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Managing Contacts in a Mailing List

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About Managing Contacts in a Mailing List

Once your contacts have been uploaded to a mailing list, you are welcome to edit their information, remove them from the list, opt them in and out, and much more.

Qtip: For more on Mailing List Options and Creating a Mailing List, see the linked support pages.

Contact Information Menu

When you select a contact, a menu opens to the right containing information about them.

Image of how, When you select a contact, a menu opens to the right containing information about them

The information in the menu is almost exactly the same as the contact information menu in the Directory Contacts tab, except where otherwise noted below.

Attributes

The Attributes section contains editable contact information. The Opted In status refers to whether the contact is opted into the mailing list, not the entire directory.

Changes made to the contact information will be reflected in the directory, too.

This section also contains embedded data saved to the contact. Here the values can be edited by highlighting or clicking into them.

Lists

This section only contains information for mailing lists other than the one you are viewing. For example, if you are looking at Mailing List 1 but the contact is also in Mailing List 2, then only Mailing List 2 will appear in this section. If the contact is only in Mailing List 1, this section will be blank.

Statistics

The Contact Stats section contains information on the number of times the contact has been sent invites, and when. This information only applies to invitations sent to this mailing list. If the contact belongs to another mailing list, those statistics will be excluded here.

Timeline

The touchpoint timeline along the bottom only displays data for the contact for this specific mailing list. For example, if Dorothy’s in three different contact lists, and has been sent a different survey invite for each mailing list, only the selected mailing list’s invite and survey response will be shown.

Otherwise, this timeline works exactly as it does in the Directory Contacts tab, including the fact that it is inaccessible when you select multiple contacts at a time.

Contact Actions

Contact actions can be accessed by clicking the gear next to a contact’s name in the menu. You can also edit multiple contacts in the list by selecting contacts with the checkboxes along the left and then using the gear dropdown on the far-right.

Actions for a single selected user

Image of one contact selected, the dropdown on the right expanded

  • Edit: Edit the contact details, such as name, email address, and embedded data. This works the same as it does in the directory.
  • Add to list: Allows you to add the selected contacts to or remove them from another list.
    Qtip: Looking to combine the contents of two lists into one? This is the best method for merging mailing lists.
  • Remove from List: Remove selected contact from the mailing list. This contact will still exist in the directory.
  • Opt-out of directory: Opt the contact out of the entire directory.
  • Delete contact: Delete the contact from the entire directory.
    Warning: Deleting a contact will permanently remove it and its data from the directory. Any survey responses this contact has provided will not be deleted, but the response will no longer be associated with the contact. This cannot be undone.
    A window that says, "Deleting this contact will permanently remove them and their data from the directory. Any survey responses they've provided will not be deleted but the response will no longer be associated with the contact. This cannot be undone."

Actions for multiple selected users

Image of multiple contacts selected, the dropdown on the right expanded

  • Export contacts: Allows you to export the selected contacts.
  • Add to another list: Allows you to add the selected contacts to or remove them from another list.
    Qtip: Looking to combine the contents of two lists into one? This is the best method for merging mailing lists.
  • Edit embedded data: Edit embedded data.
    Qtip: Are you looking to add data collected from your surveys as embedded data to your contacts? Try using the XM Directory task.
  • Opt-out of list / Opt-in to list: Opt the selected contacts in or out of the list. Contacts can be opted-out on multiple different levels. See Opt Out Behavior for how these levels interact with each other.
    Qtip: When a recipient marks your email as spam, they can be opted out of the list, although they will not be opted out of the directory. See Avoid Being Marked As Spam for more details.
  • Remove from list: Remove selected contacts from the mailing list. These contacts will still exist in the directory.
Attention: You might see another tool icon to the left on your directory with similar options. It edits every contact in the mailing list. To only edit the contact selected, be careful to select the dropdown menu on the far-right!
Differences highlighted between left and right wrench

Importing Updates to an Existing List

Qtip: This method is not available for XM Directory Lite users. For a guide to identifying XM Directory vs. XM Directory Lite, see the FAQs.

Sometimes you may want to update contact information for many contacts all at once. You can update contact information in bulk by following the steps below:

  1. First, understand what the deduplication rules are in your directory. If you are a directory admin, make sure that deduplication rules are configured in the directory settings.
  2. In your contact list, click List Options.
    List options in a mailing list expanded
  3. Select Export list contacts and export your contacts to CSV or TSV.
  4. Open the file on your computer.
  5. In the file, remove extraneous columns such as ContactID, CreationDate, and any embedded data you don’t necessarily want to update. Make sure you keep fields used to identify the contact – this may vary by organization, but are often Email or ExternalDataReference (often a unique ID or username of some sort).
    image of a CSV file to edit contact fields
  6. Edit / add the information you want to update and save your changes.

    Attention: When uploading a file with blank values, it may remove values from your contacts. Blank values behave differently depending on your contacts infrastructure:

    • If you are on the new contacts platform, COP, and upload a file with blank values, then the behavior depends on the type of field. Contact metadata fields (first name, email, etc) will be removed, while contact embedded data fields (extra information uploaded with the contact) will be kept.
    • If you are on the old contacts platform, TA, and upload a file with blank values, then this will update that field to have no value.

    Reach out to your Customer Success Representative if you have questions about which contacts infrastructure your brand has.

