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Importing Data to Contact Manager - Contacts

Want to do a bulk upload of Contacts to CTM?..........Read on!

Written by Andrew Belbin
Updated over a week ago

This is the article if you want to import just Contacts.

If you want to import just Organisations, click this link.

If you want to import Organisations and Contacts at the same time, click this link.

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Contacts can be imported in bulk to CTM via Data Manager using a CSV file.

The Importer matches any existing Contacts on the CRM and updates them with your new information, but if it can't find a match it creates a new Contact.

Your data needs to be carefully prepared but if you follow these steps, the import should go smoothly.

Firstly, Go to Data Manager App, Data Importer tab and click on the + Add a New Import Project.

Step 1 - About

  1. Add some meaningful information in this bus stop. This will help if you return to this import at a later date.

Step 2 - Configuration

  1. Complete the details for bus stop 2.

Step 3 - Data File

  1. Click the Download Template button.

  2. Add your data to the CSV template exactly as specified in the Guide.

  3. If your Contacts do not belong to any Organisation, you must type the word orphan in the Organisation_id field (column AP).

  4. Save your file as a CSV (Comma Separated Variable) file. Do not open it again in Excel as the phone numbers may become corrupted.

  5. Click the link and upload your data.

  6. Go to bus stop 4. Import.

Step 4 - Import

  1. Check the details and import.

Step 5 - Results

  1. The number of rows Attempted, Imported and Rejected will be shown in the Results bus stop.

Error Messages

In the Data Importer bus stop 5, you can download a file of records that have not been imported because they have errors. The errors are shown for each record in the final column. Here is a list of error messages and what you can do to rectify them.

Error Message

How to fix it.

Unknown gender letter passed. You provided [LETTER]. Valid letters: M, F, N, O, P, U

Ensure you've provided one of the required gender letters, rather than the full word, or some other letter (eg, "Non-Binary" must be "N", rather than "X").

Nationality ID provided is not valid

Ensure you've provided a two letter Country ISO code or the CRM Numeric ID, rather than the full name or other ID. Eg "GB" or "222". For a full list of codes and IDs click here

Unable to match the provided country in Organisation_country. Please ensure you're using valid country ISO2s!

Ensure you've provided a two letter Country ISO code or the CRM Numeric ID, rather than the full name or other ID. Eg "GB" or "222". For a full list of codes and IDs click here
Country MUST be provided for both Contact and Organisation in the Combi file

Invalid email on the contact record.

Check the email follows the format of "something@example.domain". A common typo is missing the "." between "example" and "domain"

Invalid Department ID

Check that the department ID you've entered matches a department ID on the CRM. You can check this by looking at the ID number in brackets next to an existing department name.

Invalid team ID

Check the ID matches a one of your teams on the Users: Teams page in the CRM.

Invalid phone number provided ([phone number])

Check that the phone number: is prefixed by a type (eg "work"); has a "+" in front of the country code (eg "+44"); is using a correct country code (eg "44"); has no more than 15 digits.

Field Contact_first_name - First Name Cannot be blank

Ensure the contact has a first name, eg "Sam"

Field Contact_last_name - Last Name Cannot be blank

Ensure the contact has a last name, eg "Smith"

Contact_date_of_birth is not formatted like DD/MM/YYYY or YYYY-MM-DD

Check the Date of Birth: is all digits (eg "12" instead of "December"); has has 4 digits (eg "1999" rather than "99") in the Year; is formatted as described in the error.

Contact_date_of_birth is in the future

Check the Date of Birth for typos. Eg, if the import happens in 2020, the contacts' DoB cannot be 2021.

Contact_date_of_birth is too old

Check the Date of Birth for typos - a contact cannot be more than 150 years old. Eg, if the import happens in 2020, the contacts' DoB cannot be before 1870.

Unable to match the provided organisation to an existing organisation for a contact record. Check the provided Org fields attached to this contact and try again

Double check the CRM's Organisation ID, or your internal Legacy Organisation ID to make sure it is correct. Alternatively, ensure Organisation_id field contains the word "orphan" if you do not want the Contact associated with an Organisation.


Q. How many records can I import at one time?

A. up to 10,000.

Q. Are any fields mandatory?

A. Yes, and the Guide highlights those fields in red for you.

Q. My phone numbers went all funny! What happened?

A. Don't re-open the CSV once you have created it. Re-opening a CSV in Excel often corrupts phone numbers so import the CSV as soon as you have created it.

Q. Why didn't my import match an existing record?

A. Check again the Matching Rules below. And make sure the ids, names, postcodes etc are exactly the same as on the CRM.

Q. Can I manually link a Contact to an Organisation after import?

A. Yes, go to Contact Manager and update the Contact record.

Q. Can I manually merge a Contact or an Organisation after they have been imported?

A. Yes, on the record card, click the three button More options menu and select Merge.

Q. What's the difference between Creating and Updating?

A. The Data Importer can be used to create new organisations and contacts, or update existing organisation and contact records on the CRM. If there is data already in Contact Manager, the importer will use Matching Rules to try to match and update an existing record.

Q. What are the Matching Rules?

A. Here is an explanation of the Matching Rules.

Matching Rules to match existing records on the CRM

The importer will try to match your import data to existing data on the CRM using Strong Identifiers. Only one field needs to match for success.

for Organisations

for Contacts



School URB

UUID long

Legacy ID

UUID short

Legacy ID

If none of the Strong Identifiers match, the importer will try to match on a combination of fields - Weak Identifiers. Every field in a weak identify has to match for success.

for Organisations

for Contacts

name, address_1, postcode, country

first_name, last_name, email

name, postcode, country

first_name, last_name, phone

name, address_1, country

first_name, last_name, address_1, postcode

known_as, last_name, email

known_as, last_name, phone

known_as, last_name, address_1, postcode

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