreadsheet showed up on its list.

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