How to Create and Add Contacts to a New List

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In this article, you will learn how to create a new list and add contacts to it. Lists can be used to send campaigns, trigger flows, and keep track of how your audience is growing over time.

It's important to add contacts to a new list when pulling them from another email service provider and getting started with Klaviyo as well as when you collect a list of contacts from an event, giveaway, or signup form. You can have up to 1000 lists and segments in your account at any given time. 

Can I Upload My List?

Before uploading your list make sure to answer the following two questions:

  • Does my list abide by Klaviyo's Terms of Service?
  • Does my list include opted-in subscribers who subscribed by filling out a signup form or providing their email address at an event you attended?

If you're unsure or answered no to either of the questions above, then review our guidelines for compliant lists before uploading your list.

Create a New List

To create a new list, navigate to the Lists & Segments tab and then click Create List/Segment in the upper right corner.

Next, choose to create a new List. Give your list a name, add any applicable tags, and then click Create List. You'll then be able to add contacts to this new list.

If you have a flow triggered by this list set to Live, you must first set the flow to Manual. If not, everyone in the file will be queued for the first email in the series, even if they subscribed to the list months ago. After the import is complete, wait a few hours and then go into the flow, select View all Analytics for the first email, and go to Needs Review. Then, delete any subscriber from your CSV file before setting the flow to live.

Formatting Your Data

There are some important requirements for formatting your data. First, your list of contacts should be in CSV format. If you're working in Excel or another spreadsheet program, save your data to a CSV file by clicking File > Save As and selecting CSV as the file format. The maximum allowed file size is 50MB.

Second, the header in the first column of your CSV file must contain the word "Email" or "Email Address."

A Google Sheet containing a list of contacts formatted for upload into Klaviyo

After this, you can add other columns for Klaviyo or custom properties, depending on what information you want to import. If any of your columns have a Klaviyo property as their header, the data in that column is automatically mapped to the corresponding Klaviyo property and the data type is automatically selected.

Meanwhile, when formatting custom properties in your spreadsheet, name each column with the intended custom property name. For example, if you are importing birthdays, name the column "Birthday" and give each row a value, for example, "1992-06-21." The image below shows an import that includes two custom properties: Gender and Birthday.

In a CSV file, a date column is highlighted, formatted as YYYY-MM-DD

Insert dates in the format: (YYYY-mm-dd) (HH:MM:SS). Dates must be imported in this format in order for Klaviyo to recognize the value as a date. A few other points to keep in mind:

  • Any new value/column that you include in a CSV upload that does not already exist on a contact's profile will be added as a new custom property
  • Any value/column that you include in a CSV upload that already exists on a contact's profile will be overwritten in the most recent upload
  • Any new value/column that you include in a CSV upload that does not already exist on a contact's profile will not affect existing custom properties

If you're interested in uploading a list of values for a single property (such as, “Sizes”), you will need to use JSON syntax. Create an array of your values that looks like this: [“value1”, “value2”, “value 3”].

In a CSV file, a custom profile property in list format is highlighted

Once you have your data formatted and saved as a CSV you're ready to upload your data.

Upload and Map Your Data

Click into your list and select Upload Contacts.

In Klaviyo’s list creation tool, a cursor hovers over Upload Contact

Select your CSV file from your computer or drag and drop it into the upload box.

Alternatively, you can upload via copy/paste or, if you want to quickly add one or two people to a list — to create a preview list, for example, you can use the Quick Add option.

The import review screen allows you to map the columns in your uploaded CSV to Klaviyo fields. The Klaviyo fields represent where your data is stored on your contacts in Klaviyo.

Here, if you don't have GDPR consent fields already stored in your CSV, we can create them for you. To do this, click Add GDPR specific consent. Then, you'll be prompted to specify the types of consent the contacts on your list have given. This information will be stored on their profile as custom properties.

In the import review stage of uploading a list to Klaviyo, three CSV columns are mapped to three profile properties

If you're uploading Klaviyo properties, the data type is already selected for you and you're unable to modify it. If you're uploading custom properties, select the field you'd like to map them to, along with the data type. You can also add a new custom property by typing the new property name and selecting Create option.

In the import review stage, a custom profile property is unmapped. The user has typed in a new property name and their cursor hovers over the Create option selection.

Once you have reviewed your import and are ready to proceed, click Import Review. You will be taken to a screen to confirm that you wish to import; if so, click Start Import.

In the final stage of importing a list to Klaviyo, green checkmarks indicate that the list is ready to import.

When your import is successful, you will see a success message appear confirming this.

If the information was not imported correctly, you will likewise be alerted with information around what data was skipped. 

Additional Resources

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