Check out this Import overview video to hit the ground running:
While we support various file types, CSV files are most common for including Lead and Contact information. You'll want to take a few preliminary steps to make sure that your CSV is formatted properly for the import, and after you've uploaded your file to Base you'll just need to pick where you want your data to go in Base!
Where can I get a CSV file?
Most programs let you export your Contacts as a CSV file. For instructions on how to obtain your CSV from a specific source, find your link below. You'll be taken to the support article on how to export your Contacts as a CSV for that program. Don't see your program in this list? Contact Support and we'll help you find out how to export your Contacts.
Pro Tip: It's a good idea to check for duplicate contact records before exporting your CSV!
If you don't have a CSV file already, or you want to start fresh, you can use our CSV template and populate your Contacts using a program like Excel.
If you’re looking to import a file that is not a CSV, no problem! Just follow these same next steps that explain how to upload and import your Leads and Contacts to Base.
Part 1: How do I ensure my CSV file is prepared for a clean import?
Now that you've obtained your CSV, open it up in a program like Excel to view it’s content. You'll want to adhere to the following guidelines to ensure that your data is ready for Base.
Pro Tip: You will import Leads and Contacts separately to Base. Friendly reminder, Leads are potential clients that have not yet qualified to become a Contact in your sales process. A Lead will typically become a Contact once you’ve identified more specifics around what product or service they’re interested in, qualifying them to enter the first stage of your Sales Pipeline. For more information on how Base defines Leads and Contacts, check out this link
Base categorizes Contacts as Person Contacts (Employees) and Company Contacts. The First Name and Last Name fields need to be included in each imported file - we need to know how to name your Contacts. Base will also give you the option to import First Name and Last Name separately during the import mapping process. Company contacts do not need a First and Last name, only a name under a Company Name field.
Assigning a person to a company
If you'd like to associate Contacts with a company, include a separate column in your file that includes Company Name. Upon importing, Base will match Person Contacts to Company Contacts, so that your Person Contacts appear as Employees when viewing the Companies in Base. If you import Person Contacts without mapping a Company Name, these Person Contacts will be imported without an associated Company Contact.
Formatting the address field
When importing an address to a Contact, we suggest dividing the specific details of the address into multiple columns in your CSV file. This will allow you to sort or filter by these fields in Base. You will want to make sure the following fields are separated into their own columns in your file before importing: street address, city, region/state, zip/postal code and country.
Company addresses vs Person addresses
If you’re importing different addresses for Person Contacts and Company Contacts, you'll need to create separate columns in your file that include Person Address columns and Company Address columns. Person Address columns you’ll want to include are person address (street address), person city, person region/state, person country, whereas Company Address columns should include company street, company city, company region/state, etc.
Every column in your file should include a label in the first(top) row, in order for the import to match your data properly to fields that already exist in Base. For example, if you would like to import a Job Title field with your Contacts, you will want to include a column in your file labeled “Job Title”.
Part 2: How do I upload my CSV file to Base?
- Navigate to your Settings menu
- Select ‘Import’
- Select ‘CSV’
- Click ‘Select File’ to upload your document then select ‘Open’
- Select whether you are importing Leads, Contacts, or Deals & Contacts. (For the how-to on Importing Deals & Contacts, check out: (Importing Deals into Base)
- Click ‘Next’ to proceed
Part 3: How would you like Base to handle your data?
This step allows you to make selections around how you would like Base to import your data. You will need to select if you’re importing all new data, making updates to existing leads or contacts, or a combination of both.
NOTE: You can not make updates or import new data to existing Deals, only existing leads and contacts
With our new de-duplication options for importing, you now have the ability to:
- Only import new leads and contacts
- Import new data to existing leads and contacts
- Update existing data for leads and contacts
- Import new leads and contacts & make updates to existing leads and contacts
When you come across this step in Base you will need to make selections for the following:
During the import, I want to:
- Add new leads or contacts and make updates to existing leads or contacts
- Add only new leads or contacts currently not in Base
- Only update existing Base lead or contact with new data from the import file
If data currently in Base does not match data in the import:
- Update only empty Base fields with data from the import file
- Update all existing Base data with new data from the import file
- Automatically create a custom field to retain both values
*You will see an additional option (Step 3) if you are importing leads, which you will not see when importing contacts or deals
Step 3 (only shown when importing leads)
- Do not import it
- Import it and create duplicate leads
Let’s breakdown the different ways you’re able to import your data to Base.
