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Creating Mailing Lists

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About Creating Mailing Lists

Before you can send out invitations for your surveys, you need to create mailing lists. Mailing lists are lists of your directory contacts that you can send emails to. You can create mailing lists either through a file upload or manually.

Mailing lists are not visible to the entire organization, unlike contacts in the directory. However, many of the steps described in adding contacts to mailing lists are similar to adding contacts to the directory. Every contact added in a mailing list will automatically be added to the directory.

Qtip: Instead of having to create the lists one at a time, you can also set up automatic list enrollment, which allows you to upload all contacts to your directory at once and have them automatically sort into lists, instead of creating each list one at a time.
Qtip: Worried about uploading the same contacts multiple times? Be sure to consolidate duplicates or set up automatic deduplication.
Warning: XM Directory can only return 10,000 mailing lists at a time. If you have more than 10,000 mailing lists, you will experience troubles finding them within your account. If possible, avoid having more than 10,000 mailing lists.


Available Fields

Whether you’re uploading a file of contacts or manually typing them out, there is certain information you must include for your contacts.

A CSV with all the columns listed below

  • FirstName: The contact’s first name.
  • LastName: The contact’s last name.
  • Email: The contact’s email address.
  • ExternalDataReference: Extra information about the contact. This is most often used to store data such as an employee or student ID. It can be used to log into authenticators.
  • Embedded Data: Embedded data are additional fields containing whatever field you want. These do not have to follow a particular naming convention. In the screenshot above, Department, City, and Country are all embedded data.
    Attention: The character limit for embedded data in XM Directory is 1024 characters.
Qtip: If you are including these fields in your file, your column titles must perfectly match these names in capitalization and spacing. The only exception is embedded data.

In addition to these fields, you can include a column for Language based on the available language codes, and Phone, the contact’s phone number.

Creating a Mailing List

  1. Navigate to your Directories.
  2. Select the directory where you’d like to add a segment. You may have access to just one.
    Topmost navigation bar of the screen. Clicking the name of the directory and seeing a dropdown with a list of all other directories
  3. Go to the Segments & lists tab.
    The lists section of the segments and lists tab is open
  4. Select Lists from the left.
  5. Click Create a list.
  6. Name your list.
    Window where you name a mailing list
  7. Click Confirm.

Once inside your contact list, you can choose to upload contacts through a file upload or manually.

Upload a File

  1. Click Upload a File.Upload a file button in the center of the page
  2. In Excel, create a document with the required fields and save it as a CSV or TSV. Or, click Download a sample template, fill out the appropriate columns, add any desired Embedded Data, and save the file.Download a sample template and select a file buttons
  3. When the file is ready, click Select a file and select the file from your folder or drag your file into the window.
  4. Review the Verify Fields section to make sure the information looks right. If a field has not been properly recognized, click on the field name to view a dropdown of options and select the correct field.Verify fields section in the add contacts window
    Qtip: If the data is not formatted correctly in the preview (e.g., bunched up instead of divided into columns), your data may not be separating (or “delimiting”) correctly. To fix this, choose a different Delimiter and/or Enclosure above the Verify Fields section.
    Delimiter and enclosure fields
  5. Click Upload the file to upload your contacts to the mailing list.
    Click Upload the file to upload your contacts
Qtip: Excel interprets non-ASCII characters (e.g., 是 or ñ) in a unique fashion that makes them difficult for Qualtrics to upload. If you are importing names with special characters, you might need to save your contact list info to a text-editor application (e.g., Text-edit for Mac, Notepad for PC) before you upload the file into Qualtrics. See the Special Character Issues on our CSV/TSV Upload Issues page for additional instructions. This page is for the Survey Platform, so be careful to navigate back to the XM Directory pages (not the Survey Platform contacts pages) when finished.

Common Error Messages

  • File too large: Your file exceeds the size limit:
    • COP users: 200 MB
    • TA users: 100 MB
  • Some fields in your file have too many characters; make sure that the characters in each of these fields are less than or equal to the numbers shown, and try again: Your file has a field or multiple fields that exceed the character limit. Character limits below:
    • Language: 20
    • First name: 100
    • Last name: 100
    • Email address: 254
    • Phone number: 20
    • External reference: 100
    • Embedded data field: 200
    • Embedded data value: 1,024
  • A header name is missing; check the headers in your file, and try again: You may have a column in your CSV file that is missing a header.
  • The file contains one or more rows that don’t map to headers; fix this in your file, and try again: There is a mismatch between the number of headers and the number of fields.
  • Duplicate field: Your file has two fields with the same name. Make sure that each field is unique.

Manual Input

  1. Select Manual Input.
    Manual Input option in yellow on the right on the Add contacts window
  2. Fill out the available fields.
    Fields where data can be entered. Green plus sign on far-right
  3. Click the plus sign (+) to add an additional column for embedded data. Remember, these can be whatever you want.
    Green plus sign results in additional columns called City and Country. Add Contacts button in green on bottom-right
  4. To finish, click Add Contacts.

Creating and Updating Contacts Automatically

Often, you may find yourself collecting demographic or transactional data, and you’ll want to either update existing mailing list members or create new lists of new contacts based on information given in a survey response.

The XM Directory task feature, located inside the Actions tab, can help you set up this process so that mailing lists are automatically created or updated as responses come in.