Tutorial №3. Collecting, importing, and segmenting contacts

Any campaign needs an audience, that’s why a contact database is the fundamental part of email marketing. The easiest way to collect your contacts is to put a subscription form on your website. With Selzy, you can create an embedded or a popup subscription form.

Create an Embedded Signup Form
Create Pop-up Signup Forms

If you don’t have a website or would like to try other ways to collect contacts, make sure you are familiar with our articles on the topic.


Never buy ready-made databases. It’s not only a waste of money but a harm to your reputation as a sender. Mailing services block campaigns with such lists, and the users refrain from opening the emails they haven’t subscribed to, or, what is even worse, mark them as spam.

Uploading your contacts to the service

If you already have a contact database, you can upload it to the service. To do this, follow the steps below.

Prepare a document to be imported

General requirements for the file for import:

  • Appropriate formats: .csv, .txt, .xls, .xlsx.
  • Max file size — 20 Mb.
  • If your file is more than 20 Mb, use an archive (.rar, .zip, .7z).


We recommend you to use the .csv format. When you save a file in this format, the tables get rid of all the links, formulas, and other additional information that may hinder the correct import of your contacts.

Requirements for the archive:

  • The archive must contain only one file.
  • The appropriate format of the file in the archive: .csv, .txt, .xls, .xlsx.

Requirements for the table with your database:

  • clear structure;
  • no unnecessary details;
  • one column — one type of data;
  • the date has the format of DD.MM.YYYY;
  • file coding (universal) — UTF-8 or Unicode.


You know the emails, the names, and the birth dates of your clients. These fields must be filled in like in the table below. If you lack some information about a client, just leave the cell empty.

Preparing a file with contacts for import.

Import contacts

Go to the Contacts Section, choose All contacts, and click on the Add contacts button.

Contact lists

Choose Import contacts.

add contacts

You can upload a file with contacts prepared beforehand or add the contacts manually, for example, by copying them from the document.

To upload the contacts from a file, choose to import contacts From the File and drag or select your file for import.

Importing contacts from a file.

To upload the contacts from a text, choose to import your contacts Manually. Information about each new contact should be given in a new line.


Separate contact information with a comma, a semicolon, or a tab. You cannot upload more than 50,000 contacts at a time.

Importing contacts manually.

Configure the fields. Choose one of the existing fields for each data type or create a new one.

Create Custom Fields


One of the imported fields should contain the Email.

If you don’t want to import some contact information, choose the Do Not Import or Choose a Field option.

Configuring the fields.

Click on the Continue button. Now it’s time to choose one of the existing lists or to create a new one to have your contact imported.

Selecting a contact list to import.

You can add tags to the contacts to be imported. You can choose an existing tag or create a new one.

Tagging the contacts.

Click on the Import button.

During the process, you will be able to see the import progress and the following statistics:

  • Processed — all imported contacts.
  • Added — contacts new to the lists.
  • Updated — contacts that were already in the lists.
  • Errors (their number).

The imported contacts statistics.

After you have imported the contacts, you can do the following:

  • Create a campaign.
  • Check the import history.
  • Go to the list of contacts that you have imported your contacts to.

Things you can do after you have imported the contacts.

If any errors occur during the import procedure, you will be able to download a detailed error report on the same page (the information is stored for 7 days).

If you decide to add more contacts, scroll the page up to click on the Import More button.

Importing a new portion of contacts.

Uploading the contacts while creating your campaign

You can also add contacts to the list right before sending a campaign. At the Choose Recipients stage click on the Upload Contacts button.

Segmenting the contact database

To personalize your campaigns, use segmentation. It allows targeting a particular audience from the whole list of contacts. For example, you can send your email to women only or to those people who have read the previous one. You can combine several criteria as well.

In Selzy there are two types of segmentation:

You can find more information about segmentation in the article on How to Segment Your Contacts.


What if the contact already exists in this or another list in Selzy?

In this case, your contact details will get updated. Let’s say, you have a contact with the email of bobby@gmail.com and the name Johnny. When you upload the same email with the name of Robert, the contact name will change in all the lists.

How to correct a jumbled text in the file?

Sometimes when you have imported your contacts, you can see unreadable symbols like these, for example:

Wrong character encoding found after you have imported the contacts.

The reason lies in the wrong encoding. In such cases, you need to transcode it into UTF-8.

How to Change File Encoding to UTF-8

I have uploaded contact phone numbers but I can’t send SMS campaigns (there are no phone numbers in the list). What’s wrong?

The phone numbers should be uploaded into the automatically created system field - Mobile Phone, which is available for all accounts. If a phone number got into an additional field, it cannot be used to send SMS.

What format should a phone number have?

The uploaded phone number should have the international format like +7 921 123 45 67 with respective country codes.

How to Import Phone Numbers

What does it mean when the contact email status is Blocked, or Unavailable, or Temporarily Not Available?

Each contact in Selzy is marked according to two characteristics:

  • Status — the state of the recipient engagement (active, unsubscribed, or disabled).
  • Availability — the state of the email address (whether the email address exists, whether the mailbox is full or not).

Contact status.

Your emails can be sent only to the recipients that have an Active/Available or an Active-New/Available status.

To learn more, feel free to go to the What Does Email Address Status Indicate and how it Changes page.

Adding the contacts to a different list

Open the list you need. Select Contacts in the List that you want to copy to a different list. Click on the Action and choose Add to lists or Move to a list.

Adding the contacts to a different list

Deleting a contact list

To delete a contact list, go to the Contacts Section and choose Lists. Select the list you need. On the right-hand side click on three points and choose Delete a List.


Delete a Contact List

Useful links

Working With Contacts
How to Segment Your Contacts

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