\When you import contacts to Gist, you’ll match each column in your import file to a property in your Gist workspace. Certain types of fields, like email address and birthday, require a specific format to import correctly.

In this article, you'll learn how to format each column in your file to prevent any errors when you import. Once you've set them up, learn how to import your contacts.

Format guidelines for your import file

  • The import file must be a CSV (.csv) file.
  • The import file should contain fewer than 10,000 contacts/rows and is smaller than 10MB.
  • Include a header row in your file.
    • Each column header should correspond to a property that exists for the contact type being imported.
    • During the import process, Gist will match the column header to the property name, where possible, to map the property values to be updated. Otherwise, you can manually map your column headers to property values.
  • The only property Gist requires is Email Address. Other fields are optional, but may be necessary for personalization, segmentation, or other features.
  • Clearly label each column in your import file so you can easily choose the property type during the import process. For example, if you have a column named "Contact Email Addresses," you'll know to choose the Email property type.
  • You can arrange the columns in your CSV file in any order.

Email address

You must include an email address column in your import file, and only one email for each contact. Review this column for anything that might cause syntax errors, like missing information, unsupported characters, and extra spaces before or after an address. For example, we can only support international characters like ñ or é if they come after the @ symbol.


Text fields are limited to a maximum of 255 bytes of information, and will be clipped if the limit is exceeded. In many alphabets, this is equal to 255 characters. Some alphabets or symbolic characters, like emoji, use more than one byte of information per character, so it isn't always a one-to-one ratio.

Use text fields for:

  • first name and last name
  • additional data you want to add, like job title or company name


Use a number field to import numbers or currency values to your Contacts. We'll add comma separators to large numbers like 1,000 or 1,000,000.


To import dates other than birthdays, use either the ISO Standard year-month-date format (YYYY-MM-DD) or month-day-year format (MM-DD-YYYY) or UNIX timestamp. For best results, we recommend that you use the ISO Standard format, YYYY-MM-DD.


Tags help you organize and label your contacts. To import tags, create a single column in your spreadsheet labeled Tags. For each contact, add all of the tags that apply to them, separated by commas.

Here are some other things to know when you prepare your tags for import.

  • If a tag doesn’t already exist in your Workspace, we’ll create it when you import.
  • Tag names can be 100 characters or fewer. If a tag exceeds the character limit, we’ll truncate it.
  • Emojis cannot be imported. We recommend you replace any emojis with text.
  • If a tag contains a comma, you’ll need to enclose the tag in double quotes to retain the comma. For example, the tag Monday, Tuesday should be formatted as “Monday, Tuesday”.

Download a sample import file

If you need help, try our sample import file as a starting point. The sample file contains columns for an import that includes email address, first name, last name, tags and a custom property.

Download the sample CSV file, and replace the sample data with your contact data. Customize the columns to match the data you have for your Workspace. Follow the format guidelines for different types of information, to update your Gist contacts correctly.

Sample file

Click the link to download the sample CSV import file. For best results, open the file in a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.

Sample CSV Import File

After you update the file with your subscriber information and save it, learn how to import it into Gist.


The data contained in the sample import file is not actual contact data and has been created for informational purposes only. Replace the sample information before you import.