Bulk Subscribers.add

Well done on the integration between CM and Mail Build.

The only thing missing is the ability to allow my clients to import a new list of contacts with each campaign they send.

Has the ability to allow the bulk import of subscribers via the api been discussed?  If so, any time frame on when this feature may be available?


Jim Starace

Phil Phil, 8 years ago

Hi Jim,

Apologies for the delay in answering this. API bulk imports is a feature we've discussed, but it hasn't percolated to the top of the priority list just yet.

If you could tell us a little more about why a client would need to import a new list of contacts for every campaign that would be helpful. Most people use the API to add (in small quantities) to existing lists, all of which can be used for sending. For lists which aren't prohibitively large, you can write code to cycle through a client's list and simulate a bulk import. The option of importing large batches through the application also exists.

If you had the ability to create a list via the API, would the need to do bulk imports diminish?

If you prefer, feel free to contact us via support:

paulmasri, 8 years ago

Hi Phil,

We want to use CampaignMonitor as our mail engine for a database-driven app that we're creating. We will have a search facility in our app that will generate a search-specific list of recipients each time. For this reason we need to be able to 'empty a list' (or 'create a new list') and bulk add.

Is there a time-frame on the following functions:
create a new list (and delete a list)
empty a list
bulk add

Many thanks,

Danny Withsborough, 8 years ago

I agree with the TS.  We would like to see this feature for the same reaons.  Client matches profiles on his CMS, profiles get an email "Hey you, we've got this new opportunity for you.".  No need to send every client on an existing list a product "yellow" when they are in the "red" zone.

Thanks guys!

Phil Phil, 8 years ago

G'day guys,

Thanks for the feedback, it's much appreciated. We are currently prioritising an upcoming series of API improvements, and this is on the list. Can't promise you a timeframe at this stage, but it shouldn't be too far away.

We'll keep you posted.

jharper, 8 years ago

We'd very much like to be able to create a list of subscribers in one API call as well.

Our clients need the ability to query for a very specific criteria of people to email.  The product of these queries is a one-time list of users to email... an ad hoc set of emails that changes for every query. 

A backend thread to cycle through individual Subscriber.add requests, for each email on the list, is a tedious solution for us.

Thanks for a phenomenal service, and thanks for listening to our needs.

kameleoncms, 8 years ago

Hi Guys,

I was wondering whether there has been any movement on the bulk subscriber add API method? 5 months is a lot of quiet time....!

Alex D, 8 years ago

Seems to me that if you are using a CRM to come up with a custom search for sending out a particular email blast, that creating a new list and sending to that is the wrong approach. In this model, you would delete the list and create a new one for the next blast. You would loose a lot lot of tracking data this way as well as the ability for the user to unsubscribe.

I think it would be better to have your CRM synced to one MASTER list in CM, and then have some way to set a flag on a custom variable in that list, such as "Flag = true"

You could then have a segment based on that custom field.

In this way the user would still maintain the ability to unsubscribe from the MASTER list. Something that is very important from both a legal and moral stand point.

What we would need for this would be some sort of calls to batch update a custom field.
1) Set "flag" on all members to "false"
2) send batch of members to flag as "true"

This could be done now with the API, but you would have to iterate through the whole list one at a time.. A solution that is not at all viable for most users lists...

So my vote is for a "Batch Update" function.


Alex Duffield - Owner
InControl Solutions
banderson, 7 years ago

Just curious, has there been any new activity or discussions about this topic? Campaign Monitor seems ideal for everything I want to do, but this is the only obstacle!

We are looking to integrate with our app, but without being able to synch subscriber lists behind the scenes has been a show-stopper! Any advice?

Blake, 7 years ago

Hi all,

Thanks for your votes, we're definitely taking note of your feedback and this is something we're looking at for a future release. At the moment we still can't give a time frame on when this might be available, but it's on the list.

Marc Love, 7 years ago

I'd like to add my name to the growing list of people who need this functionality.

Our application gives our clients the ability to create custom sub-groups of their users/subscribers via filters on a plethora of user demographic data and then save those sub-groups via tags.  Our clients need to able to access those tags when determining who receives what communications.

It seems like the ideal implementation (at least for our purposes) would be the ability to bulk add/set custom fields via the API, but bulk adding of subscribers to lists via the API would work as well.

Either way, the inability to create new groups of subscribers (or subgroups of existing subscribers) through the API is a huge downside for an otherwise excellent product.

JSJ, 7 years ago

This feature is needed by many and represents a big gap between CM and other solutions which almost universally provide for this. Because this feature is not available, I am forced to consider alternative solutions.

RussellW, 7 years ago

Yes Batch updating is a must for our integration too. The idea of having a master list and then somehow flag those to be emailed in a particular run would be favourite.

