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Act-On Software

Managing Extended Lists


Act-On's Extension Lists feature allows you to upload additional contact data to append onto your existing Marketing lists.

Extension lists may contain additional contact profile information, such as subscription preferences or transaction history, or general information, such as account, product, or geographical data.

These additional lists of data are uploaded as Extension lists. Once uploaded into Act-On, they can then be joined to individual Marketing lists to create Extended Lists. Extended lists are defined by identifying unique keys in the Marketing list and Extension list – the columns in each list that contain the same kind of information.

Upload an Extension List

The first step is to bring your additional data into Act-On. To upload this data as an Extension list:

  1. Click the Contacts menu on the left of your Act-On account, and click Extension Lists. If this option isn't available, you can contact support to request it.
  2. Click the New button at the top of the page, and upload your list.

Unlike a regular Marketing list upload, uploading an Extension list does not require you to have an email address field, since the list may contain information that does not directly correlate to an individual contact, such as product data.

Define an Extended List on Your Marketing List

Once you have uploaded the Extension List, you join its data to one or more of your Marketing lists. This is referred to as an Extended List. To create an Extended List:

  1. Hover over your Marketing list, click on the drop down menu, and then choose Define Extended List.
  2. Give a name to the Extended list in the Extended List Name field. The Extended list will appear just like a segment below your Marketing list.
  3. Click on Add Lookup Column and add the following information:
    • Extension List to Look Up – the Extension list containing the information you want to access for the contacts in your Marketing list
    • Marketing List Column to Extend – the column in the Marketing List containing the data that matches the Lookup Column (below)
    • Lookup Column – the unique key column in your Extension List containing the data that matches the Marketing List Column to Extend (above)
      • This column must not contain duplicate values
      • The unique value in this column will be matched to every record in your Marketing List with this same value
    • Joined Column Prefix – once the Extended list is defined, a prefix of your choice is added to each of the column names from the Extension list, so that they are uniquely identifiable when choosing the columns in segmentation and in message personalization
  4. Advanced use: You may repeat the above steps for any additional columns in your Marketing list, if additional lookup fields are desired.
  5. Personalization fields: Once you have defined the lookup columns, you can see what the modified column names will be in your Extended list. These columns will also be available when inserting personalization variables into a message, and when defining list segments.
  6. Once you have finished, click Save.

Your Extended list will now appear nested under the selected Marketing list. Opening it will show all of the extended data, with the modified column names, for each contact.

Extended lists have most of the same available actions as the main Marketing list, including the ability to create segments.

Update the Extension List

You can update the data in your Extension lists at any time. For example, transactional data may change frequently. Updated information will automatically be displayed in the related Extended list connected to a Marketing list.

You can update the data in your Extension list in two ways:

  • Manual updates, through the Append to this List feature – Use the Append to this List option on the Extension list to manually upload an updated Excel or CSV file into your list at any time. Follow the Append to this List steps in the article Adding Records to an Existing List.
  • Scheduled automatic updates, through FTP Sync – The FTP Sync feature allows you to scheduled automatic updates of your Extension list. Contact Act-On Support if you do not have the FTP Sync feature enabled. Follow the FTP Sync steps in the article Importing a List from the FTP Site.
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