From Net-Results Support
Contacts in Net-Results are individual people. They could be prospects or existing customers, but each Contact represents a single person. Contacts may visit your website, receive Emails, accrue Lead Score, qualify for Segments, become members of Lists and participate in Campaigns or workflows. Contacts are at the core of Net-Results and many of the things you do will involve managing and communicating with Contacts.
Some quick notes on Contacts:
- You may create an unlimited number of Contacts
- Net-Results will prevent the creation of multiple Contacts with the same email address
- Each Contact may be a member of an unlimited number of Lists
- Each List may have an unlimited number of Contacts associated with it
- The total number of Contacts you create has no impact on your subscription fee, only mailable Contacts (those with a valid email address that is not bounced or unsubscribed)
- 1 Where to find them
- 2 Creating Contacts
- 3 Importing Contacts
- 4 Activity Stream
Where to find them
While there are various places to view Contacts in Net-Results, the primary area is under Contacts & Accounts > Contacts > My Contacts. When creating a Segment, the Save and View Contacts button bring take you here. When viewing Campaign Statistics, any of the View Contacts buttons will bring you here. On My Lists, View Members will bring you here.
My Contacts provides various tools for Contact (and, to a certain extent, List) Management:
- Segment Selection drop-down: My Contacts is a great place to "slice and dice" your contact database. By applying Segments, you can identify Contacts you're searching for to add to a List, export, or possibly even delete. Keep in mind that certain Segments will require you to choose a date range; where you're searching for contacts who did (or did not) perform certain behaviors, Net-Results needs to know what timeframe to search. Next to this drop-down, you will also find the options to edit the chosen Segment or create a new one.
- Filter: Much like your Segment Selection, the Filter option will allow you to narrow down which Contacts you intend to work with. Filters are much like simple, one-time-use Segments, but they do persist if you navigate away from My Contacts and return. Filters also double as a search tool, if you're looking for something or someone specific and do not wish to create a Segment just for this one search.
- As mentioned above, selecting certain options in other areas will take you to My Contacts. They do this to apply a Filter, such as contacts who opened during a certain Campaign, or contacts who are members of a certain List. These are shortcuts to avoid having to create a Segment for a single use.
- However, your Filter and Segment always work together, they do not work separately. Sometimes this can work against you, if your Segment excludes the contact(s) you're filtering to view. It can also work for you, if for example you wish to view all of the Mailable Contacts on a certain List. By applying a general Mailable Contacts segment, and a List filter (clicking View Members on the My Lists area), you can view all of the Mailable Contacts on a List without modifying your Segment'.
- Select Columns for Display: Represented by a gear icon, the Select Columns option allows you to choose what data you see on this screen. Certain columns are sort-able to view your data however you choose. Note: Only Standard Fields can be added as columns at this time.
- Select button: This button allows you to select multiple contacts at the same time. You may select multiple contacts one at a time by using the other checkboxes along the left of the datagrid, but the Select button presents the options to Select the Contacts on this page and Select all. In either case, once a selection is made, additional buttons will appear:
- Add to List: Adds the selected Contact(s) to one or more Lists of your choosing. If your List does not yet exist, it can be created on the fly.
- Download: Generates a CSV export of the selected Contacts which includes all of their Standard and Custom Fields. Based on the size of the file, you may be able to download it immediately or Net-Results will ask you for an Email Address to send the file to when it is complete. Note: The more records you export, and the more Custom Fields you have, the longer the file will take to generate. If you are concerned about the time your export is taking, please contact Support.
- Delete: Irrevocably erases the selected Contacts and their associated history and data. Only choose this option if you are absolutely certain you do not need these contacts and will never need them. Note: Net-Results only allows you to delete a maximum of 50 Contacts at a time (all of the Contacts on the page). If you need to delete a large number of Contacts, please reach out to our Support team.
- Dashboard: Links to the Contacts Dashboard which tracks the growth of your Mailable Contacts, Bounces, and Unsubscribes over time.
- New Contact: Create a new Contact by manually entering their information.
- Upload Contacts: Create one or more new Contacts all at once by importing a CSV file.
- Unsubscribe a Contact: Quickly flag a Contact as Unsubscribed by entering their Email Address.
- View Unsubscribed Contacts: Apply a Filter to view Contacts in an Unsubscribed status.
Net-Results will automatically create new contacts as new visitors come to your website. These contacts will be undefined and unmailable until they either submit a Form or click through on a tracked link in an Email, but the data and activity that you collect on them in the meantime definitely has some value. To create your own Contacts, there are three options:
- New Contact: For fans of single record data entry, you may provide the details for a new contact you wish to add. The only required fields for a new contact are Email Address and Company Name (aka Account). Once you've created and saved a Contact, you may add them to Lists as necessary.