PhilMcK, 7 years ago

Hi Guys,

I've been monitoring your excellent product over the last year or two, and I have to echo the above requests for a bulk upload and update API methods. The bulk upload to get the initial data up to your system, and/or a bulk update for custom segmentation. This is also something we'd require to be able to consider a move to Campaign Monitor. I'd have to agree that it is a feature that is propvided by a lot of other ESPs.

I noticed that your CampaignCreate method accepts a URL to the html content, what about adding a parameter to accept a URL to a list of email addresses to include in the campaign? It's only a suggestion, but might fit well with your platform. All the best, Philip.


liquidmagic, 7 years ago


I have been trying to use the API for bulk addition of emails to lists but cycling through the emails that I want to add takes for ever for some reason.
A true bulk import form csv would be appreciated!

Thank you,

Mathew Mathew, 7 years ago

Thanks for voicing your interest, I've added your votes too.

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robinm, 7 years ago

Hi there,

We resell campaign monitor as CatchMail http://catchmail.co.nz and have been working around the lack of a Bulk add feature for a while. We have a number of customers who could really benefit from a batch update function, at the moment we have to either add them one address at a time or do it by hand through the GUI.

Add my vote!

Also, another synchronisation feature that would be really awesome would be to allow a URL to be called by a webhook when someone subscribes, unsubscribes or changes their details.


RussellW, 7 years ago

This is a subject that has been doing the rounds on this forum for quite a while. It is covered further in a post I made "Defining who receives an email" - http://www.campaignmonitor.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=3104. I was asked for more info, which was provided but nothing from CM since.

There seems to be quite a call for this and should by now have percolated to the top of the API list. The general thing is that if you develop a CRM system then the customers are managed by that and not CM. The lists, segements and selections available in our system are endless so we need a way to define a campaign and who receives it - and it will almost certainly not be an existing CM list/segment.

Simply we want to use CM as a way to send out email campaign and provide tracking, unsubscribes etc, but not be THE list manager.

If there is a reason why this can't be provided in the API, let us know and we'll stop nagging :-)



hassan, 7 years ago

Just started testing CM to determine if it is the right solution for us. We have a huge number of clients.  A few of them have their contacts in their databse and want us to update CM list every night with new contacts.  We are talking about up to 5,000 new subscribers for some clients once or twice a month.  I tried to test the API with a method call to AddWithCustomFields.  It added 41 subscribers in 20 minutes then timed out!!  That really is a joke.

hassan, 7 years ago
Phil :

G'day guys,

Thanks for the feedback, it's much appreciated. We are currently prioritising an upcoming series of API improvements, and this is on the list. Can't promise you a timeframe at this stage, but it shouldn't be too far away.

We'll keep you posted.

Phil, are we on the same planet.  In this one where I live a year is a fairly long time :-).  I am struggling to promote CM here but the lack of API bulk insert is making it very hard.  As far as I am concerned it is a very simple change.  The method will need to take an XML file containing a list of Contact nodes each with the correct attributes.  Do what you do when we upload a CSV file.  Return an xml file containing total inserted successfully and the list of bad contacts if any.

issaco, 7 years ago

hassan if there was a like button below your post I would click it !

SteVader SteVader, 7 years ago

I have to say that the addition of some kind of bulk update for subscribers via the API would ease my current task considerably to say the least. So a big plus one to all of the sentiment expressed above. I'll admit to having taken for granted that such a function would already exist (especially considering the existing CSV import from the regular admin interface). Only now that I've come to start developing have I discovered the seemingly obvious omission.

Hopefully this client's list numbers will be low enough to be dealt with by individual Subscriber.AddWithCustomFields calls.

Ben Ben, 7 years ago

Thanks for the feedback guys, we're definitely taking it on board. The delay in adding this has mainly been caused by the fact that we've been making some changes to the in app bulk import process behind the scenes, and have been holding back on adding API support until those changes have been made.

I can't put a timeframe on when this will be added but your requests certainly have put pressure on us to move it up the development roadmap.

sob, 7 years ago


You can count my vote as well!

We are using CM for our main product already and minor bulk operation (around 500 email addresses) works fine. But now we are getting more and more feedback when our clients want to add more than 1000 addresses. At the moment we have do it by hand using csv import. Business wise, it's not really worth doing...

- juha

MightyQuinn, 7 years ago

I have a retail client who wishes to synch their POS system with Campaign Monitor acting as the master communication list.  Periodically I would like to push client data from the POS in batches of several thousand at a time, and one by one requests will be prohibitive.  Also, it would be helpful to do a bulk update of custom fields, because sometimes customers move, change other details.

Please please please - may we have a bulk/batch feature :-)

Sincerely - oh, and great service, btw - my clients love it!

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