Importing audience data into Websand

Importing audience data into Websand

This post explains how you can import your audience (or subscriber) data (in csv format) into Websand using the import function. To find out how to import your customer transactions please click here

What you need to know about importing audience data into Websand

The audience data contains contact or profile information about people.  This is your traditional email list or sign up data, often referred to as subscribers.

Since Websand provides you with a Marketing CRM, when importing this data (unlike other email marketing platforms) some fixed rules and mandatory fields are applied to ensure data consistency.

The mandatory fields for importing audience data

For audience data, your csv file needs to have at least these three mandatory fields

Email address.  The  email address of the subscriber.  Any additional imports will update to this record. So no duplicates.  

Source.  This represents where you collected the subscriber data.  For the best results be as specific as possible. This field is used by the source segment, which is then used to power Welcome messages and lead generation campaigns. 

Subscribed_at.   This field needs to be a date stamp, and reflects the date when this subscriber information was collected.  Please use ISO format or DD/MM/YYYY.

Why does Websand enforce mandatory fields for the import?

Having mandatory fields might seem a bit of a pain, but these three fields are also the information you should be recording as part of your GDPR compliance, so using Websand will help you understand where you are collecting marketing consent from your audience.

Can I add extra fields to my Websand profile.

Yes. Websand is built to be flexible so you can add your own fields, as you require them.  Any field added during an import will be available to be mapped for future imports so your data is always consistent and in control.

For example, you might want to include first if you are collecting the first name of the subscriber.  All fields for the subscriber can be merged into email designs, so first name is recommended for the personalisation of your marketing messages. 

This ‘additional’ data can be segmented from segment wizard tool, so you can create unique segments to manage and better understand your audience data

Formatting your data before importing audience data.

Trouble shooting tips for importing audience data

Importing audience data can be a tricky process, here is a list of the typical issues people have when they have problems with the importing process (it’s usually the data).

CSV files only please. Make sure you are uploading a CSV file.  Excel files cannot be imported.

No blank columns.  Before uploading your CSV, please make sure that all of the columns have a title.  Otherwise this could cause issues with the upload process.

No repeat columns.  Before uploading your CSV, please make sure that none of the columns have a repeat title.  Otherwise this could cause issues with the upload process.

Mandatory fields are Mandatory! Remember to include the mandatory fields as a minimum requirement.

Date format (ISO or DD/MM/YYYY) please.  Date fields can sometimes cause a problem, we need the date to be in ISO format or in DD/MM/YYYY.  If you experience problems importing, set the date field in the CSV to this format, save and try the import again.

Creating a Subscriber Template

If you are planning to import data into Websand.  We find that Google Sheets is a great way to create a data template.

Google sheets retain format far more consistently than excel and offer an easy to use csv export option.

Click here to view and make a copy of your own import template

Importing your email subscriber data into Websand

To import your CSV file into Websand, select the Import Data from the Menu

You’ll then enter the Data Import Screen, where you can add new imports and review the history of the imports you’ve made into Websand.

Websand Import Page

Step 1:  Select and upload your CSV file

To upload your CSV file to Websand.  Press on the [+ New Import] button in the top right corner of the screen. You’ll then see the following Pop Up.  ‘Upload Data’

If your upload is related to audience or subscriber information then please select ‘Audience’.  If your data relates to customer transactions then please select ‘Transaction’

Then select the CSV file you want to upload and select Upload Data.

Step 2:  Mapping the data

Now the fun bit.  Match the data from your CSV file to your Websand account set up.

Websand Audience Import Mapping Explained

When you first start, the options will be limited to the mandatory fields, however you can add any additional data fields to your Websand account by selecting ‘new field’ against the selected row.

NOTE:  If you select ‘new field’ the name of the column within your CSV file will be the name of the new field you create, and that will be available to be mapped in the same way at the mandatory fields within any future imports.

Step 3:  Verify the mapping

This screen allows you to check that you’ve mapped the data correctly.  You should have green ticks against the data fields you want to import, and a red cross against the fields you do not.

If you’ve missed any fields you can return back to the previous stage ‘mapping screen’

Websand Audience Import Verification Stage

Double check you’ve mapped the data correctly and that at least all the mandatory fields are included.

Hit the Start Import button and your import will begin.

Step 4:  Import complete

The details of your import will appear once the import has been completed.

Websand Import Audience Completed

Refresh the screen and you’ll get key details from the import.

You will see this screen if you access a previous import from the import menu screen.  If you ever need to access a file you’ve uploaded to Websand in the past, you can download that file from this screen.

Step 5. Validating the import

Your data will now be in place, you can check the import has worked correctly using several different methods.

Head over the to audience tab on the home screen and click on an example record to make sure that the data is in place.

Websand Audience Dashboard

Click on the ‘key’ from the menu to access the integrations page.

The column on the right has a list of the most recently updated records, click on of the records on the right hand column marked as ‘subscriber’ and then check the record to make sure the import was updated correctly.

websand integrations page

Or if the data features a new source of acquisition, go to the segment menu and check the source segment. The dropdown list for the source segment should now feature the new source of acquisition.

Try some direct integrations to Websand

Importing is a useful process, especially for offline data collection, but it’s time sapping.  Wherever possible, we strongly recommend that you explore our integrations.  It’s easier than you think to connect Websand to the processes and systems you already have in place within your business.

Not only will that save you loads of time, your data will be consistent and automatically updated, making sure you get the best results from your email and marketing automation activity.

Here are some easy ways to connect your subscriber information to Websand

Connect directly to our Subscriber REST API.

Connecting your business systems through one of the 1000’s of Websand integrations with Zapier

If you have a WordPress website, we strongly recommend you use our WordPress Subscriber Widget.

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Need help with your importing?

If you need more help using the Websand csv import, or further help with your email marketing or data strategy. We can help so please get in touch.

Email or give us a call +44.113.2045925.