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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Data Analysis – Sorting in Excel 2007

Have you ever made a long list of things and thought it would have been better if it were in a different order?

Basically, what you are doing there is called Data Analysis.  Don’t let that big word scare you, we’re going to learn how to do a sort in Excel.   You see, I had a client over and we were mangling big lists of emails for an invite to a party.  After deleting most of the emails, we had to put them into order to make sure that things weren’t repeated.  If you sort them in A To Z order, that makes life a lot easier.

You’ll be able to see quickly that you have 2 “Ramblingmoose” in the list, and while you can never have enough Ramblingmoose, there are times that two of that would be a problem.

So for this discussion I went to grab a list of foods.  It is actually from Amazon.com’s food lists.  I didn’t know you could order food from them but hey, everyone gets hungry.

As I was creating the list, I gave them all the “invalidemail.com” address.  We all have to have an address right? 

I also added in a couple duplicate items so they would show up quickly.  You will see that there is more “food” than just one when I sort the list.

The list is in column A.  When you have added all the items that you will need, click on the “Data Tab” in the Control Ribbon. The Control Ribbon will change to give you all the items that Microsoft believes are appropriate, and you will see that there is a “Sort” button there.   I helpfully hovered over that so it was lit up orange for you to spot it easily.

Select the columns you want to include in your sort.  You can do that by clicking the Blue Box above the 1 in the first column to select your entire spreadsheet or just Click on the individual columns while holding down the Shift Key.

Click on the Sort Button and you will find a new box pop up.   This will allow you to select the way you want to see your data.  It’s called the Sort Criteria, and you can play with all the data that way to get it just right.

In the sort box, you can “Add Level” if you want more than one sort order.  If this were a real life example I may have a City, State, Zip list.  You may want to sort that on State first, then City order, then Zip to make it easier to spot the zip code of the city you want to mail something to.

Postal code for those out of the US.

You would add a Level for City, State, and Zip, then tell it to sort on Values, and Order would be A To Z.   Normally that is, because you can add many kinds of sorts in Excel.   I’ll be keeping this one basic since you can explore that on your own.  The Sort On box has things like sorting on Color.  That will allow you to tag your data so that you can have all the “red” boxes sort to the top. 

In this case, since there is only one column, my sort box came up correct.   This picture is what happened when I clicked OK.

Excel happily sorted all the Food together into a block so I can work with it.  What I did was highlight all three rows of Food so that I can show you, however I will delete out two of them.  Simply highlight the two rows that are extra by clicking once on the row you want to delete – Row 15, and moving the mouse down to select Row 16.  Then hit the delete key.

No, you hit it too hard, showoff.  Since the data is gone, I won’t chide you too much.

The result is a hole in your data. A big blank spot of two missing rows.

The way to fix it to get a “nice clean list” is to re-sort the data using the method you just tried:

  • Select your columns,
  • Select Data tab from the Control Ribbon,
  • Select Sort button from the Control Ribbon,
  • Make sure that you have your criterion correct,
  • Click OK.