How to prepare a file for import?

Before you import your contact list, we recommend that you go through the following checklist to make sure your file uploads successfully.


Your file needs to be in a format that we support. Keep the following in mind when getting the file ready for import:

  • The import file must be in one of the following formats: CSV, TXT, VCF, XLS, XLSX, ODS. Use commas, semicolons, or tabs to separate columns.
  • The file must use UTF-8 encoding.
  • The file cannot exceed 50 MB in the CSV, TXT, VCF, XLSX or ODS format. XLS files cannot exceed 10 MB.
  • If your file contains custom field values, make sure they don’t exceed 255 characters. If they are longer, we’ll clip them at 255 characters. Note: The 255-character limit applies to text fields only. Predefined custom field values—such as IP, phone, and URL fields—have their own field-specific limits.
  • If you’d like us to automatically assign the Name field, be sure to include a column header labeled “name” in your file. If your remaining column headers match the custom fields in your GetResponse account, they’ll be automatically assigned, too. The Email column is assigned automatically whether the file contains headers or not. Unassigned custom fields are marked with “?
  • We can only import the first sheet of a multi-sheet document.

Required field

Apart from being properly formatted, the file needs to contain a required field. Before you upload the file, make sure that:

  • Your import file contains an email column.
  • There’s only one email address for each contact in the email column.
  • Your contacts’ email addresses are complete.

We won’t be able to add incomplete or incorrectly formatted addresses, such as “john@aol”, “” or “” (instead of “”).

Special characters (e.g. !#$%^&( )|\,), an empty field, or emails longer that 128 characters will produce a syntax error. An empty line will also produce a syntax error.

Custom fields

You can import custom field values. However, it’s not possible to import multiselect values for custom fields.

Working with default values for default custom fields

In one of the steps of file upload, you can assign custom fields that exist in your GetResponse account to custom field values in your file. Please remember that the default custom field values and the custom field values you’re importing must match.

For example, you assign the Gender custom field to the values in a column. In your account, the default values for gender are “male” and “female.” If the values in the column are “man” and “woman,” they won’t be uploaded because of data mismatch.

Be sure to match the values for Currency and Country, too.

Phone number

If the phone number doesn’t include a prefix, we’ll match it based on the criteria you specify during the assigning stage.


When importing date custom fields, use only the YYYY-MM-DD format.

Note: For Excel files (.xls and .xlxs), please be sure to convert number cells to text format. This ensures that date values are imported correctly.

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