How to Create an Import File

If you are trying to import your campaigns, contacts, tasks, opportunities, projects, or organizations, you likely want to know how to create an import file that you can use.

Format Your Data #

Each of the imports will require different fields, but the process of creating the import file is similar for each. If you need information on the required import fields, you can view these help documents:

How to Create an Import File #

If you have a spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel that will let you save as a CSV, it is recommended that you use it instead of attempting to create the CSV by hand. If you don’t have access to a program like Excel, you can use a text editor like Notepad to create your CSV, although it is a bit more of a manual process. First you will need to know the fields that will get imported and what order they are expected to be in. The links above cover that for each type of import. Next, you will need to gather your data to import. If you have been saving this data in a spreadsheet, you likely are almost done. If your data is in another CRM, or some software that allows an export you should export that data and save it to your computer. You can then open the export file and copy it into your new import file. Once your data is in the correct order, you will want to save the file as a CSV.

Save as CSV in Microsoft Excel #

  1. Make sure the active tab in your file is the tab that contains the data you are trying to save. You can only save one tab worth of data to a CSV at a time. 
  2. Click File > Save As, or press the F12 key on your keyboard.
  3. Enter a name for your CSV.
  4. Select CSV (Comma delimited)(*.csv) as the file type.
  5. Next to the Save button, is a Tools drop down menu. Select Web Options… from this menu.
  6. In the Web Options window, navigate to the Encoding tab.
  7. Select Unicode (UTF-8) from the Save this document as: list.
  8. Click OK
  9. Click Save
  10. Click Yes when prompted that some features may not be compatible with CSV files. CSV files won’t retain text formats (bold, italics, underline, font size, etc.), column widths or heights, etc. Any extra information that is not strictly text data will be ignored, but that’s OK.
  11. If you had multiple worksheets in your file, you will be prompted to save only the active sheet. Click OK to save the active sheet, or Cancel to select the correct sheet.

Save as CSV in Text Editor #

Do not use a word processing program like Microsoft Word. Use a text editor like Notepad, Notepad++, or a number of other similar editors.

  1. Open a blank text file in your text editor.
  2. On the first line enter each field’s name separated by a single comma (,).
  3. Press Enter on your keyboard to create a new line.
  4. Type the data for each field with a comma separating each field.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each entry.

If you are skipping a field for an entry, you still need a comma after the field’s data. For example if you are entering street addresses, and are skipping the address 2 field, you would enter something like this: 


123 Main St.,,Phoenix,AZ,85123 

Notice the two commas in between 123 Main St. and Phoenix? The first comma indicates the end of the Address1 field, the second comma indicates the end of the Address2 field. There is nothing in between the two commas, which is exactly what we want since that field contains no data. The last field in a row does not get a comma after it (see Zip field above). 

Import File Encoding #

f you followed the instructions above and are still having trouble importing the file, make sure the file is encoded with UTF-8. Often times the encoding will be ANSI, and the importer can have trouble with that format. 

When using Notepad++: With your file open, go to Settings -> Preferences -> New document -> Encoding -> choose UTF-8 without BOM, and check Apply to opened ANSI files. Then save the file and try to import again. 

When Using Apple Numbers:

  • Open the file with Apple Numbers
  • Navigate to File > Export To > CSV
  • In the Advanced Options section, select Unicode (UTF-8) option for Text Encoding
  • Click Next
  • Enter the name of the file in the Save As box, then click Export

When Using Notepad:

  • Open the CSV file with Notepad
  • Navigate to File > Save As…
  • Select All Files(*.*) from the Save as Type box, and type the file name with the .csv extension (i.e. your-file-name.csv)
  • Select UTF-8 From the Encoding box
  • Click Save to save the file