Importing Leads and Contacts from a file

There are several ways to get your Lead data into Close.

The first and most commonly used is Close’s Lead Importer. Navigate to the Lead Importer by clicking your name in the upper right of Close, then choose Lead Importer. Using the Lead Importer, you can import (and update) Leads from a .CSV or Excel file or perform a one time data migration from an old CRM product/service.

Lead Importer

Choose one of the three options to get started. You can upload via CSV by browsing to that file on your computer:

Or by dragging and dropping a file onto the Lead Importer’s landing page:

Or by copying and pasting directly from Excel:

Formatting your File

  • Make sure your file is in either .CSV or Excel format (depending on which import option you choose).
  • Make sure the first row in your spreadsheet is a header row (i.e. a row containing column names). Close will use those names to guess the appropriate field assignment automatically. (You can always adjust the field assignment if needed.)
  • To download an example .CSV file, click here.
  • There is a limit of 15MB per CSV upload. Larger CSV files will need to be broken down and uploaded separately.
  • You can’t currently import opportunities, notes, calls, emails, SMS, and other non-lead data points through the Lead Importer. If this data resides in another CRM, consider using our CRM migration tool instead or email support@close.com for more help.

Close product help: You can always undo your import

Things didn't go according to plan? Just visit the Import Summary screen and select Undo. Read more in the section found here.

Assigning Fields

After you finish uploading your data, you’ll need to assign each column from your spreadsheet to a field in Close. In some cases, Close will recognize your column name and do the work for you. You'll also see a few preview rows from your spreadsheet so you a good idea of what's in each column.

To assign the data from your spreadsheet to the right place in Close, use the dropdown under "This column will be assigned to". The field will turn from blue to green once you've matched a spreadsheet column to a field in Close. If you don’t want to import a column from your spreadsheet, check ‘Skip’ option at the top right of the field box. Click ‘Next’ to move on to the next page.

You also have the option to “Skip All Unassigned Columns” at the bottom of the screen.

Close Product Help: Creating Custom Fields from Columns

If you’re an Admin (learn more about Close's Roles & Permissions feature) and Close couldn’t recognize some of the columns in your spreadsheet, they’ll show up as Custom Field suggestions.

If choose to map a column to a Custom Field suggestion, Close will automatically create that new Custom Field when you start your import. These Custom Fields will be created as a “Text” type, but you can change that later in the Customizations settings. Learn more about Custom Fields.

Note: If you need to import a Lead Status or choices-type Custom Field, you will need to create these in Close before your import. Go to the Customizations section and make sure all the Statuses and Choices exist before proceeding with the import.

Grouping Contacts and Addresses

If you have contacts or addresses belonging to the same lead in multiple rows, you can group them together based on any column in your spreadsheet. Close automatically determines how many unique values each column contains and informs you how many leads all your rows would be grouped into. For example, if you have a following spreadsheet:

Company
Name
Title

Bluth Company

Michael Bluth

michael@bluth.com

Bluth Company

Gob Bluth

itsillusionsmichael@aol.com

Bluth Company

Buster Bluth

buster@army.mil

And choose to group rows by “Company”:

The end result will be:

Close Pro Tip: Consider Your Data Organization When Importing

Are the Contacts/Addresses for each Lead all on the same row?
Then choose '+ Add another Contact/Address' and decide which columns to map to.

Are the Contacts/Addresses pertaining to the same lead spread across multiple rows?
Then group the rows together after you click 'Next'.

Note: Grouping options only contain columns that actually have some repeating values. If all of the values in a given column are unique, grouping would have no effect on the end result. If all of the columns in your spreadsheet contain unique values, grouping options will not be available since the outcome of the import would not differ no matter which column you’d group by.

Duplicate Detection

The Lead Importer can check for existing leads, so you can prevent duplicates and update leads that are already in Close.

When you get to the “Options” step, you can check if Leads already exist by using a comparison field. If you are using this option, you need to pick a field that has a unique value for each of your Leads (e.g. Company Name, lead ID, or a Custom Field containing your internal system’s customer ID). When the Importer runs, it will use the comparison field to determine if each lead from your spreadsheet is a new lead, or an existing lead.

From there, you can choose how you'd like the Importer to handle the leads that match based on the comparison field. You can:

  • Only add missing information. (Information will only be added to blank fields.)
  • Replace the existing lead information entirely. (Note: this re-writes the lead data and cannot be undone.)
  • Skip the lead. (After the import, you'll get a spreadsheet with all of your skipped leads for review.)

You can also select how you'd like the importer to handle non-matching leads. You can:

  • Create new leads. (Recommend if you want to import and update from the same spreadsheet.)
  • Skip new leads. (Recommended if you are trying to only update, rather than import.)

Importer Summary and Resolving Validation Errors

After you kick off an import, you can stick around to observe its progress or you can navigate away and see the status of the import later by going back to the Lead Importer and clicking ‘View Summary.’

When the import finishes, the summary page shows how many Leads were created, how many were skipped, and how many failed validation. You can then choose to:

  • Undo the import, deleting all of the Leads it created.
  • Download a CSV containing all of the rows from the original spreadsheet that were detected as duplicates and skipped.
  • Download a CSV containing all of the rows that failed validation (e.g. because it contained invalid phone numbers, emails, etc.)

The CSV of Leads that failed validation contains all the columns that your original spreadsheet contained plus a “Validation Errors” column that explains which of the values are invalid and why. The CSVs of skipped and failed Leads are only available for 30 days from the time of the import.

Close Pro Tip: Check for Validation Errors

The fastest workflow for getting all of your Leads into Close is to kick off an initial import, then download the CSV with failed Leads, fix the errors, re-upload that modified CSV, and repeat that process until there are no validation errors.

If you or your co-workers already uploaded some data, you will see a “Previous Imports” table with one row for each of the last 5 imports. Each row tells you who performed a given import, when, what method they used, how many Leads were created, how many Leads were skipped, and how many Leads were invalid.

Click on “View Summary” to learn more about a given import, undo it, view the Leads it created, or download a CSV file with the rows that failed to import due to invalid or duplicate data. If you’re looking for an import prior to the last five, click the “View all imports” button visible by the top-right corner of the table. CRM migrations are not included in this table.

You can set up Roles & Permissions to limit your team’s ability to bulk edit, delete, or import Leads.

Importing Leads and Contacts from a file


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