This article explains how to bring VAN contact lists into your ThruText account to create ThruText groups. If you haven't set up your VAN integration yet, click here to learn how to get set up


Step 1: Set VAN Permissions

Your first step in moving lists from VAN to ThruText is to grant the ThruText API permission to access your lists in VAN. You can create a "folder" of lists and provide permissions at that level by editing your folder settings. Then create and save lists of contacts to that folder for your different targeting scenarios. Here's what those permissions settings look like in VAN: 

Step 2: Save List to Your Folder 

Once you've got your folder set up with the proper permissions, create lists in VAN that you want to move over to ThruText, and make sure they are in the proper folder. 

Be advised, your lists must be saved as fixed lists and NOT dynamic searches. The VAN API will not populate lists in ThruText from the VAN side if they are saved as searches.

Step 3: Import List

Next, head over to your ThruText account and navigate to the External Contact Lists menu in the account drop down. Click "New External Contact List" and then select either Voter File or Campaign saved lists.

Voter file saved lists will be populated with lists in the "My Voters" area of VAN. Campaign saved lists will be populated with lists from the "My Campaign" area of VAN. Find your list and click on the name:

Then, validate the list details and update your list name, if desired. Create the list.

Locate your list on the External Contact Lists management page. Create group will import and validate the numbers into a ThruText group. Sync will pull an updated copy of the list, if needed. Delete will purge the list from our systems. Select "Create Group" to build your group based on this integration file.

Step 4: Map Contact Data

Once on the group creation page, drop down boxes will appear to map contact file data fields to your ThruText group fields. The required fields are FirstName, LastName, and Phone Number.

FOR IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHICH PHONE FIELD TO USEYou will see multiple available phone fields from VAN. We recommend using the field labeled "Phone," which is also known as Preferred Phone in VAN.   


Next, map your VAN ID fields to enable ThruText survey questions to sync back to VAN. This step will determine from which side of VAN -- My Voters or My Campaign -- you will be able to sync ThruText survey questions when you launch a campaign targeted to the group you are importing. More information here

KEY NOTE: If you are importing a "Voter File" list, you must map VAN ID = VAN ID:

KEY NOTE: If you are importing a "Campaign File" list, you must map VAN ID = VAN Campaign ID:

Failure to map this data appropriately will impact your survey question synchronization to VAN.

Map any additional custom fields as required for your scenario.

PRO-TIP: Do NOT map your VANID or VAN Campaign ID to CanvassFilerRequestID. 

This is a common error in mapping that leads to a failed sync between ThruText and VAN. CanvassFilerRequestID is an ID that identifies your saved list file request from VAN. 


Step 5: Create group

Designate a Group Name and Country, review your data mappings, and then click the "Create Group" button:

Your group will process just as a CSV upload, and will change to status: Active when complete.

You can now use this group in the creation of campaigns.