|The SharpSpring Import Tool is designed to add leads to the Contact Manager in seconds. For the most part, adding a Comma-Separated Value (.CSV) file is a straightforward.
However, there are issues that occur when trying to import a spreadsheet as a .CSV file. This article will detail the most common issues to look for before attempting to import a .CSV file.
Important Information Regarding Imports
The Import Tool uses information from .CSV files and creates contact lists from this information. These files contain only alphanumeric data and are presented in a table format.
When troubleshooting .CSV file content, be aware that your data requires certain information. If you do not include this information in your .CSV file, the import will not complete as intended. Any .CSV file that you import should be structured similar to the following:
|First Name||Last Name||Is Unsubscribed|
When troubleshooting .CSV files, be aware of the following:
- Header rows are required. Header rows are necessary for mapping SharpSpring fields to imported fields.
- Email fields are required. The Import Tool requires that your .CSV file contain a column mapped to the Email field. You will still need to include the Email column when a contact does not have an email address.
- Is Unsubscribed fields are required. For SharpSpring to successfully import a .CSV file, the file needs one column header that is labeled as Is Unsubscribed. The Is Unsubscribed field should be a boolean field, where 0 is for leads who are opted in, and 1 is for leads who are not opted in.
- Utilize first and last names. For the import to be successful, a first and last name are suggested in the event that you do not have an email address for that contact. Use both as often as possible.
- Values must match. When importing custom field values, ensure that they are formatted to match the custom field values. For example, picklist and checkbox values are case-sensitive.
- When importing data with picklist and checkbox fields, the fields must be present in the file import in order to appear. Ensure that the picklist or checkbox fields in your file exist before importing. Otherwise, the data may not import properly.
- When importing to a checkbox custom field, the data cannot have spaces between values and commas. An example of this would be value1,value2,value3.
Use Text Editors
This will allow you to diagnose any problems with the format of the .CSV file. The .CSV file will appear much different in the text editor than it does in spreadsheet programs.
Search for Incorrect Characters
When troubleshooting files, consider the following when looking through text:
- Ensure the file contains ASCII text. In either a text editor or a spreadsheet program, scan the .CSV entirely and look for any rows containing garbled multi-byte characters. Often, these are represented as symbols. These characters could indicate that an encoding issue occurred while producing the document initially, and this error could cause records to be rejected.
- Blank space causes errors. Ensure that the document does not contain a large number of empty or blank spaces or lines. These spaces and lines are notable by the presence of many rows containing only commas, or the ability to keep scrolling down past the point where visible data is present. Additionally, if the CSV is a single-line document, blank space can be to the right of visible data. scroll to the right as far as you can and apply the previous instructions regarding scanning for junk data.
- Look for problem semicolons. Semicolons can cause errors in .CSV files, such as when mapping to a checkbox group. This data should be separated by commas.
- Check for misplaced or incorrect quotation marks. An overlooked character is the quotation mark, and it can cause no shortage of errors. Quotes within quotes should be represented as two quotes next to each other. For example, "Field has ""quoted values"" inside."
Commas that represent separate columns are called delimiters. Ensure that the rows are comma-delimited. Rows containing commas as data—and not as record separators—should have their fields encased in quotation marks to avoid this data being misinterpreted as a delimiter.
Each comma represents a separate column, while each new line represents a new row. They should not be separated by tab stops, colon characters, or anything other than a comma. The format of the .CSV file should appear in the text editor as the following:
- Adams, Jane, 46, Female, New York
- Doe, John, 32, Male, California
- Jones, Sam, 13, Male, Texas
- Smith, Mary, 64, Female, Louisiana
Document Structure and Size
If everything seems correct, open the .CSV file in Excel and confirm the presence of a valid header. Scroll through the document and ensure that the number of rows is not too large.
Check the file size and confirm that the .CSV file is 10MB or less. If the file is larger, you will need to split the .CSV file into multiple smaller files.