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A five-step guide to successfully uploading your contact list

Resources & Blog

A five-step guide to successfully uploading your contact list

A five-step guide to successfully uploading your contact list.

One of the most important tasks to complete when first using SMS marketing is the uploading of your contact list. Whilst this may take a little bit of time, the benefits are certainly worthwhile. Having a clean and well-organised list ensures that your delivery rates are as high as possible. Also, it reduces the likelihood of unnecessary spending due to the removal of any invalid or obsolete numbers. Finally, staying on top of your contact list ensures that you remain GDPR compliant, which of course is very important.

Whether you are a new client looking to send an SMS campaign for the first time or you want some guidance on how to clean up your existing list, this guide will certainly help. Once completed, you will be able to upload your data quickly and efficiently, allowing you to then focus your future attention on the quality of your campaign messages, rather than the contact numbers that you are sending to. Having a clean and well-organised list ultimately means that you can send messages in bulk with ease and allows you to get the best out of your SMS marketing campaigns. Let’s look at the five-step process of uploading your list.

1 – Formatting your data.

Firstly, you will need to make sure that your data is laid out correctly. This is best done using Microsoft Excel. Once you have opened Excel or any other spreadsheet software, then you can start building data. Firstly, let’s get your list of mobile numbers added. The mobile numbers that you will be texting need to be in column one and in UK international format (447). Any other dynamic data that you then wish to add can be placed in columns 2-7. There are no specific requirements on what you should or should not include in these columns, but these columns allow you to give your message a more personal touch. You can include, for example, customer names, addresses or vehicle registrations. The industry that you operate in is likely to impact the type of dynamic data that you include!

2 – Website navigation.

Once you have formatted your data on Excel then you can move onto the next step, which is to upload this data onto our platform. First, you need to save the spreadsheet to your saved files. Once saved, close the spreadsheet. Then, head to your account on our website to upload it. To upload your list, click on the “my data” tab from the top menu. Secondly, click “my lists”, which will take you to the list uploading page. Finally, click “new lists”, which will take us to the next stage.

3 – Uploading your list.

Now that we are in the right place, it’s time to upload your list. Firstly, enter a name so that you can identify the list in the future. You may want to start with a single list for simplicity, in which case the name does not matter too much. However, you can also upload multiple lists based on demographical variables and therefore naming each one helps you in keeping them well-organised. The second step is to upload your file, which you will find in whichever folder you saved your spreadsheet in. Finally, select whether you want to remove the first line of your list or not. This is required if your spreadsheet has a first line that does not include data, such as “number, name, address, postcode”. If not, then do not tick this option. Finally, hit the create new list button and you're all set!

4 – Formatting Tools.

Once you have uploaded your list, you will be able to see it under the “my lists” tab. This will then bring up four additional options, “upload, clean, dedupe and download”. You can select the upload button if you need to upload any extra numbers. Clicking the “clean” button will check your list and make sure that your numbers are set to the UK international format (447), which is a great support tool to use as it ensures that your messages go to the correct person. Additionally, the dedupe button removes any duplicates that you may have missed, and the download button will allow you to download your data.

5 - Send a campaign!

Now that you have a clean and well-organised list, it’s time to start sending some messages. To use the list that you have uploaded, you will need to go to “advanced send”, which you can find from the dashboard. Once on this page, you need to enter a campaign name. Your customers won’t see this, but it helps when you check your campaign results using our reports. Next, choose the list of data that you uploaded previously from the drop-down box. You now need to create an originator. This is what is displayed on the recipient’s device when they receive the message. The originator can be up to 11 characters, for example, “ReachData”.

Finally, type your message into the text box. If you included any additional dynamic data in your original list, such as address or vehicle registrations, then this information can be uploaded by using the blue columns on the right of the message box. The calculate button will display the number of credits that your campaign will use, and you can also click the “preview” button to see what your message will look like. Once you are happy, then all you need to do is click “send SMS” and your first campaign is completed. If you are need some extra assistance, then we have included a video tutorial below.

Cutomer Account manager
Cutomer Account manager
by Jeremy Josselin | Head of Business Development

Hi, I'm Jeremy, Head of Business Development at Reach Interactive. I have a background in international business and I love seeing how brands communicate with consumers on an international level.


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