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How do I upload a list of CRM/CSS contacts?

NOTE: Due to House of Representatives rules, bulk CRM data must be imported by vendors after the data has undergone a cleaning process by the House.

Import Contacts allows users to import large amounts of data to create or update contact records and to create correspondence activities

Formatting Your Data

Before uploading your list, it's very important to format your data correctly.

  1. The two types of files that can be imported are CSV (comma separated values) and TXT (text) files. We recommend using an Excel document saved as a CSV file.
  2. To format a CSV properly, it is important to avoid the following "forbidden characters": !#$%^&*()_+=?/.,";:[]{}.
  3. Each column should be labeled. (You only need constituent contact information. Personal codes and activity information can be applied during the import process. All imported contacts will be assigned the same interest codes, personal codes, etc. If you have contacts that need to be assigned different codes, upload the lists separately.)

For additional instructions on formatting, see our article How should I format a list of contacts for import into Signal? 

Importing Your Data

Start by selecting Contacts from the top navigation menu. Then select Import Contacts from the left navigation panel.

  1. Click New Import.
  2. Name your list.
  3. Select either Contact Only or Contact with Correspondence as the "Import Type."
  4. In the "Duplicate Match" field, specify how you want the import process to match contacts to existing contact records in the database. You can choose to match by name and physical address, name and email address, email address only, or by all three.
  5. To assign a personal code to all contact records being uploaded, click Add a personal code to type in an existing code, or click Search for a personal code to search your list of codes or create a new one. (Repeat this process to add more than one code.)
  6. Select your staff ID from the "Owner" dropdown menu.
  7. If the contacts need to be flagged as restricted or deceased, check the appropriate box.
  8. If you selected Contact with Correspondence as the import type, then you will see additional fields for you to apply default correspondence information. Fill out the information as completely as you can, making sure to assign at least an interest code, assigned staff member, and activity status. Then click Continue.
  9. Browse to find your file by clicking on the paper icon. Select the file, and click Open.
  10. Click the Upload button.
  11. You will see a preview of the file. If everything looks as it should, click Continue. If not, then click Clear and revisit your CSV file to make any necessary edits.

Mapping Import Data

To ensure that your data is entered correctly, you will have the opportunity to map your import data. Basically, you will take your columns and match them to the correct field names in the program.

For instance, one of my original columns is labeled "companyname," but there is no company name field in the program. I need to match it to the appropriate field name so that the system will recognize this information and know where to insert it in the constituent's record. The best match is "Organization Name."

You will see a summary of each column with a dropdown menu on the right. Select the correct field label from the dropdown menu for each one. Then click Continue.

You'll have an opportunity to preview how the file will be mapped. If you need to change anything, click the Back button on the bottom left corner. Otherwise, click Import.

Your file is now ready for import. You will be returned to the Import Contacts screen and can monitor the status of the import from there.

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