Distribution lists (or Contact Groups as they're sometimes called) are a means for you to email a group of people from Outlook, by entering just one email address. For example you might have a staff@ email address that sends an email to every staff member of an organisation.
It's not unusual to want to replicate an Outlook distribution list in your NewZapp account, as a Group, but you find that you don't have any means of exporting the data as a .CSV, .XLS, or .XLSX file. In that instances there are a few steps that you can take to extract the data ready for import into your NewZapp account.
Extracting all the contacts from a Distribution Group:
Using MS Word to remove all the unwanted characters and add carriage returns:
- Create a new email in your Outlook account and in the "To" field insert the Distribution Group.
- To the left of the Distribution Group name there will be a plus (+) symbol. Click on the (+) symbol to expand the contents
e.g. show details of every person that is in the Distribution Group.
- You will now see details (name) of every member of the Distribution Group, appearing in the "To" field.
- Click into the "To" field.
- Right click 'Select All'.
- Right click 'Copy'.
- Open a new blank MS Word document and 'Paste' your data into it.
- What you will see now is one long string of all the Distribution Group's contacts, one after the other, in this format:
Bob Smith <email@example.com>; Jane Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org>; John James <email@example.com;
- The next task is to remove all the characters that are not needed and re-arrange each contact onto one line, and with a comma separating their first name from their last name and another separating their email address.
- With the use of 'find & replace' tools you can strip out unwanted data.
- In MS Word the 'Replace' tools are in the Home > Editing section of the tool bar.
Here's the order in which we would do this:
(greater than symbol, semi colon, space)
Replace with: ^l (manual line break)
(less than symbol)
with: (nothing, all instances of < are deleted)
Find: (type a single space)
Replace with: , (a comma)
Note: ^l is the symbol for a manual line break, an option found in the 'Replace/Special' section of the Find and Replace tools.
Once all the replacements are completed, your data will now be in a list format like this:
Transferring this data over to MS Excel for review:
- In MS Word, right click 'Select All'.
- Right click 'Copy'.
- Open a new blank Notepad file and and 'Paste' your data into it.
- Save this as a CSV file.
- Open the CSV file in MS Excel.
- The comma will have acted as a field separate, allowing you to review three columns of data:
First name, last name, email address
- The main thing to watch out for is any instances where the email address is in the 4th column of you worksheet. This would indicate someone who had more than one first name or last name. If you find any of these instances you will need to manually edit the row in your worksheet so that the email address sits in the 3rd column.
- It's fine to have a space within a first name or a last name if your contact has one.
- You can now either re-save the .CSV in Excel, or use Save As to make a new copy of the file in .XLS or .XLSX format. You can import any of these three types of file into your NewZapp account.
Other useful resources:
- How to... Import Subscribers
- How to... Groups
- The complete set of User Guides for managing Subscribers