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Importing subscribers into ConvertKit: what to know + FAQs
Importing subscribers into ConvertKit: what to know + FAQs

What to consider before importing your subscriber list into ConvertKit, plus frequently asked questions.

Updated over a week ago

Think of this article as your pre-import check. ✔️

Importing email subscribers into ConvertKit is a simple task overall, but depending on your situation, there may be a few "moving parts" to consider.

In this article, we'll go over the main questions we get asked about importing, so you can move forward with confidence!

We may not be there physically, but we've still got your back!

First, before proceeding any further, we have a question for you—and it must be answered correctly:

Do you have permission to email the subscribers on your list?

...and no, simply knowing them personally—or having them in your address book—isn't enough. Each person on your list is required to have provided their permission to receive your marketing emails, such as by opting into one of your forms or landing pages, for example.

If you aren't certain you have their permission, stop here.

You may not contact that list via ConvertKit, or any other compliant email marketing provider.

If you do have permission, great! Feel free to proceed.

Importing FAQs

What should I import my subscribers into?

When importing subscribers, you'll have to select at least one form, sequence or tag to import them into. We recommend importing into a tag unless you have a specific reason to import them into something else.

Tags are the most flexible option in terms of performing bulk post-import actions.

Is there ever a scenario when I would not want to import into a tag?

As a general rule, if you don't think you'll have a reason to "isolate" this group of imported subscribers in the future (such as for further bulk actions or processing), you can probably skip importing into a tag.

For example, say you want to add a group of subscribers to a sequence—in that case, you probably only need to select that sequence to import them into (no tag necessary).

Tags can be deleted once it becomes apparent they're no longer relevant or useful. Until you're more comfortable within your ConvertKit setup, you may prefer have those extra tags to fall back on, just in case.

What happens if I'm importing new data to a subscriber field for which I already have data in ConvertKit?

In this situation, we will replace such existing data with the new data you're importing into ConvertKit. This includes overwriting the existing data in certain fields with blank values if your import file contains blank values for those fields.

If I import subscribers into a double opt-in form, will they receive the incentive (confirmation) email?

No. Subscribers imported into a form will be automatically confirmed on that form, even if it has double opt-in enabled.

This is why it's extremely important to ensure you have subscribers' permission before adding them to your email list, in order to remain compliant with anti-spam laws.

If I import into a tag/form/etc. that triggers a visual automation or automation rule, will my imported subscribers be affected by those automations?

Yes. If you don't want that to happen, you can use the following workaround(s) to avoid it:

To avoid subscribers being pulled into a visual automation

  1. Create a temporary placeholder tag

  2. Add that placeholder tag as an additional entry point for the visual automation

  3. Remove the original tag/form entry point (i.e. the tag/form you want to import subscribers into) from the visual automation (here's how)

NOTE: If your automation already has the maximum number of entry points, you may need to swap the order of steps 2 and 3 above (the end result will be the same).

Now that your tag/form no longer an entry point, it's safe to import your subscribers into it. Once the import is complete, re-add the original tag/form back as an entry point, remove the temporary tag's entry point, and finally delete the temporary tag.

To avoid subscribers triggering an automation rule

Click into the rule from the Rules page under the Automate tab of the navigation, and then disable it by clicking the "disable" link at the top of the page here:

Once the rule is disabled, you can perform your import. Once the import is complete, you can re-enable the rule (same method as disabling it; just click "enable" instead).

What happens if I import my subscribers into a sequence?

They will be added to the sequence, and—unless prevented by the sequence's filter(s)/exclusion(s)—they'll receive the first email after its associated delay (or right away, if it's set to send immediately).

If your sequence is set to be repeatable, importing subscribers into it will cause them to restart that sequence from the beginning (again, unless they're otherwise excluded from it).

NOTE: Even if a subscriber matches the exclusion settings for an entire sequence, they can still be "added" to that sequence—the exclusions will just prevent them from actually receiving any of its emails.

I'm having trouble attempting to upload or import my CSV.

Please follow our pre-import troubleshooting steps here!

My import was successful, but something looks "off" in my account...

Please check out our post-import troubleshooting guide here!

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