Best Strategy For Updating Lists

Campaign Collaborator



Probably been asked many times, but in searching I don't see it, so . . .


I have three lists that come out of a National Database.  Each represents different members of an organization.  We ned to keep the lists separate as there are requirements to send to just one of the lists sometimes.  The lists are updated on a semi-regular basis as new members to the organization get added, or fall off.  I'd like to be able to just REPLACE the entire list(s) for each membership as they get updated (they come to me in Excel), will this update the contact list correctly, or am I looking at the list update process incorrectly?  Thanks in advance to all.


Hi @Chuck_Tipton!  Thanks for your question!

I think your best bet is to create a new list each time you upload your contacts from the Excel file. The reason is that when you upload to an existing list, it adds new contacts and updates existing contact info if their email address is already on your list, but it doesn't delete contacts that are already in your Constant Contact list but not on your spreadsheet. You can use a naming convention that includes the date you upload it so that you know you're using the most current version, and you can always rename or delete an outdated list.  Hope this helps!

Campaign Collaborator

Hi Elizabeth!


Yes, I was thinking the same thing.  I have three lists.  Each one comes from a different person.  All three lists have been uploaded in the Contacts list.  However, each list will constantly be updated as new members join and old ones leave.  Since the Contacts database doesn't duplicate records that are already there, I can upload the new lists(s) and delete the old ones, or as you suggest, title date them, although keeping the old ones isn't necessary.  The original data is exported from a National database by the three sub-organizations into Excel files and then sent to me.  So, I intend to save the three new lists, upload them in the contacts database, and then delete the old lists after confirming the contact database is clean.  Does this process make sense?  Are you suggesting that I create a new contacts database at the same time?  Thanks for confirming, and I appreciate your help.  Have a nice weekend.

Thanks for claryifying, @Chuck_Tipton -

You're right! If an email address is already in your Constant Contact account and you upload it again on one of your lists, it won't create a duplicate contact record. That only happens if the person changes their email address, and they now have two contact records, one for each email address.

When you create your new lists, you can do it before you import the contacts and then just choose the corresponding list during the import process OR you can also create the new list while you're importing and do it all in one step. Totally up to you!

Your process makes total sense! When you delete your list after you upload the new ones, choose to delete the list and the contacts. It won't delete overlapping contacts from the new list you just created. It only deletes contacts that aren't a part of any other list. This Knowledge Base article details that process.

Campaign Collaborator



Thanks so much!  I'll give it a try and see how it goes, but I think I'm in good shape.  When I get the new lists from the folks I work with, I'll give it a try and check the contacts database for correctness.  Much appreciated; thank you for the great responses.  Be well, and have a great day.

You're welcome! Good luck, and let us know how it goes :smileyface:

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