Importing a spreadsheet of contacts

Last Updated: Jan 23, 2018 03:47PM EST
Before using this article, please confirm what version of Import you are using. If your Import process is on the url, you are in the right place. If your Import process is on the url, please visit this support article instead.

Everything in one place

You've met so many people throughout your career, and sometimes their information gets scattered across tools. Whether you've got a spreadsheet, an export from your favorite social media sites, or just a document of notes, Contactually makes it easy for you to bring everything into one place. Easily build a comprehensive database that you can access from anywhere at any time. 


Importing contacts into Contactually

Contactually makes it easy for you to import contacts. All you need to do is to make sure the spreadsheet of contacts is saved in a CSV (Comma Separated Values or .CSV) file format.

  • If your file is in Excel, go to File > Save As > CSV.
  • If you're uploading vCards, convert them to a CSV using this converter. Select "CSV" as the format and "Comma" as the option for the second dropdown menu. Tick the checkbox to "Add header line."
  • If your file is in Google Sheets, go to File > Download as > CSV. Then click Save.

Open the CSV. Read the notes and tips for importing into Contactually to ensure your CSV is formatted in a way that ensures a smooth import.

How to import a spreadsheet

To import the CSV into Contactually, follow the steps below.

1. Go to the Contacts tab.

2. Click the blue Import button at the top right.

3. Choose the CSV file you want to import then select Upload.

4. Map your information (by column) to existing fields in Contactually.

If you don't see the field you need, select "Custom Field" and enter a custom label.

You can add Notes to contact profiles by mapping to the Notes field.

You can indicate a contact's Bucket ahead of time on your spreadsheet to save you time in categorizing contacts. Simply create a column on the spreadsheet titled Bucket and type in the exact Bucket name from Contactually. The Bucket name needs to be identical in every way, so note carefully the spelling, capitalization, and spacing of the name in order to avoid accidentally creating a new Bucket.

If you want to import the entire spreadsheet to a single Bucket, scroll to the top of the import page and click on "Optional: Add all contacts from this file to a Bucket." Then select the desired Bucket from the dropdown menu.

5. Click Finish Import.

6. Wait for the email confirmation that your contacts have been imported. The email will indicate how many new contacts were created and how many contacts were updated.

  • An import never overrides information, only adds to it. Likewise, if the spreadsheet includes contacts already in your Contactually database, the contacts will be updated, not duplicated (unless they have different names, for example "William Morris" and "Bill Morris;" this may be the same person, but unless another value is identical (for instance the contacts have the same email), the contacts won't be automatically merged).
  • Any Tag or Bucket not yet in Contactually will be created during the import.
  • If your spreadsheet includes existing contacts and a Bucket column, that column will add but not remove contacts from Buckets. In other words, if on the spreadsheet the Bucket indicated for an existing contact is different from the contact's existing Bucket, the result will be that the contact is in both Buckets in Contactually.
  • Only contacts with either a full name and/or email address will be imported.
  • Exclude commas from titles, names, and addresses. Commas separate values in a spreadsheet, meaning they'll split the item into two separate fields. For example, change "John Lewis, Jr." to "John Lewis Jr." and "1200 19th St, NW" to "1200 19th St NW).
  • To import multiple addresses or phone numbers for a contact, indicate on the spreadsheet column the differentiator (for example, Home Address, Office Address; Home Phone, Mobile Phone). When mapping the spreadsheet columns to fields, first choose the general category (Address or Phone Number) and then use the subcategory that appears to select or create the secondary label (Home Address, Office Address; Home Phone, Mobile Phone; etc.).

  • To include multiple values in a column, use quotation marks and a comma or semicolon as a separator. Don't use spaces. For example, if you want to indicate multiple Buckets in the Buckets column in your spreadsheet, format the value like this: "Old customer,Investor" or "Old Customer;investor." 
  • When importing birthdays, name the spreadsheet column "Birth Date" and use the format MM/DD/YYYY.
CSV files may show a "malformed" error when attempting to import.

This error could be because the content inside the CSV is not in the right format. Sometimes all values are squeezed into the first column. For example, this entire string, "First name;Last Name; Email address;" might be entirely in one column. These values should be separated in different columns.

Another reason for the error could be that the CSV has been exported from LinkedIn, Apple Mail, or a Mac Address Book. Simply open the CSV in Excel and save it again as a CSV. Then import it to Contactually.

Lastly, c
heck the file for non-ASCII characters like Ã,©, â,€. This is especially common when there are names and information in languages other than English. These characters cannot be processed by the file format and will result in an error. Please remove these characters by either leaving them blank or replacing them with different characters.
Contactually only imports contacts that have a full name and/or email address. Make sure that all your contacts have one of these.
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