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How should I format a list of contacts for import into the CRM/CSS?

The only two types of files that can be imported to the CRM are CSV (comma separated values) and TXT (text) files. We recommend using an Excel document saved as a CSV file. (See the file CRMBulkImportTemplate.csv for a template you can use when formatting your data.)

To format a CSV file properly, it is important to avoid the following characters: !@#$%^&*()_+=?/><.,”:;{}[]. Note that there are 2 exceptions for these characters. The @ symbol can be used only in the email field. The / symbol can only be used in the date of birth field.

Available columns that can be uploaded:

  • Title (e.g. Legislative Liaison)
  • Prefix (e.g. Mr.)
  • First Name
  • Middle Name
  • Last Name
  • Suffix (e.g. Jr.)
  • Date of Birth (e.g. 1/1/1960)
  • Home Phone
  • Cell Phone
  • Work Phone
  • Extension
  • Email Address
  • Organization Name (e.g. Arts Council)
  • Street Address
  • Street 2
  • Zip
  • City
  • State -- if address data is being imported, state column is required
  • Message (for importing Mail messages)

Available settings that can be applied to all contacts within the import (if desired):

  • Deceased
  • Restricted
  • Personal Code

Please indicate if any of these settings should be applied at the time of import. 

If contacts should be uploaded and a new correspondence activity should be created for each contact, the following settings can be applied to all correspondence created by the import (if desired):

  • Interest Code
  • Sentiment (Pro, Con, Undecided)
  • In Type
  • Group Code
  • Assigned Staff
  • Out Type (Print, Email, Fax, Phone)
  • Letter Type (Form, Quick)
  • Letter Code
  • Received By
  • Activity Status (Open, Closed, Unprocessed)

Please indicate if any of these settings should be applied at the time of import.

HOUSE ONLY 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. 

If you are a Senate or Non-Congressional office, see our article How do I upload a list of contacts? for instructions on uploading contacts.

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