SFTP Connection

How do I use the BlueConic SFTP Connection to synchronize CSV data with BlueConic customer segments?

The BlueConic SFTP connection synchronizes data from different marketing platforms and databases into BlueConic using delimited flat files (e.g. CSV files) on Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) servers. The files are retrieved from and stored at your SFTP server. This connection supports scheduled batch import and export, as well as importing BlueConic Timeline events and also groups such as households or accounts. By allowing BlueConic to share information with other marketing platforms, you can create or enhance user profiles.

About BlueConic: The BlueConic Customer Data Platform harnesses the data required to power the recognition of an individual at each interaction, and then synchronizes their intent across your marketing ecosystem.

You can use a BlueConic SFTP connection to:
  • Enrich BlueConic profiles with information like purchase history or predictive analytics segmentation (e.g. propensity modeling or lifecycle signals).
  • Create relevant interactions and enable right-time messaging.
  • Enhance features by analyzing behavioral data collected by BlueConic and profile data from other marketing platforms.
  • Import groups such as households, companies, accounts, etc.
  • Import Timeline events including customer order data
  • Add processors to transform or filter the data in your CSV files (e.g. normalize email addresses, do address resolution, etc.)

Adding an SFTP connection

  1. Click Connections in the Navigation bar.
  2. Click Add Connection.How do I create a BlueConic SFTP Connection to synchronize CSV data with BlueConic customer segments and profiles?
  3. A pop-up window appears. Check the Show all box. Enter “SFTP” in the Search bar.

    Click SFTP Connection.
    How do I create an SFTP Connection to exchange customer marketing and CSV data with BlueConic?

  4. The SFTP Connection page opens.

    You can expand or collapse metadata fields (mark this connection as a favorite, add labels, provide a custom description, or change edit rights) by clicking the gray + or .
    How do I import or export CSV data to BlueConic customer segments via the SFTP Connection?

Configuring an SFTP connection

Authenticating the SFTP connection and setting email preferences

  1. In the Set Connection title field, enter a descriptive title for the SFTP connection.
  2. In the Set up and run page, enter the SFTP server’s name.
  3. Enter the Port number used by the SFTP server. Usually, this value is 22.
  4. Enter your username for the SFTP server.
  5. Select an authentication method from the drop-down list: password authentication or public key
  6. If using password authentication, enter your password. If using public key authentication, drag and drop or upload your private key.
  7. Optional: Add email addresses for email notifications. Select the Notifications settings box if you would like BlueConic to send an email if an error occurs. You can then also check the box for BlueConic to send emails on successful runs.

Setting a Profile Import goal

Click Add goal > Import profiles to create an import goal or click Import profile data into BlueConic  on the left panel to set import goals for adding profile and event data.

  1. Select the SFTP source file(s) to import data from.
    Here you select the file(s) that contain your source data for the import. Use the green plus icon to expand file selection blocks.

    How do I import CSV data for customer profiles in to BlueConic?

    Tip: If you are importing events, such as order data, contained in several CSV files (for example, orders, products, profile data, etc.), select the file with Order event info first, and then link it to additional CSV files using the Connect (chain) icon.

    Use the Connect icon to choose how data in CSV columns should be linked together. For example, you might match customer profiles in the profiles file with the products file using matching order IDs.
    How do I import customer order data, refunds, returns, and exchanges into BlueConic customer profiles via CSV imports?
    Optional
    : You can also use regular expressions or wildcards to choose the files.
    Click OK. Continue adding files and linking their data columns as needed. Note that the Connect icon is red How do I connect order data with customer profiles in BlueConic CSV imports of transactional data?until linking is established correctly, and then turns clear. In this example, we are importing product order data from an Orders.csv file that is linked to Products.csv, Profiles.csv, and Postal Codes.csv. 

    How do I link customer profile data with product orders and postal codes in BlueConic CSV imports?
    If you select one of the files a lightbox opens with a preview of the file columns and contents.
    How do I import transactional data with privacy and consent management in BlueConic?
  2. Define file and field handling.
    Here you can specify how the files' fields should be handled by entering a field separator. This is usually ,, ;, or \t (for tab-separated files).
    Choose whether to use a point . or a comma , as a decimal separator for decimal or currency values.

    Optional: Click Show advanced settings for additional options. Here, you can enter a multi-value separator, choose a quote character (", ', or empty), set a custom date format, and select your time zone. Use the "Add .done suffix" option to append the suffix .done to the filename of files successfully imported, to help you know which files have been imported.
    You can also choose Click Preview date and time to test if the date values in the detected files match your selected date format.

    Optional: Use the Process CSV data field to add a data processor to filter or transform the data during the import. You can add a custom processor via the BlueConic Settings > Plugins page. For example, you can create a processor to normalize email addresses, filter data fields, or transform data during the import, before it is matched and mapped to BlueConic properties.
    How do I clean up data imports for BlueConic profile data to normalize email address, filter data fields, or transform data during a CSV import?
  3. Link identifiers between the SFTP files and BlueConic. 

    Here you link identifiers from the SFTP import to BlueConic profiles. Data without matching identifiers will be excluded from the import.

