Exporting multiple Contact Lists to CSV


Exporting multiple Contact Lists to CSV

I've been having a great time using the V2 API.  Hopefully someone can sanity check me on something that I am observing with trying to export multiple Contact Lists via Bulk Activities.  My end goal is a CSV for all Contacts.


I am using the most current .NET SDK ( https://github.com/constantcontact/.net-sdk ).


It seems that when I submit an Export Contacts Activity with multiple lists - I only ever get back the first list in the array of list numbers.


Given two lists 1 and 54:


1 - ACTIVE - Count = 1

54 - HIDDEN - Count = 744


var exportContactsConfig = new ExportContacts
    Lists = new[] { "1", "54" },
    ColumnNames = new[] { "Email Address", "Custom Field 1", "Custom Field 2" },
    ExportAddedBy = false,
    ExportDateAdded = false,
    FileType = "CSV"
var exportActivity = _api.AddExportContactsActivity(exportContactsConfig);


Will result in a CSV file with 2 records (header and one contact).

Changing the Lists property to new[] { "54", "1" } will result in a CSV file with 745 records.


Please let me know if there's something I am missing entirely or if this should be an issue with the .NET SDK project.


Thank you.


If your goal is to export all of your active contacts, I would recommend using the system list ID "active" instead of numbers. This will give you an export of everyone who you have permission to mail to and is one or more email lists. 


We'll take a look at the export not allowing you to specify multiple lists.  Will update when we have additional information.

Dave Berard
Senior Product Manager, Constant Contact

We looked into the multiple lists question.  Our documentation is correct, only a single list is currently able to be exported (though this is subtle in the documentation).  We are going to update our schema validation so that it throws an error if you specify more than one list in the request.  If we are able to support multiple lists at the same time in the future, we will update the documentation, schema and announce the update in our release notes.

Dave Berard
Senior Product Manager, Constant Contact
Regular Participant

Hopefully I'm in the right thread but not allowing to select multiple lists in order to export is a major omission.  I want to export multiple lists and the only way to do it is select one list at a time instead of all of them?  It does not make too much sense to me.  Hopefully this feature will be available soon in the near future.

Thanks for the feedback.  We definitely want to add this functionality and the good news is that it will be available in our new Contact Management system we are rolling out now.  Unfortunately, we will not be able to add this feature to the API until we have finished migrating all of our customers to the new platform.  At that time, we will be able to start exposing out all of the great new functionality the new platform provides to our customers through the API. 


This is in the list of items to add and, in fact, we prepared for this already by having the lists you export an array.  Once we finish the migration and implement this, we'll change the restriction from one list in the array to multiple lists in the array. While I can't provide an exact timeline of when we can get this, we are expecting to see lots of new Contact Management features start to come out through the API this summer.


As always, you can learn more about functionality added to the API in our release notes on the TechBlog http://techblog.constantcontact.com/

Dave Berard
Senior Product Manager, Constant Contact

if you had a column showing which list an email is contained in when in "view all contacts" along with the current options of "date added" "source" etc. and the ability to sort the list column it could be a simple if more tedious workaround

Hi Dave,  


When doing a google search for help on exporting multiple lists instead of single from constant contact I stumbled upon this thread and would like to know if this has yet been added to the functionality as I have numerous lists to export and would be grateful for a bulk export function.




Hello Michele,


Thanks for reaching out about this! While we do have bulk export available, it is currently still limited to exporting a single list at a time. Dave is unavailable before the end of the week, but I will see if I can get in touch with him to get you some details early next week!



Elijah G.
API Support Engineer

Thank you for passing along this feedback.  Elijah is correct, at this time we still not have the ability to select and export multiple lists in our product.  We have taken some feedback on this, as shown by this thread, and we use feedback like this to help us prioritize work.  At this point, the customer feedback has been pretty low for this feature and we do not have any immediate plans to add this to our product.


Depending on what your usecase is, you have a couple of alternative options which may not be ideal but can accomplish your goal:


1 - If you want to simply export all your contacts who are on any list, you can create a new list and merge all your other lists into that newly created list.  This will make a unique collection of all your contacts who are on at least one list.


2 - If you are trying to get an export of which contacts are on which lists, you can go into each list, select all contacts, click Manage Tags and add a tag with the list name on it.  Do this once for each list.  After that, follow step 1 above and merge them into a single list.  Then when you export that list, you will have a Tag that identifies each list a customer was on.


I know that this is certainly not ideal but it should allow you to accomplish your goal.  Can you share any additional information into why you are looking to export more than one list?  We try to approach all of our work from a "what problem are we helping our customers solve" so we can provide the best tools possible.  It will help us a lot more to understand what you are trying to accomplish.

Dave Berard
Senior Product Manager, Constant Contact
Regular Participant

You are right all the alternative options you mentioned are not ideal to say the least.

I'm suprised not many people have requested this.  

Why have this option when you send an e-mail i.e. select the lists that you want to send the e-mail to and not have this option when you want to export lists?

That's a good question.  I can't talk too much to why customer usage patterns are the way they are, it's hard for me to explain why such a large and diverse customer base does everything they do.  What I can share is some of the usage patterns we see from our customers.  The majority of our exports are not Contact Lists at all, they are actually other types of exports.  This most often includes Unsubscribes, Bounces or Click reports for a specific email and other action based exports.  List specific exports are the smallest category of exports we see.  


Since this is the least used export flow, we generally get the least feedback on it and spend less time on improvements to it.  We do intend to do some improvements to list management and the list page this year and will certainly consider this when we get to those improvements.  I just can't promise any specific timing as it is not a short term priority for us to work on.  

Dave Berard
Senior Product Manager, Constant Contact

It's the least used, because there is no way to get good information from it.

Hi @CharlesM89,


Other than the feedback already provided in this thread is there any other information you would consider good information that needs to be included? We are getting closer to releasing our v3 API and any feedback we can add would be helpful.

Jimmy D.
Tier II API Support Engineer


I would like to know whether the feature for export multiple contact lists to CSV file are available. Because needs to comply with GDPR, and EU region is only part of my whole mailing lists.. Currently, i cannot export selected mailing list.



Hi @JeslynC,


You can use this API endpoint to export contacts to a .csv file. You have the option to include multiple listIDs in the list array if you choose.



Jimmy D.
Tier II API Support Engineer

I have created tags for all contacts on each list. My question is this: when I add new contacts to a list, will they automatically be tagged too? We update our 40+ lists every week and certainly don't want to go through this cumbersome task every time.


So, can you set up a list that tags every new entry the same? If not, is there a field that we can add to the cvs list that we upload where we can insert the "tag"?


Hello @GenevieveA1,


When importing a file your contacts are not automatically tagged as the other contacts on the list; this is a process that you would have to select on your own. The reason is because not every contact on the same list may fall under the same tag.


You can add a field to your file that will add the tag to a specific contact. Please reference this FAQ. 



Keep in mind the tags in your file need to be separated by a comma and then a space; also the tag needs to be spelled the same (along with the same capitalization) as the tag in your account. Based on the example in that FAQ the tag of Cats will work, but cats will not.

Jimmy D.
Tier II API Support Engineer
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