Import Your Contacts
BigContacts has an easy to use and FREE import tool that will allow you to take any properly formatted CSV spreadsheet and import your contacts, including custom fields!
The Import Tool is not able to migrate items such as notes, historical emails, tasks, meetings, or sales opportunities.
To get started, select 'Admin' from the left menu and then 'Import Contacts.'
Watch the Import Tutorial
Step 1: Download Our Import Template
- Please be sure to add any custom fields you wish to import before importing your spreadsheet
- In order for your imported data to end up in the right place, you will need to have the top row of your Spreadsheet act as your "header" row. In this row, you will enter the appropriate label for each column to tell the system where to map that field in your account. We recommend that you align your data with the standard fields we offer in your BigContacts account. In the Import Template linked above, all of the standard fields are already in place.
- After you have your column headers labeled, and your data is aligned for easy mapping, you are now ready to save the spreadsheet in a .CSV file format
Step 2: Choose Merge Preference
The Import Tool can be used to update/append existing contacts in your account OR you can simply upload contacts without trying to merge them with any duplicate contacts that might already exist in your account. Note: Contacts will be merged so long as "first name" and "last name" match exactly, regardless of the value of any of the other fields.
If you want to be able to Delete an Import, ALWAYS choose the second option "Don't Merge Contacts"
Step 3: Upload your Spreadsheet
Select Browse and choose a CSV file.
Select 'Continue to Next
Step 4: Map Your Fields
You are now on the " Mapping Screen" and in here you will want to scan all of the header names to ensure they are set to map to the correct destination (field) in your BigContacts account.
When you are certain that all mapping is in good order, you will scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on the button labeled "Continue to Next Step" found in the bottom right-hand corner of this screen
FINAL STEP: Preview Screen
You are now at the final step for completion of your Import. This screen is what we call the " Preview Screen". This screen allows you to preview how a contact will look if you were to complete the import process. This is a great way to ensure that every bit of data is mapping to the field you thought it would.
Your contacts are NOT yet imported at this stage, however, if you DO like what you see, click on the "Finish" button to complete your import.
NOTE: It can take several minutes to process a large spreadsheet.
NOTE: If you DO NOT like what you see, you can click on the button labeled "Back to Mapping Fields" in the lower left-hand corner of the screen to go back to the mapping screen and make the necessary adjustments.
Assigning contacts to a user on your team
First, obtain the " User ID#" for each team member
- Go to the "Admin" tab
- In the "Manage Users" section you will select the "Add/Edit Users" link
- In the User table, you will see a column labeled "User ID".
- In your spreadsheet, create a column labeled "Assigned to" and paste the appropriate User ID next to each contact. This will ensure each contact is assigned to the appropriate person on import
In your spreadsheet add a new column labeled "Assigned To' and enter the appropriate User ID next to each contact record.
Adding Custom fields to your spreadsheet
There may be fields that you wish to import where BigContacts does not already offer as a standard field. In this case, with the exception of Tags, you will want to create a custom field PRIOR to importing your contacts. The key thing here is that you are creating a home for this custom field to reside, so it must first be created in the Admin section of BigContacts first so that the Import Wizard has a place to map this field to.
- Go to the "Admin" tab
- In the "Manage Account" section you will select the "Customize Account" link
- In here you will see a variety of tabs that include fields that you can customize, including "Contact Types", and "Custom Fields"
- If you have a custom field labeled "Account Number", your header should be "Account Number".
- -If you have a custom contact group labeled "County" (and a picklist of various Counties), your header should be "County" and in the cells below in that column, you would have the appropriate county name for each contact row.
With Tags, you do not need to add them ahead of time. If you have multiple tags in a cell, separate them with a comma such as: blue, red, green, yellow.
Important Note with regard to re-importing contacts that already exist. If you re-import a basic spreadsheet with columns for First Name, last name, email address and the column (field) you are trying to update (marketing contact, contact type, etc) the system will see you have no tags on the spreadsheet and will remove the tags from the contact record (to "update" the contact record with what you have on the spreadsheet). If you have Tags on the records you are updating you must add a column for "Tags" and make sure you have the existing tags in the appropriate contact rows. Multiple tags should be separated by a comma (no space).
Synchronizing Contacts with Marketing Module
- Add a column in your spreadsheet and label it "Marketing Contact"
- Enter "yes" next to each contact that you wish to sync with marketing
Deleting an Import
If at any point you discover that you did not map certain fields the way you wanted them or maybe you forgot to add a custom field prior to import. Not to worry, we offer an easy way for you to "Delete" your import. Below are the steps for this simple process.
IMPORTANT NOTE: it is important to note that this feature is only available to imports where you chose "Don't Merge Contacts" If you chose the "Merge with Existing Contact" option when importing your contacts you will not be able to delete the import using this feature.
You can choose to Delete your Imports right from Import Contacts page.
In the far right column of the table, you will know whether or not you can delete these contacts/imports. You will see one of two messages listed next to the import.
- If you are NOT able to delete an import because you chose the 'Merge With Existing Contacts' option, it will state "This file cannot be deleted".
- If you ARE able to delete the import because you chose the 'Don't Merge Contacts' option, it will state "Delete imported contacts".
This is a safety feature to prevent you from accidentally deleting contacts that have been merged during the import and risking the chance of losing important contact information including notes in history for certain merged contacts. For those imports that you are able to delete we encourage you to be very careful with this helpful yet very powerful feature.
- Choose VERY carefully the import you are deleting to ensure you are removing the contacts that you really want to remove.
- When you delete any set of contacts the contact records and ALL data/history associated with those records will be PERMANENTLY removed from your database.