    How do I securely link customer profile data with imported CSV transaction data while maintaining customer privacy and consent in BlueConic?
    Click Add mapping to create additional links.

    Check the Allow the creation of new profiles in BlueConic box to create a new BlueConic profile if the data field doesn't match an existing BlueConic profile when the import runs. If the box isn't checked, only existing profiles are updated, and data that doesn't match BlueConic profiles will be ignored.

  4. Map the SFTP data fields you want to import into BlueConic.

    Here, you can configure which values should be mapped to which BlueConic profile properties. Click Add mapping, select a data field from the drop-down list, and select the BlueConic profile property it populates by entering a search term.
    Bulk mapping: If there are many fields to be mapped, BlueConic detects these fields and offers the option to "Add all detected fields."
    Add a prefix: You can optionally add a prefix to the BlueConic properties. If you set the prefix and then add an empty mapping, the right side automatically adds the prefix as well.
    How do I map customer profile properties for CSV data imports with the SFTP connection to BlueConic?

    A warning message appears if the BlueConic profile property already exists and the import would save data into an existing profile property.
    How do I make sure that CSV data imports are mapped correctly and correct errors that say Data will be mapped to an existing profile property?
    You can select how to import the data from the Set drop-down menu:

    • Set
    • Set if empty
    • Set or clear the value in the profile property if the CSV contains no value for this field.
    • Add the data field to the list of existing values.
    • Sum a number with the existing values (if the data field is a number).
  5. Optional: Import Timeline events into BlueConic.
    You can choose to import customer order data to BlueConic using either the default BlueConic Order event type, or using a custom Timeline event type you have already created with a plugin XML file. (Contact your BlueConic Customer Success Manager at support@blueconic.com for details.) You can map order details in the left column with order event properties, event date/time, and the event ID. 
    Learn more about BlueConic Timeline events.

    Use the checkbox to say whether order event details should be added to a Product store, which collects data to feed product recommendations. Select this box if you plan to create product recommendations based on which products have been bought most often or most recently.
    Learn more about BlueConic product recommendations.

    How do I import transactional data to a BlueConic customer profile's Timeline using order events and CSV file imports?
    Use the Add mapping button if you want to extend the mapping for each order to include additional, nested Order event details, such as additional products.

    How do I add nested product order data to BlueConic customer profiles and BlueConic customer timelines?
    Or use the Add Timeline event type button to add additional Timeline event types to the data import. Learn more about using Timeline events in BlueConic.

    Click Save on the top right corner of the screen to save your import goal.
    Optional: In the left panel, click Add goal and then Import goal to create another Import goal.

  6. Run the SFTP connection to synchronize your data with BlueConic. Check the box next to Import data into BlueConic in the left panel. A green arrow appears, going from the SFTP icon to the BlueConic icon. For detailed instructions on running the connection, skip ahead to Running the SFTP Connection.
    How do I run an SFTP Connection in BlueConic?

Note: If a file has already been imported and the file or connection configuration hasn’t changed, BlueConic won’t import the file again. BlueConic reimports a file if the file or the connection configuration has changed. To speed up the process, BlueConic will only import data that has changed since the previous import.

Setting a Profile or Event Export goal

Export customer profile data as well as Timeline event data from BlueConic profiles to a CSV, TSV, or similar file through SFTP. Click Add goal > Export profiles to create the export goal.

  1. Select a BlueConic segment to export profile data from. Only profiles in this segment with a value for at least one of the selected profile properties (from Step 4) are exported.

    In the top right-hand corner, the number of profiles available for the export appears.

    How do I use the SFTP Connection to export marketing customer segments and profile data from BlueConic to a CSV file?

    This number shows how many profiles meet the conditions for the selected segment (for example, they have an email address and gave required consent for an objective) and therefore are available for the export. This number of profiles exported may be lower than the number displayed here.

  2. Enter a directory for the exported files. View the files already in the directory in the Files detected table.

    Optional: Click Scan now to rescan the directory to retrieve updated files and data fields.

  3. Determine how to set up the files and their fields.

    Use the File name settings to select how to name the exported files. Click the Segment name + timestamp radio button to add a new file every time the export run. Click the Custom name radio button to replace the file with a newer version every time the export is run.

    Specify how the files' fields should be handled by entering a field separator. This is usually ,, ;, or \t (for tab-separated files).

    Specify whether your files use a point . or a comma , as the decimal separator to separate whole integers from fractional numbers.

    Optional: Click Show advanced settings for additional options. Here, you can enter a multi-value separator, replace BlueConic IDs with the file name, and compress the exported files, set a custom date format, and select your time zone. Click Preview date and time to test if the date values in the detected files match your selected date format.

