This article shows you how to import a simple contacts spreadsheet/CSV file.

Importing a Contacts File

After logging into, click on New Task and select Import.

Step 1 - Connection & Object

Here you need to select the Operation and Object associated with your import.

  • Operation - this determines the behaviour of your import.
    • Insert - this will insert all rows in your file as new records and won't look to see if your records already exist in the system.
    • Upsert - this is a combination of Insert and Update. It will identify existing records in the system based on a specified key and if it can't find the record the row will be inserted as a new record.
    • Update - this will only update records that it can identify in the system based on a specified key.
  • Object - search for the data object that you'd like to import your data into (Contacts, Organisations, Opportunities, etc.)

An email address is commonly used as the key for identifying existing contact records. Other fields can also be used - Salesforce ID, Street Address, Phone Number, etc.

Step 2 - File

The next step is to select the file that you'd like to import.

  • Make sure you've saved your file as a CSV. Typically you'd click on Save As from excel and select the CSV (comma separated values) file type.
  • Drag-and-drop your file into this interface or click upload to search your computer for the file.

It's a good idea to run through your data manually and ensure that the data is mapped to the correct columns. You may need to make some updates to your data - for example, First Name and Last Name need to be in separate columns.

Saving a CSV File

To create a CSV file with your Excel Spreadsheet, click on Save As and choose the CSV File Format as demonstrated below.

Step 3 - Mapping

The next step is to map your file with Salesforce fields. Do this by clicking in the Salesforce Field column and selecting the field to map.

Mapping Fields

After clicking into a row in the Salesforce Field column, you can then select the field to map. Use the search function and tabs to help filter the fields that you can choose from.

Using a Key for Upserts & Updates

When using the Upsert or Update functions you need to match contacts using a key, typically an email address is used but you can use other fields if needed.

  • Go to the Email row mapping and select Contact ID as the mapped field. This will match the Salesforce Contact ID if you don't select 'Lookup via'.
  • Tick 'Lookup via' and select Email (or the field that you'd like to use to find matches).
  • Tick 'Insert as new if no match is found' if you'd like to create new records when a match isn't found.

This will now look for contact matches based on email address when the import is processed.

Adding a Related Organisation/Account

When linking to related records in the system a lookup process for matching and creating new records needs to followed. For importing an Account/Organisation with the Contact record:

  • Go to the row for mapping the Account/Organisation and select Account ID as the mapped field. This will map to the Salesforce Account ID if you don't select 'Lookup via'.
  • Tick 'Lookup via' and select Account Name as the value used to match Accounts/Organisations. If the Account/Organisation name is listed in the import file, then it will search for this value to match Accounts/Organisations.
  • Tick 'Insert null value(s) if no match is found' to insert the Contacts without relating them to an Account/Organisation (not recommended). The recommended approach is to first import Accounts/Organisations so that a match is always found.


Step 4 - Run

The final step is to click on Save & Run. This will process your import and generate Success and Error files based on the outcome of your import.

For large files it is highly recommended that you import a sample set of the data first to ensure that it's being inserted correctly.