Creating Custom Fields via CSV Upload

Note: This help article documents how to create custom fields via CSV upload. To learn how to use them in your campaign messages, check out Using Custom Fields to Personalize Your Campaigns.


When you’re creating a campaign and editing your audience, you can manually upload a file of subscribers with several audience attributes, like First Name, Last Name, Phone Number, Tags, and now, Custom Fields. Custom Fields enable you to dynamically insert personalized contact information in your campaign messages. Custom fields help your messages feel more relevant to your customers while also helping the text look and read like a one-to-one conversation. 

For example, an auto shop wants to include the make and model information for their customers in their campaign messages. When creating their CSV, they create a column titled “Make/Model,” and enter the corresponding information for each subscriber in each cell of that column. After uploading the file, Podium creates the custom field “:make/model;” and the auto shop can then use that field in their promotional texts. Each of their customers in that audience will only see their own make/model reflected in the body of the campaign, making the message much more relevant and personal. 

Keep in mind: When creating your CSV file with columns designated as custom fields, please make sure that all the cells in that column are filled out with data for each subscriber. Subscribers who have data missing will be excluded from your CSV upload, and thus excluded from receiving this campaign.

For an illustrated walk-through of that example, follow the steps below. 


1.  Open the campaign form, and click Edit next to the audience section.


2.  Select the Subscriber Upload option, and click Upload.


3.  Notice the example of a CSV table with a couple rows filled out with placeholder information. “Last Purchase” is an example of a custom field you could create. To further assist you in creating your own CSV with custom fields, you can download the sample file to see what the structure of your file would look like in a CSV format.


4.  Once your CSV file is ready, it’s time to upload. Click Choose file and select your CSV from your computer.


5.  Once it's uploaded, click Preview file.


6.  Podium will generate a table of the information found within your file. Double check that each column title matches the information found in the cells. Once the information matches, a blue check mark will appear at the top. In this example, First Name, Last Name, and Phone Number are matched already.


7.  In order to upload custom fields, like “Make/Model” and “Due Date,” they need to be designated as such first. Click on the column title, and select Custom field in the dropdown. Once you see the blue check, then that column is considered “matched.” Please note that any non-letter character in the field’s title will convert into an underscore (i.e. “Make/Model will become :make_model:).


8.  Once you’ve ensured your column titles are all matched to their content. Click Manage subscribers.


9.  You’ll then be able to add tags to this audience, but they’re not required. Tags are virtual labels that you can attach to subscribers in order to better organize and target your audience. If you add tags to this audience, the tags will apply to all subscribers in your uploaded file. 


10.  Then, select the locations that this campaign will be sent from. You can use each subscribers’ designated location, or you can assign one location for every subscriber. These changes will only affect this campaign. 


11.  Once you’re ready, click Summary


12.  On the Subscriber List Summary, double check that the information looks correct to you. Once you’re ready, click Ready to upload.


13.  Your file name will appear next to the “Upload” button. Click Finish to complete the audience step.


14.  On the review page, you’ll see your audience total. If your file is still processing, it will say “Processing…” with a percentage amount. Your campaign will be ready to send once your file is fully processed. Please note that if at any time you change your audience selection to anything other than your CSV file, your custom fields will not be available to include in your campaign message. Custom fields are tied to your file on a per campaign basis.