  7. In your contact list, click Add list contacts.
    image of the add list contacts button with the upload a file option selected
  8. Upload a file as you would normally. The directory’s deduplication settings will make sure contacts get updated instead of being re-added.

Edit Embedded Data

One Contact

To edit the values of embedded data for a single contact, you simply click into a field and start typing. Then click Save.

Image of a contact in a mailing list being selected, the menu opening to the right. In this menu, a value has been clicked, making it turn into a text box where you can type a value then click save

Multiple or All Contacts

When you select multiple contacts at a time, you can select Edit embedded data or an embedded data value.

Image shows contacts selected; expanded menu with edit embedded data highlighted, as well as text that says "2 values next to an embedded data field

Once you do this, the Contact Details window will open.

Contact Details window. Columns for name and email that cannot be edited. Fourth column has an adjustable header and editable values

  1. Select a contact field or embedded data to edit by using the dropdown.
  2. Click into any value to change it.
  3. Save your changes by clicking Done.
Qtip: You are editing the values of embedded data, but sometimes you may want to change the name of it. To do this, go to Directory Options.

Editing Contact Info Columns

Qtip: If you do not see the options for customizing contact info columns shown here, and are interested in moving over to a new XM Directory experience, reach out to your Customer Success Representative.

You can change the default columns of contact information that are included in all mailing lists and in the directory.

Qtip: These are the default contact columns for your account in a specific directory – if you edit them in the directory, and then switch to mailing lists, the same columns will appear. If you have multiple directories, you can create a separate column layout for each directory.
  1. Once inside the directory or a mailing list, click the edit icon to the right of the contact info columns.
    Rightmost of columns, pencil icon for editing
  2. Click the Rearrange Attribute icon to drag and drop columns.
    Clicking and dragging the email column from the top to the bottom. The icon for drag and drop has the alt text "rearrange attribute"
  3. Or, use the arrows to manually adjust the order of appearance.
    Numbering elements - the search bar is to the left, over the list of columns. On the right, on each possible column, buttons for moving up and down and an X for deletion
  4. Search and click fields on the left to add them to the list of columns you want to include.
  5. Click X next to a field to remove it from the list of columns.
  6. Click Save when you’re done.
Qtip: Click Reset to Default to return to the default column list: Status, First Name, Last Name, Email, Reference ID, and Language.
Qtip: This editor just adjusts the columns you see by default – it will not add or remove data from a contact’s information.

Columns you can include

Qtip: To learn about how some of these default, customizable fields (Language, Email, Phone Number, etc.) should be formatted, see Creating Mailing Lists.
Qtip: If you have access to a limited version of XM Directory in your brand (e.g., no directory, contacts only), the fields described as directory-wide are actually mailing list-specific. If your brand has full access to XM Directory, you will see directory-wide details, regardless of whether you have permission to view the directory or not.
  • Status: Whether the contact is opted into or out of the mailing list / directory.
  • First Name and Last Name: The first and last name of the contact.
  • Email: The email address of the contact.
  • Reference ID: The External Data Reference column you filled out when uploading a mailing list.
  • Language: The two-letter language code that specifies what language messages the respondent should receive, in the event you upload translations for your emails.
  • Created: When the contact was first uploaded to the directory.
  • Last Modified: When the contact was last modified.
  • Phone Number: The phone number of the contact.
  • Average Response Time: The average time it took the respondent to complete each survey invite they were sent, in minutes. This includes all responses they completed from surveys sent from mailing lists throughout the directory.
  • Last Email: The last time an email was sent to this address. This includes emails sent to the contact from different mailing lists. Emails that were sent but bounced are counted, but emails that failed to send are not counted. This is the last email sent from any mailing list in the directory.
  • Last Invite Received: The last survey invite (not reminder, thank you, or non-survey email) that was sent to this address. This includes emails sent to the contact from different mailing lists. Emails that were sent but bounced are counted, but emails that failed to send are not counted. This is the last invite sent from any mailing list in the directory.
  • Last Response: The last survey response this contact completed. Only complete responses, not incomplete responses or responses in progress, are included. This is the last response sent from any mailing list in the directory.
  • Response Rate: The percent of invites the contact is sent that they actually complete. The percentage is shown as a ratio, so 50% become 0.5. Only complete responses, not incomplete responses or responses in progress, are included. This is a directory-wide response rate, not just for survey responses sent from the selected mailing list.
  • Total Emails: The total number of emails that have been sent to the contact from any mailing list in the directory. This includes invites, reminders, thank yous, and emails without survey links.
  • Total Invites: The total number of invites (not reminders or thank you emails) that have been sent to this contact from any mailing list in the directory.
  • Total Responses: The total number of survey responses the contact has completed, regardless of which mailing list in the directory the survey invitation was sent to.
  • All embedded data listed in the brand

Pinning columns

You can pin a column to automatically move it to the top of the list.

Qtip: You can still remove pinned columns.
  1. Hover over the header of the column you want to pin.
    Column name, e.g., email
  2. Click the gear.
    Gear next to column opens small menu
  3. Click Pin Column.
  4. Note how the column moves and is divided from the previous columns.
    Column that is pinned has moved to be the leftmost column

Removing columns

You can remove a column in the editor, but you can also remove a column by clicking the gear next to the header and selecting Remove Column.

Remove column option under the gear

FAQs