FTP Setup Guide

  • Updated

Act-On supports using FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to import and export contact lists. You can schedule data transfers in and out of Act-On to keep your records up to date. 

Looking to create, import, or export a marketing list from FTP? You may want to see our Marketing List FTP Sync User Guide instead.

Looking to import to All Contacts from FTP? See FTP Import to All Contacts.

Do you want to reset your FTP password? This article can guide you through that process.

Essentials to Get Started

  • FTP enabled on your account
  • An FTP client to connect to Act-On and transfer files
  • List data in .csv, .xls, or .xlsx format

Note: Only admin users can make changes to your FTP connector. Please log in as an admin user before following the next steps.


  1. Navigate to Settings > Connectors
  2. Click on Data Sources, then click FTP 
  3. Click Connect (Your FTP Username is generated for you and cannot be changed)
  4. In the Password field, create a password and save it for future reference
  5. If you are going to use PGP encryption, click to toggle Enable PGP on and enter the following: 
    • PGP Private Key
    • Private key passphrase (optional)
  6. Click Set Password

To obtain a PGP private key and passphrase, you must first set up PGP encryption. Read more about setting up PGP Encryption.

FTP Client Configuration

Use the following configuration settings for your FTP client:

Site Name Act-On
Host/IP/URL This varies by region:
  • US/West: ftp2.actonsoftware.com
  • IE: ftp4.actonsoftware.com
  • DE: ftp5.actonsoftware.com
  • CA: ftp-ca.actonsoftware.com

If you do not know the region for your account, you can locate your FTP host in Act-On by going to Settings > Connectors > Data Sources > FTP.

Port 21
Connection AUTH TLS
Mode Passive


Configuring Core FTP (optional)

Act-On recommends the Core FTP client to transfer your data to your Act-On account. This is a free client available for Windows operating systems. If you would like to schedule exports from Act-On, you can use CoreFTP Pro.

  1. Download and install CoreFTP (free version) here: http://www.coreftp.com/
  2. Open the application, and you will see the Site Manager
  3. Enter the settings noted in General Configuration above
  4. Go to Advanced Settings:
    • General: Legacy Mode is checked
    • Connections: Use Port Range 60,000 - 62,000
    • Encoding: Auto/ANSI selected 
    • SSH:
      • Use Legacy protocol options
      • Simulate ASCII mode for SFTP

Using FTP with Act-On

File Types

FTP sync is intended for Marketing Lists. Only .xls, .xlsx, or .csv files will import to your account. We highly encourage you to upload .csv files as they will provide the best performance.

Data Transmission

Act-On’s FTP server transmits data using FTP over TLS, with TLS 1.2 preferred.


Authentication is performed using AUTH TLS. Your password is encoded before transmission to Act-On - credentials are never sent in plain text.

PGP Encryption (optional) 

Within the FTP connector settings, you can add PGP encryption when transferring your marketing lists. With PGP enabled, Act-On will require a private key for all marketing lists for that account. If a marketing list fails decryption because it is either unencrypted or encrypted by a non-matching public key, you will see an error from the server.


  • CoreFTP Pro, or other FTP software with PGP support
  • GnuPG from gnupg.org

To set up your CoreFTP client with PGP encryption, follow these instructions.

Note: If you enable PGP, every file you upload must be encrypted. If you upload a file that is not encrypted, the file will not work. This includes previously uploaded files. Replace any existing (unencrypted) files with encrypted ones.

PGP encryption does not apply to data exported from Act-On.

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