Bulk add AO users AND send email

I’m trying to get the best of both worlds when loading new users into our AO account. I’m loading up 80 users and it appears I have two choices: click “Add Users” and enter 80 email addresses by hand, which would let me conveniently send auto-notification emails, or choose “Import users from file” which lets me load a bunch at once via spreadsheet, but then not have a way to notify them automatically with their login info and passwords.

Is it possible to do both somehow? I’d like to use the spreadsheet import, then send the login email with passwords through AO. I’d rather not have to type in 80 email addresses, but I’d also rather not have to send 80 followup emails with their passwords. Any assistance is appreciated!

10 Replies
Andrew Elder

Thanks, Christine. Unfortunately, I tried Gabe's method and got an error. I converting the column of emails from my ao-import.csv to their own .csv file then pasted it into the Add Users field in AO. I may have done something wrong there, as I still had to put a comma after each email address, but it didn't take too long. However, I keep getting an error that there appears to be a blank; " is not a valid email address". I've gone to the end and Deleted, gone to the beginning and Backspaced. I've since scrubbed it in Word to remove any gaps as well. No dice. Any reason why it might think I have blanks?

Christine Hendrickson

Hey Andrew,

Thanks for the information. Well, we're getting closer at least! First, you might want to take a look at this article and make sure there aren't any additional commas or any duplicate email addresses.

Also, make sure all the email addresses are in standard format, even if they're fake. 

If you take a look a that article and still see this error, please let me know. Maybe we can take a look at it for you and see what the issue is. 

Thanks!

Andrew Elder

Still no luck, but to bypass the problem, I loaded everyone up using the ao-online.csv Import, then sent an Invite to the course and manually typed in login instructions for the account which flowed right into the course instructions. Not perfect, but it got the job done. Thanks again for the help, Christine!

Gabe Anderson

Hey Drew-

My guess would be that you're seeing that error because Word may have added some weird extraneous characters that caused it to think you were adding an empty email address. As a best practice, I usually copy and paste from text editors (TextPad is my editor of choice on Windows) into web forms like this to make sure you don't get any Word weirdness (yes, that's a technical term ).

Andrew Elder

Ah-ha! I actually knew about that, and first did everything I could in Notepad. I only went to Word to try to something else. I manually bludgeoned the heck out of my list of emails (including manually removing every space, manually adding a space in after each comma, then pulling them up so they were side-by-side and word wrapped) so not sure what else I could have done. Fortunately, I made it work. Thanks for all the help EL Heroes!

Gabe Anderson

BTW, if you're using a text editor like TextPad, here's how you can easily add commas after each address if you copy and paste your column of email addresses from Excel into TextPad:

  1. Do a replace (F8).
  2. Find what: \n (that means line break).
  3. Replace with: , (comma followed by a space).
  4. Conditions: Regular expression.
  5. Click Replace All.
  6. Manually remove final trailing comma after last address.
  7. Copy and paste new comma-separated text list into AO or wherever else you need it.

Simple yet invaluable trick I learned way back when... maybe there are better methods out there, but this one has always worked well for me!

Gabe Anderson

Andrew Elder said:

Ah-ha! I actually knew about that, and first did everything I could in Notepad. I only went to Word to try to something else. I manually bludgeoned the heck out of my list of emails (including manually removing every space, manually adding a space in after each comma, then pulling them up so they were side-by-side and word wrapped) so not sure what else I could have done. Fortunately, I made it work. Thanks for all the help EL Heroes!


Cool. Glad you ultimately figured it out! That pesky Word isn't the greatest for dealing with pure text content or email lists. CSV and pure .txt docs are usually the way to go.

Andrew Elder

Y'know...I think that there was likely a trailing comma after my last email address, which would explain why it thought I was adding a blank at the end. I'm not going to try it again (don't want to double email the team) but it's good to know! Thanks, Gabe. You are a man of mustachioed wisdom.