Import


Written by: Sheryll Chua

Best Practices

  1. Test the email list for bounces, invalid emails and spam traps before importing. Learn more about spam traps here.
  2. Never import purchased lists. Purchased lists are in violation of SharpSpring's Terms of Service and can lead to account termination.
  3. Always import unsubscribes and hard bounces and then unsubscribe them so in case they are added again in the future, they won't receive any emails anymore.
  4. Always add campaigns so you can determine where the imported contacts were from.
  5. No need to de-dupe in CSV, SharpSpring handles that automatically.

IMPORTANT: When you import a new list, SharpSpring evaluates the overall quality of the list based on a variety of factors, including an evaluation done by a third-party verification service. If 45% or more of the list contains contacts with email addresses deemed invalid, toxic, or purchased, SharpSpring will not allow your import to continue.

Before Importing contacts:

Prepare data for import

  • Sharpspring import tool only accepts CSV file format.
  • Make sure that your CSV file has a column header called Email or Email Address. It doesn't need to have data but the column must exist.
  • Make sure that the names are separated into first names and last names.
  • Make sure that you add a new column for Unsubcribed value. 0 if the contacts will not be unsubscribed, 1 if it will be.

How to use the Import tool

  1. In SharpSpring, go to Contacts > Import.
  2. Choose the correct delimiter for your CSV file.
    • SharpSpring Import Tool gives you 4 delimiter options: Comma (,), Semicolon (;), Pipe (|) and Tab (\t).
    • Usually, it's comma. But if your CSV file is using another delimiter, pick that one from the dropdown menu.
    • To know which is the right delimiter to use, check the combined column name and look for the character that separates the names of the columns.
  3. Click Choose a File button and select the CSV file that you want to import.
  4. Click Upload CSV File button.
  5. On the Import Contacts page:
      • List Settings
        1. Choose New List if you're importing to a new list.
        2. Choose Use Existing List if you're importing to a list that already exists in SharpSpring.
        3. Importing to a new list will create a manual list. If you want to import to a rules-based list, create the list first before importing. Then tick Use existing list and choose the list from the dropdown menu.
      • How should we handle duplicates
        1. Do not update field information
          • For new contacts, this will import all mapped fields.
          • For existing contacts (based on Email Address), this will add them to the list you are importing to but will not update any fields in their records.
        2. Update only new field information
          • For new contacts, this will import all mapped fields.
          • For existing contacts, this will only update the mapped fields that do not already have values in them in SharpSpring, with what is found in the CSV file. Mapped fields with existing values will not be updated.
        3. Update new and existing field info
          • For new contacts, this will import all mapped fields.
          • For existing contacnts, this will update the mapped fields with and without values in them in SharpSpring with the values found in the CSV file. The information in the CSV file will overwrite the information in SharpSpring.
          • If mapping to a dropdown field type and the values in the corresponding CSV column do not exist as options of the dropdown field, the imported value will show as: Saved value not in list: <NAME>.
          • An empty cell in the CSV file will not overwrite an existing value in SharpSpring with a blank value, there will be no change to the field in SharpSpring in this case.
        4. If your goal is to add a number of contacts to a list, use first option. If your goal is to gather all available information on the CSV file without overwriting existing values in the system, then it is best to use the second option. If the aim is to update field values with new information, then it is best to use the third option.
      • Import New Leads in List as Open.
      • Assign leads to a campaign
        • Always assign a campaign to new leads you are importing (you can do that during the import process), so they don’t get another campaign in the future wrongly. We need to see in the reports that they originally came from an import. (Campaign name example: “YYMMDD Hubspot Import”)
      • Assign leads to a particular user
        • If you want to assign these contacts to a lead owner, check Assign Leads to a Particular User and select the user’s name from the list. Otherwise, skip.
      • Mappings
        • The names on the left are the CSV columns and on the right, are the SharpSpring fields. Map the CSV columns to the corresponding fields in SharpSpring.
        • If the fields do not exist in SharpSpring yet, tick Make Custom Field checkbox to create a new custom field for the column.
        • Map Unsubcribed colum to Is Unsubcribed field in SharpSpring.
        • Only mapped fields will be imported to SharpSpring (based on how you want to handle duplicates).
        • Not all columns need to be mapped to fields, if you think they are not relevant. But you must map an Email column to the Email field in SharpSpring for the import process to continue.
  6. Click Import button.
  7. On the popup window, you will see a sample data (the first record in your CSV file). Check if the values are mapped to the correct fields.
  8. Then type CONFIRM and click red Import button. If you’re importing a large number of contacts, it will take a while before the import process completes.

Import Checklist:

After you've imported a few times this short checklist will suffice:

    • Prep data for import
    • Saving as a CSV file with UTF-8 format (if the format is different)
    • In SharpSpring, go to Contacts > Import Tool
  • Important - check the delimeter
      • Lead Status: Import New Leads in List as Open.
      • Assign Lead to a campaign
      • Map CSV columns to SharpSpring fields

How to Check if all contacts were imported successfully

Compare the number of records in your CSV file to the total number of contacts imported successfully.

To do that, please see Import History.

How to import Unsubscribes and Hard bounces

There are two ways you can import unsubscribes and hard bounces:

Using Is Unsubscribed Column mapped to isUnsubscribed field

  • Before you import, add Is Unsubscribed column in your CSV file and set all values to 1 or TRUE or Yes.
  • Map the column to the isUnsubscribed field.


Using List

  • Import to a list (call it Unsubscribed Contacts, or whatever you prefer).
  • After import, go to the list and on the settings icon ⚙️, select Unsubscribe all Contacts in the List.

Import Completion Statuses

When the import is completed, the following will occur:

Any lead where isUnsubcribed = 1 will appear under the Exclusions tab for the list.

Contacts will have red text on their contact record stating that they have requested not to be contacted and were unsubscribed during Import. Message "This person has requested to not be contacted. Lead Unsubscribed - Import"

A Life of the Lead event will appear for the unsubscribe.

The list's Exclusions tab counter will display the total number of leads currently excluded from the list.