Jan 19, 2007

Exporting from Apple Address Book

A lot of people ask us how they can export their contacts from Apple Address Book
into MailChimp.

Apple’s Address Book doesn’t have any built-in exporter tool, so if you’ve been racking your brain trying to find it, you can stop now. It’s not there.

You’ll need an add-on utility to help you export. There are several to choose from…

The one I’ve used is:


It lets you export your contacts into a tab-delimited .txt file.

After that, you can open that .txt file in Microsoft Excel, so that you
can re-arrange the columns to match your MailChimp database. For example, if your signup form is in this order: Email, Fname, Lname, Title, then your Excel file’s columns need to be in that order too. Once you’ve got the columns rearranged, simply copy-paste the data into MailChimp.

If you like that exporter tool, consider donating a buck or two to that guy via PayPal. C’mon, he deserves it.

Here’s the most important thing you need to know about all this:

Don’t ever just import your entire address book. That’s because not
everybody in your address book is a client or has a business
relationship with you. Look at it closely. You’ll find people you
haven’t spoken with for 10 years. You’ll probably find a few orders-at-amazon.com
email addresses, and maybe the tech support person at your ISP is in
there too. If you send an email to those people, you will get reported for
spamming, and we will spend countless hours trying to convince those
guys it was a simple mistake (yes, this has happened before).

Look through the list and make sure you don’t have any accidental emails in there. In particular, scan for "webmaster@" or "sales@" or "info@" accounts. Those are probably emails that got automatically added to your address book.