- Import/Upload Contacts: For multi-record creation, a CSV import is the best way to go. See below for a more comprehensive explanation of this process.
- Contact::submitContactImport(): Similar to the CSV import, the Net-Results API offers methods for importing/updating Contacts, managing List Membership and more. API access is included with your Net-Results subscription at no additional charge.
Mailable vs. Unmailable Contacts
Net-Results considers a contact mailable if they meet the following three criteria:
- The Contact has a valid Email Address
- The Contact is not Bounced
- The Contact is not Unsubscribed
These three criteria correspond to Standard Contact Attributes:
- Email Address (does contain @)
- Bounced Contact (does not match TRUE)
- Unsubscribed Contact (does not match TRUE)
If any of these three conditions are not met, the contact is considered unmailable.
Unbouncing a Contact
You can easily reset a bounced Contact's status in Net-Results. To reset a Contact's bounced status, navigate to the Contact Details page. Scroll to the bottom of the page until you see "BOUNCE STATUS". If the Contact's email address is set to "Bounced", you'll now see a reset button that allows you to reset the Contact's bounced status. Simply click the reset button, click "Yes" to confirm that you want to unbounce the Contact.
Defined vs. Undefined Contacts
Whenever someone visits your website, Net-Results creates a Contact for them, even though they have not been personally identified. Visitors like this, who have not yet provided you their information, are undefined Contacts. For certain areas and scenarios, this type of contact may not be relevant to you, which is why the Only Defined Contacts setting can be found in Segments, Campaigns, and Lead Scoring. If you wish undefined contacts to be ignored in that instance, you may choose to turn this setting on.
Contacts who have been modified via web form completion, CSV or API Import, CRM integration, or manual editing, are classified as defined. This is because they have provided you some sort of information, and therefore defined themselves, or you have defined them.
Save and Add to CRM
If you have setup one of our supported CRM Integrations, you can use the 'Save and Add to CRM button at the bottom of a Contact Details page to sync this record up. By choosing this, you will be presented with the same options as a Sync Action in a Form or Nurture Campaign:
- If the record is new, would you like to create the record as a Lead or Contact? We determine newness based on Email Address.
- If there is already a record, would you like to update the existing Lead Owner (aka Assigned To) and Lead Source, or would you like to keep them what they are?
- If the record is new, or if you chose to update for either option above, how would you like to set them or what would you like to set them to? Note that even if you know you're only pushing up existing records, and you chose to retain in the option above, you must make selections here to satisfy validation.
- Finally, do you wish to create a Task? A Task is some sort of follow-up item like a phone call that would be assigned and handled from within the CRM.
You may upload/import a file of Contacts to add and update records via a CSV file. CSV, also known as Comma Separated Values format, is a standard "raw data" format compatible with many applications, most often Microsoft Excel. Currently, only CSV format files are supported for imports (.XLS, .XLSX, and other file types are not supported). We recommend scrubbing your file of records that do not have Email Addresses prior to import, as these records will mostly just take up space and not serve any real purpose.
Preparing Your CSV File
- The first row of the file (aka the Header Row) must contain names of the column headings/contact attributes corresponding to the data in that column. All subsequent rows represent a contact you wish to update or add. Each column, or comma separated field, specifies a contact attribute. Unless you're composing the file in a text editor, like Notepad, you do not need to put the commas in yourself; this is handled automatically for you in applications like Excel when you choose to save the file in CSV format.
- Here is an example of properly formatted CSV:
First Name, Last Name, Email Address John, Doe, email@example.com Jane, Doe, firstname.lastname@example.org John, "Doe, Jr.", email@example.com
- To create in CSV format from Microsoft Excel, choose to Save As, and select CSV (comma delimited) *csv as the File Type.
- MAC USERS: When saving your CSV file in Microsoft Excel, you will want to select the Windows Comma Separated (.csv) format.
- Text Qualifiers: This refers to the fourth row in the example above. When the data for a field has a comma in it, that data must be surrounded by text qualifiers (usually quotation marks) so that the comma is not counted as a delimiter. Again, Excel does this automatically for you when you choose to Save As CSV, but you may see them if you open up the file in a text editor.
Suppression Lists: Uploading Bounces and Unsubscribes
You can flag any Contact as bounced or unsubscribed via .csv upload. Simply add a column to your .csv file for bounce and/or unsubscribe and set the value in that column to "1" (just the number, no quotes). You'll need to map those columns to either the "Bounced Contact" or "Unsubscribed Contact" field and Net-Results will treat the contacts in question as either bounced or unsubscribed (or both).
Uploading Empty/Null Values, Or "Blanking" a Field
Net-Results won't normally overwrite a field that contains a value with an empty value, even if your .csv file lacks a value in a given column. This is a measure to protect your data from accidental deletion (it turns out that mistakes with .csv file creation are pretty common). You can cause Net-Results to write an empty (or "null") value to any field by setting the value of that field to "__MA_BLANK_FIELD" (without the quotes) in your .csv file.