- Importing all new data involves adding new leads and contacts to Base. The leads or contacts in your file have never seen Base, so when you get to this step go ahead and select During the import, I want to: “Add only new leads or contacts currently not in Base”
- Import new data to existing leads and contacts means that you already have leads or contacts in Base that you’re working, but you have some additional data that you would like to add to their record. In order to avoid duplicates and be sure the new data is added to the appropriate lead or contact, you will need to select fields that are present on existing leads or contacts in Base, so we know to match the new data to the corresponding record. You’ll select the option During the Import, I want to: “Only update existing Base lead or contact with new data from the import file”
There will be an option “If data currently in Base does not match data in the import:” in case you may have fields on your leads or contacts that you’re not aware of. Continue to the next import option (#3) for a deeper understanding of what conflicting data means and the available options for managing it.
- Update existing data for leads and contacts means you’re making changes to your leads and contacts that already exist in Base. The fields that appear on your leads and contacts can either have an existing value or be empty with no information. You have the option for the new data from your file to override these existing field values, as well as fill in an empty field. Both of these instances will be referred to as “updating” leads and contact in the options you are presented with in this step.
If you’re only updating fields on existing leads and contacts by overriding existing fields, empty or not, with new data, select:
1) During the import, I want to: “Add new leads or contacts and make updates to existing leads or contacts”
2) If data currently in Base does not match data in the import: “Update all existing Base data with new data from the import file”
If you only want to add new data to leads and contacts that do not yet have information in these particular fields you’re importing (fields are empty), select:
1) During the import, I want to: “Add new leads or contacts and make updates to existing leads or contacts”
2) If data currently in Base does not match data in the import: “Update only empty Base fields with data from the import file”
- Import new leads and contacts & make updates to existing leads and contacts in Base! You’ll be adding new leads or contacts, while also making changes to leads or contacts that already exist in Base, all in one shot. When Base presents you with the option, select During the import, I want to: “Add new leads or contacts and make updates to existing leads or contacts”
Refer to the previous import scenario (#3.Update existing data for leads and contacts), to better understand what you should select for if data currently in Base does not match data in the import.
Part 4: How do I map my data?
Now that you’ve uploaded your file, you’re ready to map your data into Base!
- Map a field from your file by selecting one of four field categories:
- Suggest - Base will provide a suggested field based on the field label in your file (column header name)
- Common - these fields are included on every contact record in Base by default
- Asset - allows you to import Tags(insert link to Importing Tags article, once finished) or Notes(insert link to Importing Notes article, once finished) to your Leads or Contacts
- Custom - if your field doesn't exist, you can create it on the fly and map your data to a newly created custom field(insert link to Importing Custom Fields article, once finished)
- Click on the dropdown menu to select the corresponding field (Email for example) or click on the suggested field
- Click on the name of the field you’ve selected so the field box is now highlighted in green
- Don't want to import a column? You can skip it by clicking Ignore.
- Selected something on accident? Click Edit to change it.
Part 5: Review your Import Selections
Frequently Asked Questions:
How many Contacts can I import at once?
You can have as many contacts as you want in your Base account, and you can import as many CSV files as you’d like. However, we recommend that you do not exceed 3,000 contacts per import. For instance, if you have 5,000 contacts in your CSV file, it is best to divide it into two separate imports.
Can I assign Leads/Contacts to a user in my account during the import?
Yes. You will want include a column in your file labeled ‘Owner’ that you will match to the Owner field in Base (located under the Common field category). Just to be clear, Owner indicates which user in your account owns a particular Lead or Contact.
Can I undo an import?
All files that you’ve imported to Base will show a date and time stamp within your Import Settings, where you will also find the option to revert an import. Select Revert Import to remove the data that was included in this file from your account.