  4. Map the BlueConic data you want to export into the file.
    How do I match customer profiles anndn events with marketing data in an SFTP Connection export to CSV data?
    Select BlueConic profile property by entering a search term and enter the data field value it should populate. Order mappings by grabbing the drag bar on the left side, this will be reflected in the order of the fields in the exported file.
    Click the BlueConic icon to open a drop down menu where you can switch between the type of information you want to export. Pick one of these options:
    • BlueConic profile identifier: The unique identifier for a profile.
    • Associated segments: All segments, or a selection of one or more specific segments that the profile is associated with.
    • Profile property: The value of a specific profile property.
    • All viewed interactions (all time): The interactions that the profile has seen.
    • Permission level: The permission level set in the profile.
    • Text value: Enter any static text.

      Does BlueConic export customer interaction data from profiles to my marketing stack using the SFTP Connection?

  5. (Optional) Export Timeline events to SFTP.
    If you have BlueConic Timeline events, you can choose whether to export events for profiles in the current export, for all event types or a single event type, for all time or a during a specific time period.
    When you run the connection, BlueConic creates a CSV file for each event type (for example, order.csv for the event type orders). If there are nested events (for example, products), BlueConic creates additional CSV files in the same directory for each nested event. Column headers in the CSV file are derived from the Event type definition. 
  6. Run the connection.

    If you want to create another Export goal, click Add goal and then Export goal in the left panel. Before running the connection, you need to Save your settings and turn the connection On at the top of the Connection window.
    When you check the box next to Export data into BlueConic, a green arrow appears, going from the BlueConic icon to the SFTP icon.

    How do I use the SFTP Connection to export data from BlueConic customer segments and profiles via CSV files?

Setting up a Group Import goal

To import data into BlueConic groups, such as households, accounts, companies, etc., click Add goal > Import groups and follow the steps outlined in the goal. The groups import option is available in the connection once you've set up a BlueConic group. If you want to use this capability, contact your BlueConic account manager.

Note: Existing BlueConic customers can use Group feature free of charge as long as your total data storage remains smaller than the amount that is allotted to your subscription. Please contact your Customer Success Manager at support@blueconic.com if you intend to use this feature, to ensure your subscription can accommodate your intended usage. We'll discuss your requirements and upgrade your subscription as necessary.

  1. Select a group type to import data to a BlueConic group.
    Use the drop-down menu to select from the group types defined for your BlueConic tenant.
    How to import group data into BlueConic for households, accounts, companies using the SFTP Connection?
  2. Select your SFTP directory and files.
    How do I create groups, accounts, and households in BlueConic using the SFTP Connection?

    Enter the directory that holds the files.
    Optional: Specify the files to be imported. You can use regular expressions or wildcards to choose the files.
    Optional: Click Scan now to rescan the directory. This retrieves updated files and data fields.

  3. Define file and field handling.
    Here you can specify how the files' fields should be handled by entering a field separator. This is usually ,, ;, or \t (for tab-separated files).
    Choose whether to use a point . or a comma , as a decimal separator for decimal or currency values.
    Optional: Clicking Show advanced settings lets you enter a multi-value separator, set a custom date format, and select your time zone. Click Preview date and time to test if the date values in the detected files match your selected date format.
  4. Link identifiers between SFTP files and BlueConic groups.
    Data that has no matching identifier will be excluded from the import.
    How do I import data into a BlueConic group, household, or account using the BlueConic SFTP Connection?
  5. Map the SFTP fields to the corresponding BlueConic group properties.
    Here, you can configure which values should be mapped to which BlueConic group properties. Click Add mapping, select a data field from the drop-down list, and select the BlueConic group property it populates by entering a search term.
    Bulk mapping: If there are many fields to be mapped, BlueConic detects these fields and offers the option to "Add all detected fields."
    Add a prefix: You can optionally add a prefix to the BlueConic properties. If you set the prefix and then add an empty mapping, the right side automatically adds the prefix as well.
    How do I map customer data to BlueConic households, accounts, and groups using the SFTP Connection?
  6. Run the connection.
    Check the box next to Import group data into BlueConic in the left panel, and save your settings. A green arrow appears, going from the SFTP icon to the BlueConic icon. Follow the steps in the next section to run the import.

Running the SFTP connection

Tip: Make sure you have added your import or export goals before running the connection.

  1. Turn the SFTP connection on.
    How do I run an SFTP Connection in BlueConic to synch data with CSV files?
  2. Go to the Authentication and run page. Scroll down to the Run history section.
    How do I see a run history or error logs for the BlueConic SFTP connection?
  3. To start the import and export manually, click the Run now button.
  4. To schedule the import and export for a future date, click the Settings icon How to schedule a BlueConic SFTP connection for import or export?. Select how to schedule the import by choosing an option from the drop-down list:
    • Every X minutes
    • Number of times per day
    • Days of the week
    • Days of the month
    • Weekday of the month

    Set a time for the import. Click OK.

Data exchange shows you the total number of unique profiles that have been imported or exported via the connection. Note that these are unique profiles. If the same profile is exported multiple times, it is counted as 1. In the example shown here, 103K profiles are being exported from BlueConic through the SFTP connection.

How can I tell how many BlueConic profiles are imported or exported via the SFTP Connection?

Privacy management

Connections can be added to Objectives, allowing for privacy management of the information that is being picked up. A connection will only process the profiles of visitors who have consented to at least one of the objectives that the connection is linked to.