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Bulk Edit Contacts

So currently if I want to make a change to a custom field for large group of contacts, I have to export a csv of the contacts, create a blank list, reference that in the workflow, then reimport to that blank list just to activate the workflow. Not a huge deal for small contact groups, but when you try this 500,000 contacts it takes a while and is too manual.

Previous experience with other email automation systems gave me the ability to set a batch workflow that was not trigger based and I could just schedule to run once. This would be great for making on the fly changes or adding contacts to new fields without all the exporting/reimporting.

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Mike Ali shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

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  • Ian Marquis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The workaround we've been using for this is:

    1. Create a new segment that meets all of the criteria for your new workflow.
    2. Add another "and" condition that can't be met (e.g. first name = "sadfghtdfgsardfghxd")
    3. Save the segment.
    4. Build the workflow and set it to trigger on segment membership. Save and activate it.
    5. Wait 30 minutes just to be safe, then un-break your segment and save it.

    We've used this for many field reflows and contact updates, and our strategist confirmed it was probably the best way to accomplish what we needed given the current state of workflows.

  • Mike Ali commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Haha sorry I think I accidentally responded to your initial comment twice! I apologize.

    I think what you're saying would work! so basically I could mass-select contacts and edit their fields or list memberships as a group?

    Thanks again and sorry for the confusion!

  • Mike Ali commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hey Jocelyn,

    We run Excel on Mac, which if you've ever experienced, is about as slow-moving as a turtle without legs. Plus the time it takes Bronto to export large csv files can be awhile as well. Rather than having to experience those lag times, or juggle csv's of important contacts and info--it would just make more sense to be able to update them within Bronto.

    A quick example of what I'm suggesting is taken from a Marketo feature I'm familiar with:

    https://docs.marketo.com/display/public/DOCS/Run+a+Batch+Smart+Campaign+Now+%7C+Schedule+Tab;jsessionid=0242603659362CAD825E249473C64163

    Not sure if that helps shed more light on what I'm getting at but hopefully it does. Batch workflow could also be used to change list memberships such as if we ever wanted to take a group of existing contacts and add them in to another pre-existing list without having to export and reimport.

    Thanks,

    -Mike Ali

  • AdminBronto (Product Management, Bronto Software) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Good morning Mike,

    I've discussed your ticket internally with our other Product Analysts and what we interpret from your request is the ability to bulk edit contacts. We think we can provide a solution without using Workflows or importing/exporting. Would it be sufficient if we were to add an option to the contact tables to "Edit"? This way you could create a segment of whomever you were looking to modify, view the contacts within that segment, click the checkboxes next to the contacts (or click All), and then click Edit. We're thinking this could allow editing fields and list assignments.

    Would that achieve what you're looking for? If so, let me know and I'll get a ticket created in our Engineering system. I wouldn't have a timeframe on when this could be implemented, but getting it into the backlog would be the first step.

    Thanks so much!
    - Jocelyn @ Bronto

  • Mike Ali commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hey Jocelyn thanks for the response!

    Are you saying just to do the updating outside of Bronto and then reimport? I could do that as well, but it's really the same amount of time as just setting up the workflow and doing it that way. I think if you guys did batch workflows (or batch campaigns as they are referred to in Marketo) it would just be a huge timesaver and I wouldn't have to juggle csv files all over the place. Not to mention I have a mac running excel, so doing large updates on my end using excel or outside source takes a really long time :).

    Let me know if that doesn't make sense--would be more than happy to discuss in further detail!

    -Mike Ali

  • AdminBronto (Product Management, Bronto Software) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks so much for the suggestion. Out of curiosity, is there a reason you're exporting and then using a Workflow versus exporting and then reimporting? If you edit the csv file you just exported to contain your desired custom field, Excel should easily let you fill that column with the same value for everyone. So long as you do an UPDATE import it will leave all other contact data alone and just update that one mapped field. This should run a lot faster as it doesn't involve lists and Workflows, and is one single process.

    Let me know what you think and I'm happy to continue looking for a solution!
    - Jocelyn @ Bronto

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