Importing Contacts

There are two methods to import Contacts into a Group. The first is an online process done via the website. The second can be automated to upload from a CRM system or HRM system.

The online import can be found when adding or editing a Group, as shown below.

If you are wanting to send to a list of recipients one time only (or the list changes regularly) then use the Bulk Sender option on the Compose page.

File Format

eTXT imports files in CSV format, such as those that can be exported from Microsoft Excel.

The first line of an import file is the header row. The minimum import is a file with a number header, followed by a number on each line after:

Number
61497565432
61492776143
61492776242
6149219878763
614921887863
614921828763
614918828762
61498828762

This can be enhanced with names and group information. In the example below, users "John Stamos" and "Nicky Tomb" are in no groups, but "Christine in Accounting" is in the "Work" and "Play" groups:

Name,Number,Group
John Stamos,61497565432,
Nicky Tomb,61492776143,
Thistoo,61492776242,home
Zeeble,6149219878763,Work
Overseer,614921887863,Work
Jenny,614921828763,Play
Christine in Accounting,614918828762,Work|Play
Support Phone,61498828762,Work

You can import any field within the eTXT Contact - including 'tags' such as email, company, position, function, city, department, country. For example:

Number,Name,Alias,Group,Email,Department
9898840240,a111112,a12357,TESTINGGROUPS,foo@foo.com,Sales
211601037,a111113,a12358,TESTINGGROUPS,foo1@foo.com,Marketing
64211601038,a111114,a12359,TESTINGGROUPS,foo2@foo.com,Finance
64211601039,a111115,a12360,TESTINGGROUPS,foo2@foo.com,IT

Restrictions and Rules

When importing a Contacts it is important that the file meets the following criteria:

  • Comma delimited format (CSV file)
  • Header row with the applicable values of "number", "name", "alias", "email", and "group". Check the spelling of the header rows!
  • Each row must have the same number of fields, blanks are acceptable.
  • Phone numbers must be valid and should be in International Format.
  • Name values must be less than 70 characters long.
  • Alias values must meet validation requirements:-
    • Must be less than 64 characters. Longer values will be truncated.
    • Must only contain alpha-numeric characters (a-z, 0-9), hyphen, underscore or full-stop. (ie: no spaces or special characters).
  • Email address must be 254 characters or less. Longer values will be truncated.
  • Multiple groups can be defined by pipe-delimiting the "group" field.

Merge Mode

When importing Contacts into a Group you must decide if you are fully defining the Group membership, or if you are simply adding or updating Group Membership -- call this 'Merge Mode'.

Merge Mode Description
Enabled Merge all members of this group with the records defined in the import file
Disabled Replace all members of this group with the records defined in the import file. Any existing records that are not in the import file will be deleted.

Choosing a Key

When using Merge Mode (ie: you want to update existing Contacts) you must choose a 'key' so we can identify the Contact.

The best key to choose is the one least likely to change for your Contacts. If you have an external system with an existing identifier, you should provide a 'public identifier' with your imports and use that, but for most people 'Number' works fine.

Importing via HTTP POST

As well as being able to import Contacts interactively, we also offer the ability to import Contacts via an HTTP POST to the https://www.etxtservice.co.nz/abimport.jsp URL.

The http parameters are as follows:

Parameter Meaning

username

Your eTXT user login

password

Your eTXT user password

absid

The System Identifier of the Group you wish to import into. (Recommended)

abalias

The Alias of the Group you wish to import into. (Alternative to absid)

abname

The Name of the Group you wish to import into. (Alternative to absid. Not recommended, because it will fail if the Group is renamed)

abid

The legacy 'Address Book Id' of the Group you wish to import into. (Alternative to absid. Not recommended, and will not work for newly created Groups)

merge

Do you wish to use 'Merge Mode' or not? Valid values: 'true' or 'false'. Defaults to 'false

key

Which field would you like to use as the Import Key. Defaults to you Company's 'Contact Key' as defined in 'Contact Settings'. Options are:

  • number
  • name
  • email
  • alias
  • publicid (ie: Public Identifier)
  • systemid (ie: System Identifier)

This is best illustrated via an example using cURL:

curl -k -F "username=foo" -F "password=bar" -F "absid=G#272478" -F "key=number" -F "merge=true" -F "file=@test.csv" https://www.etxtservice.co.nz/abimport.jsp