SFTP Connection


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. By allowing BlueConic to share information with other marketing platforms, you can create or enhance user profiles.

About BlueConic: BlueConic is a Customer Data Platform that harnesses the data required to power the recognition of an individual at each interaction, and then synchronizes their intent across the marketing ecosystem. Learn more about BlueConic.

You can use data from a 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.

Adding an SFTP connection

  1. Click Connections in the Navigation bar.
  2. Click Add Connection.SFTPconnection1.png
  3. A pop-up window appears. Check the Show all box. Enter “SFTP” in the Search bar.

    Click SFTP Connection.

  4. The SFTP Connection page opens.

    You can expand or collapse metadata fields (favorite, labels, description) by clicking the gray + or .

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. Check 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 an Import goal

Click Add goal > Import goal to create an import goal or click Import data into BlueConic  on the left panel to set import goals.

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.

  1. Define the files to import data from.
    Here you select the files that contain the data for import.

    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.

  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, set a custom date format, and select your time zone. Click Date and time preview to test if the date values in the detected files match your selected date format.
  3. Link identifiers between the files and BlueConic. 

    Here you link data from the SFTP import to BlueConic profiles. Select a data field on the left and choose either the BlueConic profile identifier or a BlueConic profile property that is a unique identifer to link together.


    Click Add mapping to create additional links.

    Check the Allow the creation of new BlueConic profiles 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.

    A warning message appears if the BlueConic profile property already exists and the import would save data into an existing profile property.

    You can select how to import the data from the Set drop-down menu:

    • Set
    • Set if empty
    • Add the data field to the list of existing values
    • Sum a number with the existing values (if the data field is a number)

    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.

  5. Run the connection. 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.

Setting an Export goal

Export data from BlueConic profiles to a CSV, TSV, or similar file through SFTP.

  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.


    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. BlueConic tries to export only the profiles that have changed since the last 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 Date and time preview 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.

    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.


  5. 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.



Running the SFTP connection

Tip: Make sure you have added Import and Export goals before running the connection.

  1. Turn the SFTP connection on.
  2. Go to the Authentication and run page. Scroll down to the Run history section.
  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 Screen_Shot_2018-03-15_at_2.14.53_PM.png. 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.

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.