How do I import Contacts and Leads with a CSV file?

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!

Jump to:

Preparing your CSV
CSV template
Importing your data
Importing tags
Importing custom fields
Importing notes
Frequently Asked Questions


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.

Google Contacts
Capsule CRM
Nutshell CRM
Sugar CRM
Zoho CRM 

Pro Tip: It's a good idea to check for duplicate contact records before exporting your CSV!


CSV template

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:


Contact names

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, person state, person country, whereas Company Address columns should include company street, company city, company region, etc.


Column Headers

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? 

  1. Navigate to your Settings menu
  2. Select ‘Import’
  3. Select ‘CSV’
  4. Click ‘Select File’ to upload your document then select ‘Open’
  5. Select whether you are importing Leads, Contacts, or Deals & Contacts. (For the how-to on Importing Deals & Contacts, check out: (Importing Deals into Base)
  6. Click ‘Continue’ to proceed to the Import Mapping Screen
NOTE: Depending on the size of your file, Base may take up to a few minutes to process your uploaded file.



Part 3: How do I map my data? 

Now that you’ve uploaded your file, you’re ready to map your data into Base!

  1. 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)

  1. Click on the dropdown menu to select the corresponding field (Email for example)
  2. 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.

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.

NOTE: If an import contained 1,000+ entries, it may take up to 10 minutes for all data to be removed from your account.