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Format data for file imports

Before importing contacts from a file, review the format of each column in your file. Certain contact field types, like date fields or multi-option fields, require the data to be formatted in a specific way.

When importing new data for existing contacts, be aware that all contact field values imported will overwrite existing field values stored in your account. We recommend exporting your existing contact data to a file, then adding any new or changed data to that file before re-importing it.

Alternatively, there's an import option to "leave them alone" meaning, import only the data in rows associated with new contacts, and ignore rows for existing contacts.

Date fields

To import dates, use any of the following formats:

  • MM/DD/YYYY
  • M/D/YYYY
  • MM-DD-YYYY
  • YYYY-MM-DD

In the examples, M is month, D is day, and YYYY is a four-digit year.

Multiple option fields

There are four multiple-option contact fields in total. When importing values for any type of multiple-option field, make sure the values in your file exactly match the way the option values are written in your account.

In the example pictured below the option values are written in title case: Ceramics, Design, Photography, Metal Work. If the values in the file are lowercase — ceramics, design, photography, metal work — the file import will work, but the lower case values will not be recognized as a match when creating segments based on contact fields.

A checkbox menu contact field with four option values

Multiple-value field entries

There are two multiple-option contact fields that allow contacts to make more than one selection: "Select multiple" and "Checkbox menu". If you've collected data for this type of contact field in an external system, you need to format the multiple-value field entries to map correctly to the contact field in your account.

Here's how a single contact row should be formatted in a comma separated values (.csv) file:

Name, Email, Interests, Birthdate, State
Bill, bill@example.com, Photography:::Design:::Metal Work, 1972-10-05, Illinois

Use the same formatting if your data is in a spreadsheet (see accepted file formats), as shown here:

Example spreadsheet showing how to format multiple-value data

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