Do it yourself #04 – Contact Database [VIDEO GUIDE]
Reading time: 3 min 46 sec
Welcome to the next part of the SMSAPI Do it yourself Guide. In this part, you will learn how to create, upload and import single contact or whole databases for your future campaigns.
Watch the video guide on how to manage contact databases
Adding new contacts
To add a single contact, go to the “Contact database” tab, select “Contacts” and “Add contact”. If a given record is to be assigned to one or many groups of recipients, e.g. “regular clients” and “online clients”, it is necessary to create such groups earlier in the Groups tab or add it while entering a new contact.
In addition to the name, surname, telephone number and e-mail address, it is also possible to add or fill in any other parameter. You will use those custom fields to personalize SMS messages.
Besides the default custom fields, you can enter your own ones. In the case of e-commerce, it can be e.g. your favourite brand or shoe size. A list of all custom fields is in the “Custom fields” menu.
In the Contacts tab, you can also sort, edit existing contacts and add the number to the sending list. After adding the numbers, the list will be available in the upper right corner of the Customer Portal.
In the Groups section, it is possible to search and edit existing groups. You can create a new one by clicking the “Add group” button.
The Import tab allows you to upload contacts in two ways: from a file, and by entering numbers using copy-paste method in the text field. The system imports data from CSV, XLS, XLSX and ODS spreadsheets.
During import, different values will be automatically detected, and in the next step, it will be possible to name them with the corresponding type of field, e.g. name, surname, telephone number. To assign imported contacts to a group, you must first create it or select an existing one.
If the contact you want to add already exists in the system, you can update the data and add it to the next group or leave it unchanged. Clicking “Skip” when a duplicate is found means the system will not modify the contact information and it won’t be added again.
To send bulk SMS campaign to the imported database go to SMS Gateway, and then Numbers from the phonebook. Then choose a sender name, name your bulk and choose one of your groups that you have previously added. Follow the typical path of creating the body of the message, add links, parameters and click Next.
You will learn more about sending SMS campaigns from the SMS Gateway to imported databases in the 3rd episode.
Other database management tools
Let’s come back to the Contact Database menu. In the Custom fields section, it is possible to edit and add your custom fields.
Using the opt-out list
The Opt-out menu contains all contacts who have unsubscribed using the opt-out link in the SMS, which is added when creating content in the SMS gateway. It automatically eliminates the phone number from future campaigns. You can also permanently delete the contacts listed here.
Blacklisting a number
The Blacklist tab allows you to add phone numbers which will be excluded from all messages sent from a SMSAPI account. Numbers can be added individually or by import from a CSV file.
When adding, it is also possible to enter an expiration date which specifies when the campaigns to a given number are to be blocked. Leaving blank expiration date field causes indefinite blacklisting. The entered numbers can also be exported to a CSV file or cleared with a single button.