Tips and Tricks for Importing a Contact List

Here are some tips and tricks if you run into complications with an import.

    If Guidon cannot read the file correctly, it may make mistakes during record enrichment that can throw off the prediction results. Here are four basic rules to make sure the comma-separated Value (CSV) file is formatted in the most optimal way for Guidon:

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

    Guidon must find the right person during enrichment, so these required data points are critical to include in your upload:

      • Unique Identifier for each record (generated by CRM or customer/donor management tool)
      • First name and Last name (you can split these up into two columns or have one column with a full name)
      • Plus, at least one (ideally both) of the following:
        • Email address(es)
        • Address (home or mailing)
    The following fields are not required, but they will help match our data better:
      • Phone number
      • Social handles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn)
      • Gender
      • Birthdate (mm/dd/yyyy)

    Rule Number Two: Ensure the CSV file is correctly formatted 

    Any cells containing an individual's name should include one name.

    Name cells should only include first name, last name, or full name. However, suppose the cell contains two names (primary contact name and spouse name) or a household name ('Smith Household'), or any other combination. In that case, it can cause problems when Guidon tries to identify these individuals. In addition, if multiple names are not separated, the records may return as unmatched or incorrectly matched. 
    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 have only ONE address.

    Ideally, the full address should be all on one line or split into columns (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 adequately enriched.  
    Here are 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 have only ONE email or phone number.

    If any email addresses or phone numbers are written in the same cell, Guidon cannot read them. To avoid this issue, make sure to separate the cells before uploading. 

    Rule Number Three: Ensure identity data points are separated. 

    Sometimes full names and addresses are combined into one cell to prepare for a mail merge. Guidon, unfortunately, cannot read this. So the data will need to be separated with each into individual columns. Ensure that all the columns in the file contain the information described by the column header. So, if there is a phone number in the email address column,  make sure that the phone number gets moved to the phone number column. 

    Rule Number Four:  Omit the following

    • Omit special characters from all cells (e.g. ? ! ~ *) 
    • Omit any entry that does not describe a person - e.g., corporation or organization names, anonymous entries, entries with blank first or last names, entries with empty addresses, and emails.
    • Omit any cell that does not describe an individual's details, like a fake email address or an auto-assigned email address (such as an Amazon Marketplace or Facebook email address). 

    Note: There is a 100,000 contact record limit for importing. If the import is larger than 100,000 records, you will need to break it into two lists.

    How to correctly map the uploaded file.

    Correct data mapping is just as important as proper data formatting. Mapping is telling Guidon which column heading the file corresponds to the platform's accepted fields. Follow the below rules to ensure everything is correctly mapped: 

    1. Map every identity data field possible.

    The drop-down menu contains a specific mapping option for important identity data points like name, email, phone number, and address. It is essential to map these so Guidon can correctly identify the individuals in your file. If the drop-down menu doesn't have a specific option matching one of your column headings, leave it unmapped.
    The top right of the mapping box shows how many are mapped and unmapped.

    2. Ensure you map the correct identity columns to the correct identity fields. 

     Both 'identity columns' and 'identity fields'  are 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 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. However, 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!
     Guidon will do its best to automatically map the identity columns in your file to the identity fields in the platform. Ensure that everything is mapped correctly and double-check before getting the most accurate information.