Action Network Help & FAQs

Uploading a new email list

To upload a new file, choose the "Upload Activists" link in the "Start Organizing" menu at the top of the page. If you're a partner, you will have access to this page.

Once on the uploads page, choose the list you want to upload to using the dropdown. You can upload to your individual account's list or any group you are an administrator of.

After choosing the correct list, you will see a table of all of that list's previous uploads, their upload dates, the number of users uploaded, the number of new users uploaded, and a button to download the original file or delete activists on that list (both new and all).

Click the "Add New Upload" button to begin the upload process.

Read the instructions, download the sample file if you choose, and then pick the file you want to upload. Give your upload a name -- this name will show up in our targeting system, allowing you to target all activists who were uploaded in this file or all activists who are new in this uploaded file -- and then choose any tags and other options for your upload. You can also schedule the upload to start in the future if you'd like to delay it.

When you're done, click the "Upload & Match Fields" button to upload your file. Your file will be validated. If we detect the wrong file format, we will let you know. 

Otherwise, on the next page you'll be able to match columns in your files with fields in your database.

On the left you'll see the columns in your spreadsheet. On the right you'll see fields in our database, including any custom fields you use. We attempt to match things up automatically, but you can edit your choices.

You can choose to ignore a column in your upload file by choosing the "[Ignore Column]" option on the right, at the top of the dropdown menu. Otherwise, each field on the right can be assigned to one and only one column. You must assign a column to email address, as it is a required field for our system.

If you have permissions to edit custom fields, you can also create custom fields on the fly if you'd like -- click the "Create New Field" button and enter in a title for your custom field for that column. When the file is uploaded, we'll upload that column's data under that new custom field.

When you're done, click "Finish Upload" to finish the process. You'll see your new upload in the list of uploads, with a live count updating as the upload process completes. This may take some time, depending on the size of your file. We'll also sent you an email notification when your upload is done. When it's finished, all of the activists in your file have been subscribed to the list you chose.

Note: We automatically de-duplicate and merge activists based on email address, so don't worry if your CSV file isn't de-duplicated or if you're uploading a new file that may have emails already on your list.

We also require an email address. Activists without email addresses are skipped. We validate email addresses on upload, so activists with email addresses that are obviously not email addresses are also skipped. For example, missing an @ symbol.

We also merge in new data automatically, so if an activist already on your list doesn't have a first name, but your upload file has one for them, we'll add it. If they already have a first name and the uploaded file has a different value for that activists, we will keep the data we have and ignore the data in the file unless you use the overwrite option, explained here.

We will not blank out any data we have on a matching activist even if the corresponding field is blank in your file unless you use the clear blank values option, explained here.

Finally, we respect subscriptions, so uploading an activist who are unsubscribed from your emails will not add them to the list again unless you specifically check the resubscribe option, explained here.

Note: Only upload people who have opted in to receive your emails. Subscribing people who have not opted in may get your emails marked as spam and may result in the termination of your Action Network account. Only resubscribe people who definitely want to receive your emails again.

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