What is a CSV file and why do you need to know all about it?
Don’t worry, although it sounds highly technical and difficult, it’s quite easy to comprehend and utilize to your advantage. Namely, a CSV file or Comma Separated Values file is a file that contains numbers, letters, and structures such as tables or tabular forms, exclusively.
Why do you need it?
Such files are normally designed to carry and swap data, and lots of it, between various applications. Analytical programs and databases, as well as other programs that rely on a large amount of data typically utilize this file format.
How do I open and edit such files?
In general, any type of spreadsheet application can open and work with such files. Free ones that we can recommend would include OpenOffice Calc or Kingsoft Spreadsheets. Additionally, programs like Notepad++ or GenScriber can open CSV files, but if they’re large in size you and the app might struggle. Of course, Microsoft Excel supports CSV files, though the program is not free to use.
Note of caution about CSV
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What you must keep in mind when editing and/or working with CSV files (no matter the application you use) is that CSV files will allow you to only modify data in the first sheet of your document. It doesn’t provide support for multiple sheets. What this means in practice is that the recently used and edited sheet will be saved, while the others will be discarded. This limitation is more a limitation of the software itself than the file type.
CSV you and me
SelfAdvertiser has recently introduced some new features that utilize the power of the CSV file in order to make your life much easier. Understanding that successful marketers work with multiple campaigns and that the need for organization and easier work is growing daily, the self-service platform for advertisers utilizes the CSV file in order to help you update or create your own campaigns in bulk without directly going through the platform. Offline work will be much easier with the power of the CSV file.
We would recommend that you download all your campaigns into a CSV file, which will contain all your campaigns data. If you decide to use that file to edit your campaign data and then you upload it back onto the platform, all of your campaigns will be updated using the new inputs that you have made. Of course, you can start with a blank CSV file and fill in data, which will, in essence, represent your campaign. Keep in mind that each row in the file will represent one campaign.
When you use the Export function, the campaigns are given a unique ID, through which you are able to track each one of your campaigns. If you create a new campaign the system will provide it with a new unique ID number.
SelfAdvertiser terms this new configuration of their upload system the “bulk” upload. Though it makes it easier for you, you still need to keep in mind the limitations of the CSV file and the fact that values must be delimited by a comma (“,”).
Download a CSV file with all your campaign data, or use an empty template
You can download a CSV file that has all the campaigns’ data in it, edit your campaigns in it and then upload it back. In order to export your existing campaigns into a CSV file, navigate to Campaigns, click on ‘Download CSV’ button and choose ‘Download Campaigns’. In order to export the campaigns of a specific group, navigate to a specific group, click on ‘Download CSV’ button and choose ‘Download Campaigns’. Another option would be to download an empty template and use it to create your new campaigns. The empty template can be found if you navigate to ‘Tools’ > ‘CSV Campaign Update’ and on the right side of the screen, look for ‘Did You Know?’ Click on ‘Download a CSV template’ and start filling in your empty template.
Uploading a CSV – How-To
As theFAQ of SelfAdvertiser states, in order to upload the file, you need to follow these steps:
- Navigate to ‘Tools’ > ‘CSV Campaign Update’.
- Click on the ‘Upload CSV File’ button.
- Choose a CSV file to upload.
- Review the information on the Preview screen.
- Press the ‘Update/Create Campaigns’ button in order to complete the upload and update/create process.
In case you have errors in the file, you should fix them and upload the file again in order to be able to complete the update/upload process.
*Steps taken from SelfAdvertiser FAQ
The approval process at SelfAdvertiser.com will not be affected by how you upload your campaign, either through the CSV file or the dashboard on the site. The mandatory approval process has to be honored. Other limitations that the CSV file carries at SelfAdvertiser are as follows:
- The CSV file update functionality is currently available for Pay-Per-View (PPV) campaigns and Domain Redirect campaigns, but not for Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns.
- Some advanced capabilities, such as Carrier Targeting and Day-Parting, which are available when creating or updating campaigns in the platform, are not available using the CSV file update.
- When editing a downloaded file, it must be saved as a CSV (Comma delimited) file only.
- Excel limits the number of characters per one cell to 32,700. If you have a long black/white list or a long KW list, make sure it doesn’t exceed 32,700 characters.
- When creating or editing a Whitelist campaign, it is not allowed to add blacklisted sources.
- When creating a new campaign, it is not possible to choose both Traffic Types: Full page PPV and Domain Redirect. You should select either Full Page PPV (TRUE) – which means domain redirect will be FALSE, or Domain redirects (TRUE), which means that Full page PPV will be (FALSE).
- The same as in the platform, a whitelist campaign can’t be changed into a blacklisting campaign and vice versa.
Text is taken from SelfAdvertiser FAQ
We would further encourage you to visit the FAQ page in order to get acquainted with the values, some of which are mandatory when it comes to creating your campaign through the CSV file exclusively and/or editing the one you have downloaded.
SelfAdvertiser as a partner shows a lot of professionalism in their approach when it comes to delivering the ads that you need to gain a stronger foothold in your niche. Besides having tremendous customer support and your own account manager, neat options such as bulk upload of campaign further sweeten the deal. Though the CSV file type has been around for quite some time, utilizing it in your everyday work with campaign management will only help you declutter your workspace and engage more fully with the work that you do.