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Why can't I import my contacts?

📁 Your file is not accepted

If you choose the Upload a file method to import your contacts, you may find that your file is not accepted. We highly recommend following our recommendations for setting up an import file to avoid this issue.

Below are some of the most common reasons why Brevo may not accept your file ⬇️

The file format is not supported

If you choose the Upload a file method, make sure that the file you are uploading is saved in .CSV, .XLSX, or .TXT format. The system does not support Excel (.xls), ACT!, .vcf (vCard), or other file types.

The file encoding is not supported

If you choose the Upload a file method and the error message The imported file's encoding is not supported. We mainly support UTF-8 as a file encoding format appears, make sure that the file you are uploading is saved with UTF-8 or Windows-1252 encoding. 

There are no delimiters in the file

If you choose the Upload a file or Copy/Paste methods, make sure that the file you are uploading is delimited by a semicolon, a comma, or a tab.

The file is too heavy

There is no limit on the number of contacts you can import at once. However, your file should not exceed 250MB. If your file exceeds this limit, split it into smaller files that you will import separately.

🏷️ An attribute is not being imported

When importing your contacts to Brevo, certain data, such as email addresses and phone numbers, need to be in a specific format to be imported correctly. We highly recommend following our recommendations for setting up an import file to avoid this issue.

Below are some of the most common reasons why an attribute may not be imported ⬇️

A category-type attribute is not being imported

Category-type attributes are used to define a set of possible values for a contact. When you create a category-type attribute, an ID number is shown next to each value.

Make sure you only include this ID number in your file and not the value itself. Otherwise, the data won't be imported to Brevo.

Contact attribute in Brevo Data in your file

  • 1 for BEGINNER
  • 2 for INTERMEDIATE
  • 3 for EXPERT

A number-type attribute is not being imported

Make sure that you only include numerical values, including numbers written in decimal format, in number-type attributes.

If you are trying to import a value that contains both letters and numbers (alphanumeric), create a text-type attribute instead. For example, if you want to import postal codes, we recommend creating a text-type attribute since some postal codes can include both letters and numbers.

The EMAIL attribute is not being imported

If you import an email address in the wrong format, the error message Email doesn't have the right format will appear in your import report, and the contacts won't be imported. We highly recommend following our recommendations for setting up an import file to avoid this issue.

_contacts_not_imported_reason_email_en-us.jpg

Some values are not correctly imported

Some values might not be correctly imported because of formatting issues:

📱 Country codes for phone numbers

When importing phone numbers, such as SMS, WhatsApp, and landline numbers, you are required to select a country code. This country code will be applied to all phone numbers in your file that do not already have a "+" sign and country code. For example, if you choose France as the country code, any number without a country code will automatically be assigned the French country code +33.

If you do not want to apply the same country code to all phone numbers in your file, you have two options:

  • Add the "+" sign and the country code at the beginning of each phone number in your file, so that you can upload them all at once.
  • Separate the phone numbers by country codes and create separate files. You can then select a country code for each file during the import.
💡 Good to know
If the "+" sign disappears when you add it to a phone number in your file, add an apostrophe before it. This will help your spreadsheet program recognize the number as a phone number.
↩️ Line breaks and text wrapping

In a .CSV file, line breaks and text wrapping in cells are considered new rows, which can lead to some values not being correctly imported or imported to the wrong contact. We recommend not including any line breaks and removing text wrapping in your file.

👥 Your contacts are not being imported

Below are some of the most common reasons why your contacts may not be imported ⬇️

The contact ID you are trying to import doesn't exist

The CONTACT_ID attribute is a value that is automatically created by Brevo when you import your contacts. It is a fixed number that cannot be changed. If you import a contact ID that doesn't exist, the error message Contact ID doesn't exist will appear in your import report, and the contacts won't be imported.

To make sure you are importing the right contact IDs for your contacts, export your contacts from Brevo and do not alter the contact ID in the file.

contacts_not_imported_reason_contactID_en-us.jpg

You get a "Something went wrong" error message

If you encounter a Something went wrong error message while trying to upload your file to import your contacts, it could mean that the file is being blocked by our Web access firewall. We suggest checking your network connection and attempting to upload the file again.

Your contacts are marked as "Declined"

If your imported contacts appear with an Email (Declined) tag, it means that our system has performed verification on a sample of your new contacts, and it is possible that not all of them are legitimate. Importing only legitimate contacts is not only required for GDPR compliance, but it is also necessary according to our Terms of Service and Anti-Spam Policy.

To learn more about legitimate contacts and why your contacts may be suspended, check our dedicated articles How to ensure that my contacts list is legitimate and can receive my marketing communications? and What should I do if my contacts were suspended?.

The number of imported contacts is incorrect

There are two main reasons why the number of imported contacts in your import report might be incorrect: 

🔄 You have imported existing contacts

When you import contacts, our system will not upload your existing contacts as new contacts. However, if you select the Update the attributes of the existing contacts option when finalizing the import, we will update their existing information with the information from your import file. For instance, if your file contains 50 contacts and 10 of them are already imported into your database, they will be recognized as existing contacts and only 40 contacts will be imported.

👬 You have imported duplicate contacts

When you import contacts, our system will automatically remove any duplicates, eliminating the need for manual removal. For instance, if your file contains 50 contacts and two of them share the same email address or phone number, they will be recognized as duplicates and only 49 contacts will be imported.

🛑 There is a temporary issue on the platform

Occasionally, our platform may experience a temporary issue that could affect the import of contacts. Once our IT team resolves the issue, you will be able to complete your import.

You can check if there is an ongoing issue on the platform on our Status page.

🤔 Have a question?

If you have a question, feel free to contact our support team by creating a ticket from your account. If you don't have an account yet, you can contact us here.

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