We are using Exact Target for our email marketing system. We have some batch processes to send our user data to exact target on daily basis. We send data using ET SOAP api. To be specific, we send createRequestDocument object to ET; that document contains subscriber information. The subscribers are either created or updated if the request is successful.

In near future, the data that we will be sending to exact target is going to grow exponentially. We will be sending about 500,000 subscribers to ET almost daily. So, the SOAP API approach is not going to be efficient for that much amount of data.

Question: Is there a way for ET to update data from an FTP file that will be sent daily?

1 Answer 1


This may help. It is how we get data into Data Extensions from an FTP site. So long as all your logic is done on your side to generate a CSV, this would work. The steps would be (from within your ET account) 1. Create a File Transfer activity to bring the file into our data warehouse. 2. Create an Import Activity to import said file into your data extension of choice. 3. Create an Automation from with AutomationStudio to run 1&2 sequentially, either at set times or by an API trigger.

See http://help.exacttarget.com/en/documentation/exacttarget/interactions/activities/file_transfer_activity/



Hope this helps... Good luck!

  • thank you so much. But, I do not see any option to invoke automation using API trigger. Apr 2, 2014 at 19:00
  • That was my mistake. Its not an API trigger, per se. You can set up a folder that listens for a file drop to trigger the automation. Within automation studio, you can set it up under create automation -> Triggered Automation. This is actually better that having an API trigger!
    – Timothy
    Apr 2, 2014 at 20:11
  • Hi Timothy, we have a process that can put files into appropriate FTP directory. So, if I create an import activity and specify file format and location, that should be enough for automation right? So, in that case step 1 should not be required at all. Does that make sense? Apr 2, 2014 at 21:53
  • You would still want to use a FT Activity. This accomplishes two things: first, it moves the file from the folder marked as the trigger to the folder where the import activity is going to look. (Technically it would NOT be necessary if the triggered folder were the same as the import folder, but you can see what a mess that could potentially cause. The recommendation is that each trigger get its own folder.) Secondly, the FT activity will perform any necessary decryption. Have a look at help.exacttarget.com/en/documentation/automation_studio/… for more info.
    – Timothy
    Apr 3, 2014 at 13:13

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