Are you wondering when and how often new contacts can enter the program after a manual or recurring list import? This article explains what happens after an import and how to make sure your contacts enter the program as soon as possible.
Periodic and event-triggered contact entries
To ensure your newly qualified contacts enter the program as quickly as possible, the updates take place in two cycles: periodic and event-triggered. At least once a day, every program checks for any new contacts that qualify for entrance based on your entry settings. An event such as a list import or any profile data change triggers a program to add contacts outside of the periodic checks. The program can update the contact list multiple times a day, which ensures contacts move forward in a timely manner for sends and routing.
How long does it take for a program to enter new contacts? There are many factors, including:
- Selected entry method
- Database size
- Import job frequency and size
- Complexity of the query to isolate qualifying contacts
- Any current system or environmental issues that impede contact entry
Entry and list import timing
When you import new contacts to your database, the system starts to evaluate contacts that may qualify for all queries or sends across the platform, including programs. After the import is complete and there are contacts that meet your entrance criteria, the program adds contacts that qualify since the last cycle. This can include newly imported contacts or contacts whose profile data changed as a result of the import.
If an entrance has just recently completed, the new entrance is delayed to let all dependent processing complete before another entrance cycle can run. This ensures that all of the right contacts enter the program.
How to get new contacts added more than once a day
- Use a query that contains criteria for qualifying contacts as your contact source.
- Avoid scheduling recurring imports to occur every few minutes. The system needs time to complete the import, validate the data, and run the query to enter contacts into the program.
- Set your program entrance criteria to Continuously add while the program is active. This ensures that periodic entry cycles run as well as any triggered cycles from an import or profile change.
- If you add a contact to the database manually, the contact is added to the program as soon as it meets entrance criteria.
- If your import is only adding new contacts who are opting in to the database, use the event behavior: When a new contact opts in to the contact source associated with this program. This will trigger contacts to enter based on that event. Whether opted in via API calls or manually, they are considered to meet that entry criteria. You can use a query as the contact source together with an event trigger.
- You have another system that collects contact information and sends to Campaign using APIs. This data contains only new contacts opting in. To make the contacts enter your list quickly, use the database as your contact source and the Has opted in the database event behavior.
- You have a system that collects contact information for new and existing contacts and sends to Campaign using APIs. Use a query as your contact source to define any criteria the new or existing contacts need to meet. Then, set the entrance to Continuously add so that both new and existing contacts who qualify are entered.
If the time between import job completion and program entry is taking longer than 30 minutes, contact customer support for help.
Note: Program entry and sending a message don’t happen simultaneously. If the first object is a message step, without a defined send time on the step or using send time optimization (STO), it will send quickly within the same run cycle as entry. If there is a decision or other object before the step, the send is scheduled at the next program run cycle. For more info see this article: Configure event-triggered program entry.