Uploading your CSV File
- When you select Upload Contacts from the navigation, you will be taken to a screen with some preparation notes (similar to the above) and a Browse button to choose your file. Find and select your file, then hit Save.
- The next screen is broken into four sections, all of which are important:
- Field Mappings: This is where you choose how to use the data you're importing. On the left side will be the column headers from your file, and each will be lined up with a drop-down selector. If your column header has the same or similar name as one of our fields, the drop-down selection will be filled in for you. If not, it will default to Do Not Record which means we will ignore that column of data. Always check that your field mappings are correct, that all data you want is mapped to be recorded, before moving on.
- Skip or Update Duplicates: This option deals with how to treat existing contacts (by Email Address). If we detect that there are already Contacts in the system with Email Addresses in your file, what would you like us to do? The system can either skip those records, which prevents data from being overwritten, or it can update the existing records, which will overwrite any data that is different. Note: We do not overwrite a value with a "blank" so you never need to be concerned with blanking out a field by using this option. Regardless of which option you choose, new records will always be imported and created.
- Import Confirmation Recipient: When your import is finished, a Notification email is triggered to the provided recipient(s). This is both to signal that your import is complete and to provide information on how successful the import was. Information like how many records we detected in the file, how many were imported, skipped, and rejected, can be found in this email. We recommend reviewing this message for every import, as it will be the first sign if something went wrong.
- Add to/Remove From List(s): As part of your import, you may choose to add/remove the imported Contacts to one or more Lists. If your List does not already exist, you may create it on the fly. If you chose Skip Duplicates above, this portion is also skipped for them (the existing Contacts will not be added to your List, only the newly-imported Contacts).
- Add to/Remove From Subscription(s): As part of your import, you may choose to add/remove the imported Contacts to one or more Subscriptions. If your Subscription does not already exist, you may create it on the fly. If you chose Skip Duplicates above, this portion is also skipped for them (the existing Contacts will not be added to your Subscription, only the newly-imported Contacts).
- When ready, click Save at the bottom.
Via the Net-Results API
Net-Results offers and extensive JSON API with dozens of controllers and hundreds of methods.
Importing Contacts is accomplished via the Contact::submitContactImport method. This is the most commonly used method in the Net-Results API with millions of requests processed each month.
Sample code for the Contact::submitContactImport method is available in PHP and C# .NET formats.
The Activity Stream is located on the right side of the Contact’s Detail page and gives you the valuable insight into that specific contact’s engagement on Emails sent from Campaigns in Net-Results, website activity and much more. By default, Customer Journey will be selected which gives you a “Quick View” into that specific contact’s engagement. Some of these actions will include what pages that viewed on your website and if they submitted a form. Those are the more common actions performed by contacts however the Activity Stream can give you a look at the following:
All Activities displays every action associated with that contact and in the order they took place. You will see the most recent entries at the top along with a date and time stamp and at the bottom of the list you can choose to display 10, 25 or 50 entries per page.
CRM Activity will show you the contacts activity within your CRM. Such as when they had their information updated and synced, along with which direction the sync was, a task was created for this contact or if the contact was created by the CRM.
Customer Journey gives you highlights of a contact’s engagement with your Marketing efforts. These highlights include; website visits, form submissions, email clicks, downloads and video activity thus giving you the journey of the customer's engagement.
Downloads tracks which assets a contact has downloaded. Within this tab, you will also be able to view each asset that was downloaded via a hyperlink. This information can also be found via our Downloads Dashboard.
Email Activity informs you if any email sent to that contact was opened and clicked. You will also be able to see the type (Campaign vs Conversational) of email sent, as well as which link was clicked within each email.
Form Submissions shows which forms a contact submitted and the exact values that were submitted on that form.
Go To Webinar tells you if a contact registered and attended a specific Webinar (the Webinar name will be displayed).
Lead Ownership Changes display all lead ownership changes a contact has had.
Lead Score Changes track and display a contact’s lead score adjustments attached to the action which triggered it. It will also show the points that were added or subtracted, their new total score and under which Lead Scoring Overlay the scoring took place.
Lead Stage Changes tells you which stage they were, which staged they are now in and what action triggered the change in Lead Stage.
List Membership Changes allows you to see when a contact was added to or removed from a list.
Video will inform you if a contact clicked play on a specific video being tracked by Net-Results and if they watched 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% of the video. A link will also tell you which video the contact engaged with.
Website Visits Tracks the number of pages viewed, if the contact arrived via a UTM Tag. The arrow next to each website visit provides you with an in-depth list of all the pages visited and the time spent on each page.