Manually Import Email Subscribers Into Klaviyo

By Sean Ondes

Klaviyo is an email marketing powerhouse. Built for especially ecommerce sites, Klaviyo has dozens of powerful integrations with CRMs, email list tools, payment software, ecommerce software, helpdesk software, and a lot more.

Even with all these integrations, you might still have the need to manually import an email list into Klaviyo. They have you covered there too.

The use case that came up for me recently was the need to import email addresses and contact information that was collected using the WordPress plugin Caldera Forms. For some reason, neither Caldera Forms or Klaviyo has gotten around to integrating with one another.

1. Export your data as CSV file from whatever tool you used to collect them.

Most email collection and form building tools have an option to export data that’s been collected. This is the barest essential feature that you absolutely need. Without the option to export, you’ll have a ton of copying and pasting in front of you.

Klaviyo Uploads - Raw Data in Google Sheets
Klaviyo Uploads – Raw Data in Google Sheets

An export feature is so important that it should make or break your decision to use any tool. Without a built in integration to Klaviyo, public API, or an export tool, all your hard won data is basically stuck on your website.

2. Format your email list according to Klaviyo’s instructions.

Klaviyo requires that email lists are formatted to their specifications. The simplest way to do this for shorter lists is to format your exported CSV file with a spreadsheet tool such as Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. If you happen to have a very long list, rearranging columns can be more difficult. You might want to hire someone who’s comfortable working with larger spreadsheets.

Klaviyo Uploads - Reformatted Data in Google Sheets
Klaviyo Uploads – Reformatted Data in Google Sheets

Format your CSV file for Klaviyo

  • Each CSV file should represent an action or activity someone can take. For instance, “Purchased product”, “Signed up for webinar”, “Subscribed to a mailing list”. If you have more than one action to track, they should be uploaded as separate CSV files.
  • Each row in a CSV file represents a single action taken by one person. If a person does something multiple times, you should have one row for each time they did that action.
  • The first row of your CSV file should be a header row. This identifies the data found in each column.
  • You need to have one column labeled Timestamp. This column needs to have the date and time that row’s action occurred. You should format the date and time as YYYY-mm-dd HH:MM:SS. So 11:43 pm on November 27th would be 2019-11-27 23:43:00.
  • Klaviyo requires a column labeled Person//Email or Person//ID. These columns uniquely identify the person who took the action. If you use a Person//ID column, the data in that column should be a unique identifier for that person, such as their customer ID. At least one of these columns needs to be on your spreadsheet.
  • For any additional details about the person, it should go in another column with a label that starts with Person// and then the type of data that column has. For example, the company or organization each person belongs to should be placed in a column labeled Person//Organization. The special prefix tells Klaviyo how to store the data in that column and connect it to the person instead of the activity.These are Klaviyo’s special columns used to help identify people on your email list:
    • Person//Email — email address
    • Person//First Name — first name
    • Person//Last Name — last name
    • Person//Phone — phone number
    • Person//Organization — organization
    • Person//Title — job title
  • If there isn’t data for a particular column, you can leave it blank. Klaviyo will just ignore it. For instance, if you don’t know someone’s organization, you can leave the column for Person//Organization blank and we’ll skip tracking that property.
  • If you have additional data about each action, you can include it in extra columns with any labels you want. For instance, if someone purchases something, you could include that data in a column labeled Item Purchased or if you had a question on a signup form, the subscriber’s response could be included in its own column.

3. Upload your email list to your Klaviyo account.

Klaviyo Admin - Integrations
Klaviyo Admin – Integrations
Klaviyo Admin - CSV Formatting Instructions
Klaviyo Admin – CSV Formatting Instructions
Klaviyo Admin - Name your list and set the timezone
Klaviyo Admin – Name your list and set the timezone

Sean Ondes