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Can I migrate a large Outlook contacts list to Access and use it to manage 1M+ contacts?

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    Can I migrate a large Outlook contacts list to Access and use it to manage 1M+ contacts?

    For the last 20 years I have been using Microsoft Outlook to run my music marketing business. I have been using Outlook as my database. I currently have 20,000 contacts stored in Outlook, and almost a million more across a number of Excel files. My company is about to expand dramatically, and I want to create a new, more flexible and powerful database before that happens.

    I need a database that:

    • Will be able to handle millions of contacts.
    • Can be used by multiple users – 5 to 20 seems reasonable to start.

    MAILINGS
    • Currently, in order to send mass emails I have to export a csv from Outlook to Sendy, an external newsletter service installed on my Wordpress server which sends emails via my Amazon AWS SMTP account. I need a database from which I can conduct mass mailings directly – without exporting and uploading CSVs across two platforms.
    • I need to be able to send individual emails directly from the database a la Outlook, at the same time as mass email campaigns are underway.
    • I need a highly customizable mass email solution, with the ability to customize the emails by pulling text customize the emails with personalized data pulled from any data field the contacts have (first name, location, etc).

    DATA POINTS
    • Adding custom data fields to Outlook is cumbersome. I need a database where I can easily add data fields as I see fit.
    • I need the data to include correspondence information such as Date Last Emailed, Date Last Responded, Date Of Last Email Open, and a way to easily view all our correspondence with a contact.
    • I need to be able to set reminders on contacts.

    STORING/CREATING CONTACTS
    • We regularly receive lists of emails in the form of simple columns. Converting these into Outlook contacts is also very cumbersome. I need to be able to take a column of emails and with one paste, add them all to the database.
    • I need to be able to group individual contacts by Company, in the same manner as Microsoft Outlook’s Contact Groups.
    • Our website has a page where DJs can download tracks from our artists by entering their contact info. I need this information to automatically be entered into our database, and all duplicate info detected and excluded. I need to be able to send automatic pre-written emails to the people who give us their email addresses through this form.

    SEARCHING CONTACTS
    • A fast and intelligent search function is critical.
    • I need to be able to paste in a simple column of emails, and have all their contacts come up automatically in one view.
    • I need to be able to search the database by multiple data fields, for example “search all EDM-related contacts that live in Texas and have replied in the last year”
    • I also need to be able to do so while excluding certain results, for example “search all EDM-related contacts that live in Texas BUT EXCLUDE all contacts that have replied in the last year”
    • Searches need to be performed fast, for all users, not just the user with the data locally stored.


    CHARTS
    I need to be able to create different visual charts based on the data in my contacts. For instance, being able to view them all on a map by location. Pie charts, graphs, etc.

    HANDLING CONTACTS
    • I need duplicate emails to automatically be detected.
    • I need to be able to easily edit multiple contacts, for instance, easily turn all caps to sentence case, delete punctuations and erroneous characters, etc.
    • I need contacts that unsubscribe to automatically be updated as such

    I’m very familiar with Outlook and Office in general. A big part of my business involves converting Excel sheets of contact data into contacts I can easily communicate with and keep tabs on. As such, I would much prefer that all my needs are handled within the Microsoft ecosystem as opposed to migrating to a totally new technology, or at the very least continuing to use Outlook as an interface. If that is not possible, please let me know which of my new database needs I’d have to sacrifice in order to continue with Microsoft. I’m open to moving to a new technology but only if it’s necessary.

  2. #2
    Forum Moderator alansidman's Avatar
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    Re: Can I migrate a large Outlook contacts list to Access and use it to manage 1M+ contact

    Suggest you look at this: https://support.office.com/en-gb/art...b-9031498c568e

  3. #3
    Forum Guru MarvinP's Avatar
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    Re: Can I migrate a large Outlook contacts list to Access and use it to manage 1M+ contact

    Hi dunndealpr,

    You can Export your Outlook contacts to a Comma Separated Values (CSV) file that can be imported into Excel or Access. Once in Access you can do all those database things faster than Outlook.
    One test is worth a thousand opinions.
    Click the * Add Reputation below to say thanks.

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