List Creation Best Practices

There are some things to keep in mind when adding list to Bluelink Messaging.

NGP VAN

Creating your list in NGP VAN

CSV/Google Sheet

Import Requirements

Review File

Phone Numbers

Invalid Characters


 

NGP VAN

Creating your list in NGP VAN

When you're creating your list in NGP VAN, you can increase the likelihood that you are texting people with cell phones by adding a "Verified Cell" and "Likely Cell" filter to your list.

VerifiedLikely Phones

 

CSV/Google Sheet

Import Requirements

  • File must be a CSV file or Google Sheet.
  • File must have column headers - view standard column headers here.
    • You will have the opportunity to map your columns to contact fields in Bluelink Messaging before you import.

Review File

Always review your file before you import to avoid simple errors. For example:

  • Ensure names, emails, and phone numbers are under the correct columns headers.
  • Look for potentially invalid characters.
  • If you're uploading, make sure you've saved your file as a CSV.
  • Make sure custom fields are named correctly.

Importing a Google Sheet does not allow for mapping column headed. Ensure your columns are named properly before importing.

 

Phone Numbers

If a contact has multiple numbers, there are 2 ways to import.

  1. If you want to attempt all numbers, you can create multiple rows in your import list. Note that this will create multiple contacts that will be texted separately in separate conversations and won't be associated at all within the Bluelink Messaging app.
  2. If you import multiple numbers within the same row, we have an algorithm that picks the best number based on column headers. For example, we'll pick “preferred number” or “cell” over “home”. You can control this process a bit when you map columns while importing.

Non-cell phone numbers

  • Non-cell numbers do not get filtered out automatically. We will attempt any number that is added to a campaign.

Invalid Characters

While we try to filter through potentially invalid characters during the import process, sometimes these characters can cause errors in the import process. We have 2 recommendations to avoid this:

  1. Review your file before you upload for potentially invalid characters.
  2. If you are uploading a CSV, always make sure that you encode your file with unicode/UTF-8. This happens during the saving process.

In Excel:

Excel CSV encoding

In Numbers:

Numbers CSV encoding