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203 | Import and Add Emails
Bring over your emails from anywhere to Substack with ease!
Quick Recap: What we’ve learned so far
100’s | BEGINNER | From Creation to Execution
101 | THE SET-UP | Create a Substack account.
102 | PUBLISH YOUR FIRST POST | Writing fiction vs nonfiction, navigating the user interface, and the settings worth remembering.
103 | WELCOME EMAIL TIPS | Write the most useful welcome email.
104 | EMAIL TEMPLATE TIPS | Making every email have a similar feel can go a long way towards building your brand.
105 | WHAT TO SAY IN YOUR ABOUT PAGE | All about you can mean so much more.
200’s | INTERMEDIATE | Time for Some Upgrades
201 | MULTIPLE SECTIONS | How to use them to your advantage.
202 | A NEW WAY TO SWAP AND GROW | Growing your newsletter shouldn’t be rocket science.
WHO THIS POST IS FOR:
If you are someone who already has an email list housed somewhere: On your computer (.csv file), Mailchimp, Patreon, MailerLite, etc. Then this will show you how to quickly and easily take that list and import it into Substack so you don’t have to start from scratch.
WHO THIS POST ISN’T FOR:
If this is your first time starting a newsletter and building an email list then you don’t have to worry about this post at all. One less step for you to have to read.
HOW TO IMPORT EMAILS
I have used MailChimp in the past and it is from this platform that I will walk you through the process for exporting a CSV file and importing it to Substack. In order to move your list from MailChimp to Substack you will want to transfer those emails. Since these two platforms don’t communicate with each other to make syncing the lists easy to do, the next best option is to download your list from MailChimp and import it to Substack using a CSV file. I’ll go into what you can do with a CSV file a little later.
NOTE: While I am showing you how this is done via MailChimp, the basic concept is the same and can be done in any other similar platform (ie. MailerLite, Convertkit, etc.).
Sign into Mailchimp and on the left hand side navigate to Audience —> All Contacts. See image below:
Just under the menu bar to the right you’ll find a button that says “Export Audience.” See image below:
On this page you’ll see an option to download your current list. Check the appropriate box and click the “Export as CSV” button. See image below:
Depending on how large your list is, it can take a while for the file to be available to download. An email will be sent to you when the file is available to download. It usually doesn’t take more than a few minutes. Keep an eye on your email and when the confirmation comes through click the provided link to download your file. If the file doesn’t immediately download make sure you don’t have a pop-up blocker active.
Now you will want to sign into Substack, navigate to your dashboard by clicking the Dashboard button on the top right. From there, select Subscribers from the menu options. From the Add subscribers by email page you’ll see two options for adding emails. The first is manually, which I’ll go into next, and the second option is importing. See image below;
The only kind of file you can import is a CSV file. You can either drag the file from your download folder onto the large square below the Add emails by uploading a CSV file section or click the Choose File button. Choice is yours. Once you do this, a box will appear with important information. First, it will tell you how many emails are in your file. There are two check box options. The first to send a welcome email to this list is optional, but you must check the second box that stipulates your list has opted in to receive your newsletter. If you do not check the second box then the “Import” button will remain greyed out. If you want to give this list access to your paid posts either for life or for a pre-set limit of time, you can do so by clicking the dropdown menu. See image below:
About halfway down the page you’ll see a list of “Your imports” and can watch in real time when your list is updated with the newly added emails. It will show you the date, total emails, emails added number, and the number of emails skipped. See image below:
With a CSV file you can open it using a spreadsheet program like Windows Excel or Apple Numbers program. I will occasionally open the CSV file if I have more than one that I want to combine into one file to make less files to import at one time.
Why might you have “skipped emails”? If you are importing files from various places like BookFunnel (group promo email growth opportunities) and MailChimp and other similar places, it is possible that the same person might be included in your various CSV files. Susbtack will not import an email you already have on your list. Which makes sense. And it’s good to keep an eye on your skipped number. If it’s ever higher than the emails added number then you may want to stop that service where you are using to bring in new emails, especially if it’s costing you money!
ADD EMAILS MANUALLY
I honestly don’t know any reason why you’d want to add an email manually, unless someone is asking you to add them in a moment when they are unable to do so? I find these moments to be few and far between. But, in the off-chance that you find yourself needing to add an email to your list, here is how you can do just that directly on the Substack site:
Sign into your account and navigate to your dashboard by clicking the button on the top right. From the menu bar select Subscribers. See image below:
Under the graph is another set of buttons to choose from. Click the “+ Add Email(s)” button. See image below:
From the Add subscribers by email page at the very top is where you can add emails manually. To add multiple emails simply add a comma after each one. If you have a paid subscription option and want to add these emails giving them access to your paid posts for free for a set amount of time, you can do so by clicking the drop down arrow where it says “free signup” to see the options ranging from a 7-day trial to a 1-year trial. There is even an option for a lifetime comp. For this process just leave it on the default. See image below:
Once you add an email in the blank field the “Add” button will appear. But before you click it, if you want to send these newly added emails your Welcome email, check the box just below the blank field. Now you can go ahead and click the button. See image below:
One last thing I wanted to mention is that unless you are actively using a service like MailChimp or BookFunnel you will likely not need to import CSV files very often. The majority of the time your list will grow organically, meaning people will hit your Subscribe button, wherever you have it, and get added to your list automatically.
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