How to Add a Contact List

You got a fever for predictions? The prescription is more contacts.


Summary: A contact list is a list of people you're looking to gain insights into. Just drag or import your CSV into Guidon, map your CSV into Guidon, and upload.


1. To add a contact list, go to and sign in to your account:

2. Once you're in, you'll land on the "contacts" tab:

3. In the top right corner, click the "Add Contact List" button:

4. Drag and drop your file in the contact list CSV or excel file, or click in the white space to upload your contact list file from your computer:

5. Map the fields of your data set to make sure all of the data gets accounted for. If you have data with no field, map it as "metadata". When you mark a field as metadata, it will save the information from that column in your file as-is. Once completed, press continue:

6. Then press "next" to move to step 2, creating your contact list:

7. Name your contact list, and click "next" to review your dataset and contact list name:

8. Last step! Review your work, and click "Enrich Contacts" and "Understood". 

9. Once your contact list is ready, you'll get an e-mail directing you to the app. The app will look like this:

And now you're ready to use your contact list!

Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks we use when we run into complications:

    Formatting your file for best results:

    If Guidon cannot read your file properly, it may make mistakes during record enrichment that can throw off your prediction results. Even machines make mistakes sometimes! Here are four basic rules to make sure your file is formatted in the most optimal way for Guidon:

    Rule Number One: Ensure your file includes required identity data points

    We want to ensure Guidon is able to find the right person during enrichment, so these required data points are very important to include in your file:

      • Unique Identifier for each record (e.g. generated by your CRM or customer/donor management tool)
      • First name and Last name (you can split these up into two columns, or have one column with full name)

        Plus at least one (ideally both) of the following:
      • Email address(es)
      • Address (home/mailing)
    The following fields are not required, but ideal (they'll help us match our data better):
      • Phone number
      • Social handles (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn)
      • Gender
      • Birth date (mm/dd/yyyy)

    Rule Number Two: Ensure your file is properly formatted 

    Any cells containing an individual's name should contain only ONE name.

    Name cells should only include a first name, a last name, or a full name. If the cell contains two names (e.g. main contact name and spouse name) or a household name (e.g. 'Smith Household'), or any other combination that is not just first name, last name, or full name, it can cause problems when Guidon tries to identify these individuals. You may end up with a lot of unmatched or incorrectly matched records if you do not separate out multiple names.
    Here are some examples of what not to do with names in a file:
    Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 6.47.13 PM
    Here are some examples of well-formatted names in a file:
    Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 6.49.51 PM           Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 6.51.20 PM     

    Any cells containing an individual's address should contain only ONE address.

    Similarly to names, any cells containing addresses should only contain one address. Ideally, you should have the full address all on one line, or, it should be split out by columns (i.e. address line 1, address line 2, city, state, zip). If there is anything irregular, Guidon may not be able to read it. It is also important to note that any addresses without the State and Zip Code may not be enriched properly.  
    Here's some examples of well-formatted addresses in a file:
    Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 6.56.24 PM        Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 6.57.08 PM

    Any cells containing an individual's email or phone number should contain only ONE email or phone number.

    You know the drill. If any email addresses or phone numbers are listed out in the same cell, Guidon cannot read them. Make sure you separate these into their own columns before you upload them! 

    Ensure identity data points are not mixed in together 

    For example, we sometimes see full name and full address combined into one cell. Guidon unfortunately cannot read this. You will need to separate full name and full address into their own columns. 

    Also ensure that all the columns in your file contain the information described by the column header. For example, if there is a phone number in the email address column, you will need to make sure that phone number gets moved to the phone number column. 

    Other formatting tips for best results

    Omit special characters from all cells (e.g. ? ! ~ *) 

    Omit any entry that does not describe an individual person - e.g. corporation or organization names, anonymous entries, entries with blank first or last name, entries with blank address AND email, etc. 

    Omit any cell that does not describe the personal details of an individual - e.g. a fake email address or an auto assigned email address (e.g. an amazon marketplace or facebook email address), etc. 

    How to properly map your file once it is uploaded into Guidon

    Correct data mapping is just as important as proper data formatting. Mapping is the process of telling Guidon which column heading in your file corresponds to the platform's accepted fields. Guidon is pretty smart, but not smart enough to know what every column in your file contains, so we need to give it some help. Follow the below rules to ensure you are mapping everything correctly: 

    Rule number one: Map every identity data field you can.

    At the mapping stage, you will see a drop-down menu that gives you mapping options for every column in your file. The drop-down menu contains a specific mapping option for important identity data points like name, email, phone number, and address. It is very important to map these so Guidon can properly identify the individuals in your file. If the drop-down menu doesn't have a specific option matching one of your column headings, just leave it unmapped.
    At the top right of the mapping box, you can see at a glance how many fields you have mapped and how many are unmapped.

    Rule number two: Ensure you map the correct identity columns to the correct identity fields. 

    When we refer to 'identity columns' and 'identity fields' we mean, anything that identifies an individual as that individual. This includes name, email(s), phone number(s), physical address(es), and social profile(s). It is very important to map the right identity columns to the right identity fields, otherwise, Guidon may not recognize what you're mapping. For example, any email column needs to be mapped to the email field in Guidon, and so on.
    You can map first name and last name or full name only once, and up to two addresses. There is no limit to how many times you can use the email and phone mapping options, so if your file contains seven email columns, go ahead and map each one to the email field in Guidon!
    Important: Guidon will do its best to automatically map the identity columns in your file to the identity fields in the platform. But sometimes, it gets this wrong, or it doesn't map it at all. So, ensure you map everything you can, and double-check before proceeding to make sure everything is mapped correctly!