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Assign Contacts to Marketing Lists Using Excel

Our Import Tool automatically imports leads or contacts from a spreadsheet and adds them to a marketing list – here’s the link to our Import Tool article. However, if you need to use CRM’s native import feature for some other reason and want to add the imported leads/contacts to a marketing list, here’s how.

Step 1: Import your Contacts and Create your Marketing Lists

Import your Contacts using CRM’s Import Data Wizard and create your Marketing Lists in CRM.  Once your Contacts and Marketing Lists are in CRM, you will create connections between them to tell the CRM which Contacts go with which Marketing Lists.

Step 2: Set Up an Excel Spreadsheet

Set up an Excel spreadsheet with two columns, one being called “Connected From” and the other “Connected To.” Make sure that these are the only two columns in your Excel file to prevent uploading errors.  Add your Contact’s first and last names under “Connected From” and your Marketing Lists under “Connected To.”  If you have a contact that belongs in more than one list, the contact should appear on multiple rows.  Save the file as a CSV file.



Step 3: Import the File

In CRM, navigate to Settings > Data Management > Imports, choose Import Data, and select the file you just created.  Upload your CSV file using the Import Data Wizard.  Click Next until you see the Map Record Types screen.  Select Connection as the Microsoft Dynamics CRM record type.


Click Next until you reach the Review Settings and Import Data screen, then hit Submit. Your connections will be imported, and click Finish.

Step 4: Manage Marketing List Members

CRM now recognizes a connection between your Contacts and their Marketing Lists.  You now need to add the Contacts to each of the Marketing Lists.  In CRM, navigate to Marketing > Marketing Lists and open one of your Marketing Lists.  Click Manage Members, select Add using Advanced Find, and click Continue.

When the Advanced Find opens, click Select and scroll down to the Related items at the bottom and choose Connections (Connected From).  Another level will appear below.  Click Select and choose Connected To.  Change Equals Current User to Equals.  Click the search icon that appears when you hover over Enter Value.



Step 5: Select the Marketing List

In the dropdown menu next to Look For, select Marketing List.  Marketing List Lookup View will appear next to Look In.  Search for the name of the current Marketing List and choose it from the list by clicking in the checkmark column.  Click the Select button to move the Marketing List to Selected Records.  Click Add.  This populates the field in your Advanced Find with the correct Marketing List.  Click Find.



Step 6:  Add All Members to the Marketing List

The search returns all Contacts that are connected to this Marketing List.  Select Add all the members returned by the search to the marketing list. Select Add to Marketing List.

The appropriate Contacts now appear in the Marketing List.  Repeat Steps 4 through 6 with each of your Marketing Lists to add their members.

Written by Kellany Mathis, ClickDimensions Marketing Success Manager


About the Author:

Kellany Mathis is a ClickDimensions Marketing Success Manager.


  1. Flavien October 23, 2017 at 6:23 am - Reply


    It seems very useful but I haven’t succeeded to do it yet.
    When I import my CSV file the import wizard data tells me that there is only one column in my file.
    Then I go to delimiter setting and I change comma by semicolon I can import my data.
    The two column connected from and connected to are found.
    But at the end it doesn’t find any member connected to the marketing list.
    Can you please help me with this issue ?

  2. Phathi Ndlovu-Fraser December 12, 2017 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    Any updates on this question? I am encountering the same issue.

  3. Stig October 24, 2018 at 5:30 am - Reply


    What if you wan’t to do the opposite, unassign list members using Excel?

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