Select Page

How to Solve 3 Common Contact List Challenges

Erika Garza
April 13, 2021
Common Contact List Challenges

Within your contact database lies your next repeat customer or referral. As a business owner, it’s one of your most valuable assets. So, is your contact database up to date and easily accessible?

For many business owners, the answer to that question is no.

But there’s good news: even if you haven’t kept your contact list updated and organized, you’ll likely discover that it’s been growing in various overlooked ways all along. It just requires a little digging.

Bonus Content: Grab a copy of our Email Marketing Roadmap.

Get It Now

Think about all of the places you might uncover contacts: forgotten email addresses, Excel spreadsheets saved on an old laptop, stray Post-it notes, your LinkedIn network…these are all places where a wealth of contacts could be waiting to be added to your list. And while knowing where to find your contacts is a good start, it isn’t the same as having them readily available.

We help business owners get their contact lists exported and organized every day. In this post, we’re sharing some of the common contact list challenges that business owners face and our solution for each one.

These are accounts of actual OutboundEngine customers.

Pro-tip: Manage all of your contacts in one place. Combine your address books, remove duplicates, and back it up.

Customer Challenge #1: Too Few Contacts

A new insurance customer came to us worried and uncertain about what to do with his sparse customer list of roughly 50 contacts kept in an Excel spreadsheet. As a self-proclaimed ‘tech-challenged’ agent, he had given up on building his list in Excel and hoped that we would solve the missing piece of the puzzle and help rebuild his database.

During his Onboarding Call, we collected his Excel contact list and discovered that he used Yahoo for both personal and business email. Off to a good start. We also noticed that he had a robust LinkedIn database encompassing his network of business partners, friends, family, past clients, and industry contacts. Score!

Feature Highlight: Our product team has been hard at work developing our latest Contact Import Tool. Easily import contacts from Gmail, Yahoo and other accounts with just a click.

Solution: Using our Contact Import Tool, we were able to gather his contacts from Yahoo, Excel and LinkedIn to grow his contact list from 50 to 515. He now has an organized, well-rounded database of contacts to keep in touch with. Going forward our import tool will allow him to keep his database up to date with a simple click.

Customer Challenge #2: Apple Contacts Export

Email servers and social media are great sources for exporting contacts (learn more here). But what if you don’t have either? That was the case for a new mortgage customer.

As a busy professional and mother of two, our customer was short on time and used her iPhone to run her business on the go. After exploring all of her options, she finally revealed that her contact were floating somewhere in “The Cloud”.

So, where exactly is this cloud and more importantly, how do you get to it? With the help of our Customer Success Team, exporting from iCloud is super simple. For curious readers, here are the instructions below:

    1. Go to and login to your Apple iCloud account.
    2. Click on “Contacts”
    3. Once you have made your selections, click the gear symbol in the sidebar.
    4. Choose “Export vCard”.
    5. Send the vCard (sometimes shown as a .vcf file) to your Customer Success Representative and we will convert it to a CSV for you and also upload them to your database.

Solution: Our customers receive unlimited support from our Customer Success Team and updating their database is a great way to take advantage of our service. Not only did we help uncover where her contacts were stored, we solved the mystery of “The Cloud”. After we exported from iCloud, our customer went from having no contact list at all to an organized database of 925 contacts in a matter of minutes. #solutionsnotproblems

Pro-tip: Update your contact list on a monthly basis to ensure you’re staying in touch with your current network.

Customer Challenge #3: CRM Export

CRMs (customer relationship management systems) like Top Producer, Salesforce, and Insightly are great tools for managing your growing contact database. But once your contacts are in the system, how do you get them out?

If you’ve ever tried to export contacts from your CRMs system, then you know that it can feel like hacking into a safe blindfolded. And don’t worry it’s not you, it’s the user-interface. Thankfully, our team is here to crack the code. Our Customer Success Team is familiar with several CRM systems and we’re happy to roll up our sleeves and bring our expertise to the table.

Reminder: Our team is familiar with several industry CRMs. Are you an OutboundEngine customer? We’re here to do it for you!

During onboarding, our real estate customer told us she’d finally given up and retreated after hours of battling with her CRM system without any progress. After throwing in the towel, she retired to watching Netflix, leaving her contacts locked away in the confines of her CRM. And while we love old episodes of Friends as much as the next person, we’d never want it to distract an agent from growing her business.

Solution: If there’s a CRM giving you trouble, we have a team member who can fix it. Before giving up on your contacts or resorting to adding each contact individually, reach out to us for assistance. In minutes, we were able to log into her computer, navigate through the Top Producer CRM and export all of her contacts into a .csv file. We also tagged each contact on the list as “Top Producer” to differentiate from other sources as she continues to grow to her contact database.


When it comes to contact list management, you’ve done the hard part. You’ve worked hard to build solid relationships and your book of business over time. Every customer’s database is unique, but regardless of your current situation, our Customer Success Team is here to help you surface, export and optimize your email contact list. A poorly managed contact list is a waste of time, and each misplaced contact is a missed opportunity to connect. If you’re looking for someone to get your contacts in order, we’re only a call away.


Almost There!
Get the latest Email Marketing Roadmap now.

Read Next

We write great emails

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of our blog, tailored for you.