Email Marketing
Importing Packages

How to Import and Update a Database Using Acoustic (formerly IBM Watson Campaign Automation)

What is a good email campaign without the right list of contacts? Our digital marketing experts work with Acoustic (formerly IBM Watson Campaign Automation) to create, execute and report on email marketing campaigns. This tutorial from our expert team illustrates taking the initial steps before drafting the first email: importing and updating your database.

A database holds all the contact information so your campaign can reach your target audience. Databases must be maintained during the campaign by routine updates. Let’s get started:

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Procedure: Importing a Database

  • First scroll to the menu on the left side of the screen and select the data menu.
  • Select Manage and then Data from that drop down
  • Choose the import tab
  • Give your database a unique name, in this case a name followed by the date
  • Choose where you want this database to be saved, whether that’s just in the shared folder or in a subfolder
  • This same method can be used to create a contact source, relational table, test list, seed list or suppression list.
    • A contact source contains contact information like email and name.
    • Relational tables contain data related to a separate database, but not included in the database.
    • A test list organizes a reliable list for sending test mailings. This might be a list of co-workers in your organization.
    • Contacts within a seed list receive mailings for monitoring purposes.
  • For this database, we’re going to select contact source from the dropdown.
  • For this database, we’re going to create a restricted database.
    • Restricted databases only have one unique identifier and that is usually email. This will ensure that all contacts uploaded have an email.
    • Flexible databases are required for SMS automation and can have multiple unique identifiers that can be set when adding or updating contacts.
  • Select a file from the hard drive. If a list already has been uploaded in the program, select it from the shared files instead. The program can work with CSV, Excel, or TSV.
  • Check the box if first row of data contains the field names.
  • Make sure your fields match up with the field type. Email is a system field type, first name/last name are text, birthday is date, and so on.
  • The data job screen is an overview screen. It shows all the fields we’re uploading as well as fields that will populate and collect data through mailings. You can have an email sent to you to notify you when the database has been created.
  • This page shows you the Data Job ID number. Click that link to see the status of your job. Data jobs can also be accessed through the data tab in the sidebar. Check this page frequently if you did not select the email button.
  • Once the data job is complete, the page will show you where the database is located, how many contacts are in the database and other important information for future use.

Procedure: Updating a database

  • First, locate that database by going to the data tab and selecting manage data.
  • Select the database you are going to update.
  • Click on the import tab but instead of “import new.” Select “update existing.
  • Update a contact source since we created a contact source when we created our database.
  • Select the button that says “import update.”
  • Leave the contact source, which should be the selected database.
  • Choose the option to add new contacts and update existing field values in the contact source.
  • Create a new contact list in order to isolate this list in the future. Give the contact list a unique name. Choose a folder for this contact list.
  • Browse for your list.
  • Just like in the database import, select the button stating that the first row contains field names.
  • Match the fields from the new document with existing fields in the database.
  • The same overview screen will appear with all fields.
  • The same data job field will appear.
  • Check the data job for the status of the update.
  • Once the job is complete, the data job page with information will appear.

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