If you want to import people who should become a part of press lists, issue lists, etc. in the system, please read this tutorial.
Special note: If your spreadsheet contains newly purchased email addresses, you MUST contact us first before importing that information into your system. Please open up chat or send us an email to learn about the next steps for handling a purchased email list.
Before you can begin the import process, you will first need your excel file in CSV (comma delimited) format to import into your Fireside account. You can open and save any Excel spreadsheet as a CSV file by selecting File>Save As and changing the File Type dropdown to CSV (comma delimited). Here are a couple of other things to do to your file to prepare to import:
1. Remove unnecessary columns.
You will want to keep as much information as possible for email targeting, but there are likely blank columns that can be deleted and some data that isn't useful. A smaller file will import quicker. Examples: Keep – gender, DOB, Home Address (Street 1, Street 2, City, State, Zip). Delete latitude, creation date, or any column with mostly blank fields. To delete a column, simply highlight the entire column, right-click, and select delete.
2. Make sure entries are formatted correctly and all columns have headers.
Please make sure each column is properly labeled with a sensible header. This will greatly assist you during the import process. Furthermore, in order for Fireside to accept the data, it must be configured in the proper format. Some common examples:
-All phone numbers must be only 9 digits (ex. 2026215121). Extensions will not be accepted.
-Zip codes can only be 5 digits. (Zip+4s are not necessary and can be deleted. They will be entered in automatically during the address validation process.)
-Name information must have their own columns (FirstName, MiddleName, LastName).
-Gender can be listed as M/F or Male/Female for an import. Just make sure it's consistent and that there are no cells marked with "U" for unknown.
-DOB must be in this format mm/dd/yyyy.
-Single- or Multi-select field must have columns for each response. If a constituent selected an answer, place a "Y" in the corresponding cell. Leave all others blank.
-Optin should be entered as "Y" (for optin) and "N" (for optout). If it’s a list of optins, but some people didn’t opt in OR opt out, DO NOT put "N" as this will mark them as optouts. NOTE: 1s and 0s for Y and N will NOT be accepted.
-Number type fields can only have whole integers (ex. 1, 2, 32, 75, 1000). Number with decimals will not be accepted.
If your data is not configured correctly, it will result in errors, and you will need to import the information once again. Please feel free to send in your spreadsheet after cleaning it up to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be happy to look over it to ensure it’s properly formatted.
3. Make sure that you’ve added the necessary fields or affiliation code prior to import.
Sometimes, offices purchase information that hasn’t been previously stored in Fireside and does not already have a designated slot. In these instances, a custom field MUST be created ahead of time. To create a field, check out this tutorial. Offices also like to tag imports with an affiliation code so that the group of people is easy to find once imported and can be grouped together in an audience. If you want to tag an import with an affiliation code (optional), be sure to have an Account Owner create one for you under Settings ahead of time.
If you are ever unsure if you need to create any fields prior to import, please hop into chat. We will be happy to discuss your import!
Now that you have prepared your CSV file, you should log in to Fireside and navigate to People>Imports. Then click "New Import" in the header toolbar.
On Step 1 of the import, browse to select one of your files and also choose how the data was obtained. If you followed the formatting above, all of the defaults on Step 1 should be ok (Delimiter=Comma, Headers=Yes). You have the option of assigning an affiliation code to the entire import (perhaps by date if you'd like to target this specific import group for some reason in the future - ex. "June2016VoterImport"). Click next when done.
On Step 2, map all of the sample data from the CSV file (left column) to your Fireside fields in the drop downs. For any categories, be sure to map the header/column to the correct field in the dropdown provided in the Mapping column. When finished, press next.
Mapping Pro-Tip: In the drop-downs provided, field options are sorted alphabetically by field type (ex. Number, Address, Single-select, Multi-select, Yes/No, Text, Email). If you click on the drop-down, you can then type using your keyboard the first letter of each to scroll through the options (ex. Keep hitting "s" until you find the Single-select field you need or "y" for a Yes/No field. Others are "e" for emanager ID or email, "m" for Multi-select, "a" for address. You can also use the up and down arrows on your keyboard to enable faster mapping.).
On Step 3, determine which fields you would like to update with the CSV file data (by checking the checkbox). When Fireside finds a match between a record in your data file and a person already in your account, we will only add information from the file to this person if the corresponding field for that person is currently empty. However, if you would like us to overwrite existing information in a person's record, please check the "Update" box for the corresponding row. Otherwise, the data will be added only if new person records are being created or if there is currently no information in the corresponding data area. In other words, if you do not check any update boxes and the constituent’s information for that particular field is empty prior to import, it will be filled in with whatever status you have in the CSV document. If you do not check any update boxes and the constituent’s is already filled with existing information, nothing will be added or changed in that particular field. If you have any questions or want to ensure you’re selecting the right options (prior to hitting "Finish"), please give us a call (202.621.5121) or message us in chat.
Before clicking “Finish,” double-check to make sure that the affiliation code will be applied (if you chose to apply one) to your import. Once satisfied, click "Finish."
Once your import finishes processing, you may want to create an audience to target the information you’ve just imported. If so, check out the following tutorial on audience creation.