Importing contacts using a CSV / Excel file gives you the extra flexibility of adding customized fields to the file so you can collect specific information that is helpful for your business needs. You may also import data into the Time Zone, Tags, and Notes portions of the Client Card. After the import, the data in the import file will be uploaded and displayed in the relevant Client Cards.
For a successful import, your CSV / Excel file needs to be built using a specific structure and syntax. This article explains how to set up your file correctly:
- Structure and Syntax Guidelines
- Importing Data for Custom Fields
- Handling Special Characters / Non-English Letters
Structure and Syntax Guidelines
For a successful import, your file must have column header cells in line 1 that define the fields in your file. The figure below shows an example of a correct file setup (note that column F is a customized field).
The following table provides details about how to correctly prepare data so the import will go smoothly.
|First name||This parameter is required. Make sure you have a column for first name and that the rows are populated with data. If this information is empty, the import will fail.|
|Time zone||The time zone information needs to be entered in a specific format. Download the attachment at the end of this article to view the correct formats.|
|Tags||Multiple tags should be entered with a | separator, e.g., tag1|tag2|tag3
For imports of existing contacts: If you want to maintain previous tags and also add new ones, make sure that you enter all tags (both previous and new) in the import file.
|Custom fields||For more details, refer to Importing Data for Custom Fields (below).|
Important: If your import file contains non-English letters or special characters, refer to Handling Special Characters.
Importing Data for Custom Fields
vCita supports import of data for the following custom field types:
- Text Area
- Opt-in for campaigns
For a successful data import, you need to first create the relevant custom fields in your Client Card. During the import, these fields will then be auto-populated by the data in your import file. For details about customizing your Client Card, refer to How to Add Customized Fields.
IMPORTANT: If the custom fields do not exist in your Client Card settings, the data in custom columns of your import file will not be imported.
The following sections show how to correctly prepare custom fields in your import file.
Preparing for Data Import to Customized Text Area Fields
Customized Text Area fields are very useful and flexible, as they allow you to collect a wide range of data about your clients. Before you start preparing your import file, make sure that you have added the customized fields to your Client Card settings. For example:
This example shows how custom fields and data might appear in your import file.
Following import, the Client Card for Michelle Glass will look like this:
Preparing for Data Import to Customized Checkboxes
vCita supports import of data into both basic Checkbox fields and the Opt-in for campaigns type checkbox field. Before you start preparing your import file, verify that you have added the customized checkbox fields to your Client Card settings. (For details, refer to How to Add Customized Fields.)
For successful data import, enter the data as True or False. Alternatively, you may enter 1 (for True) or 0 (for False). For example:
Following import, the Client Card for Michelle Glass will now look like this:
Handling Special Characters / Non-English Letters
If your client list is in a non-English language, or if you use special characters in your list, it is recommended to use Excel to build your import file. If you do not have access to Excel, you need to save your CSV file with UTF-8 encoding. Otherwise, the data will not import properly.
To save a CSV file with UTF-8 encoding:
- From Explorer, right-click on your CSV file and open it using Notepad or another simple text editor.
- From the File menu, select Save As to open the Save As dialog.
- At the bottom of the Save As dialog, open the Encoding list and select UTF-8.
Then, click Save.