Setting Up an Import Data Source

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This article was developed to describe the steps involved in setting up an imported data source for use in Centrex CRM.

An Import Data Source allows you to import leads via a .csv file (unformatted spreadsheet). You may do this to transfer leads from an old CRM or import leads purchased from a lead vendor.

This article includes the following topics:

Setting up an Import Data Source

  1. From the Contacts tab, click Data Source.
  2. Do the following in the Name / Field Assignment section:
    * Required     ** Recommended

    • *Source Name - Enter a name for the data source. We suggest naming the data source after the marketing company or use the web URL for the website the leads will be importing from.
    • *Type - Select Import to accept the import file. We will review this in the next step. Web Form Data Sources are discussed here.
    • *File Type - Select the type of program from the File Type menu you wish the contact to be created as.
    • **Stage and Status - Select the workflow stage and status you want the contact to be placed into on creation.
    • Campaign - Select an option from the Campaign menu that leads should be assigned to.
    • **De-Dupe Field - The de-duplication feature is used to identify OR prevent duplicate leads from being created. Select the field you wish to check for duplicates. We recommend the "Email" address as "Phone" could be a shared number and possibly still separate leads from the same household. You would use "My ID" in cases where you are purchasing leads from a lead vendor and you want to be sure they are not importing duplicate leads to your account.
    • De-Dupe Action - What do you want to happen to the duplicate?
      • Reject means the lead will be rejected and no contact will be created. There will be no record of this contact attempting to be imported.
      • Flag as Dupe allows the system to still create the contact but will flag it as a possible duplicate. You will find a link on the Client Dashboard to view and compare the possible duplicate and decide if you wish to merge or leave them separate.
    • De-Dupe Status - In the case you are flagging duplicates, you can also have the new possible duplicate contacts placed in a separate workflow status so they can be sorted thru later.
    • De-Dupe Type - Who will this affect? You may choose All Contacts, Enrolled, or Not Enrolled.
DO NOT SAVE YET! Saving the Data Source prior to uploading the .csv file will prevent the system from being capable of reading the file, and you'll need to start over by creating a new Data Source.


Configuring the .csv file

It is VERY important the CSV file is setup correctly.


  1. To start, the file to be imported should be the file type "CSV (Comma Delimited)". Any spreadsheet software should be able to Save (or Save As) the file in this format. If not in this format, the data source will not work. Lets start by looking at an example .csv file.
    In the example below we can see a few things needed for the data source to properly import the file. Particularly pay attention to the Header Row.
  2. The first row of the spreadsheet should always be a Header Row. If you plan to use the data source to import several files of leads you want to make sure the Header Row is the same every time. The system will be looking for this row to properly map the fields later on.

    • Special fields that contain functions and characters such as ($,&,/,?, etc...) can cause the file to not import properly.
    • Use only lowercase letters with no spaces as this reduces the possibility of problems during import.
    • Avoid using any duplicate headers. If the file contains two "phone" headers, you want to change the duplicate to "phone2" or maybe change them to "homephone" and "cellphone".
  3. View the .csv file in Excel or other similar software if you are still having issues importing the .csv file (preferably in a Notepad editor). This may reveal issues not easily visible in Excel. For example, in the item pictured below you may notice there is a 'space' in front of the "phone" column header. This is something that will cause the import to fail and you may not have noticed it when viewing in Excel.
  4. Do either of the following:

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Selecting Additional Options

The following options are not required for the data source to function but can be used to apply additional automation when creating contacts.

Assignment Options

The assignment options allow you to assign leads on creation to users and companies. This will allow leads to be worked as soon as they are received into the CRM.

  1. Assigning On - Check the box to activate the further assignment options you will set in this section.
  2. Public - Checking this box will make all the leads created thru this data source "Public". Public leads are viewable within the entire company and do not follow the other sharing options that may limit what contact users can see. The contact can be made "Private" again later from the edit contact page (Client Dashboard).
  3. Company - Select the company you wish to assign the lead to. This will affect what users are displayed in the next option; Assigned To.
  4. Assigned To - Select the user you want leads to be assigned to. You can select multiple users by holding down 'CTRL' while clicking on the users. If multiple users are selected the leads will be distributed evenly.
  5. Additional Company Assignment - You can add secondary company assignments by company type. To set a company's type. go to the Admin Tab > Companies > Select the company to edit and change the option set for "Company Type".
  6. Role Assignment - Assigned users secondarily by role. For the user role to be available you will need to make it assignable. See our article on Role Assignments here for more information.
  7. Team Assignment - Select the team(s) (data source) you want the leads to be assigned.
  8. Notification - Select an email template to be sent to the assigned to rep on creation. The email template must have the Category set as "Notification" to appear in this menu.

Send Notifications

The send notification section can be used to send email messages notifying parties when a contact is created. First select the template. Then select users you wish to receive notifications. You can also add other email addresses in the "More People" box if you wish to notify someone who may not be a user within the CRM. You could use this to send a confirmation email to lead vendors to confirm you have received a lead they've provided.

Creating an Auto-Responder

The Auto-Responder can be used to send a message to the newly created contacts upon file import.

Although this feature is available for Import Data Sources, you would really only set up an Auto-Responder on a Web Form Data Source to let a client know that their form submission has been received. Enabling the Auto-Responder on an Import Data Source will immediately email all contacts on the Import file.


  1. Select the On checkbox to activate the feature, and then an option from the E-Category menu.
    This is the email template type that has been applied to a template from the E-Marketing tab.
  2. Select a campaign from the Template menu.
  3. Select a sender you wish the message to come from the Sender menu.


Webhooks can be set up to immediately post lead information out of the system upon creation. You may do this as part of the Data Source to post leads into a phone dialer campaign so that new leads can be contacted as soon as possible. For more information on setting up WebHooks,  visit our article here.

DO NOT SAVE YET! Saving the Data Source prior to uploading the CSV file will prevent the system from being capable of reading the file, and you'll need to start over by creating a new Data Source.


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Uploading the .csv file and mapping the fields

The next step is to upload the CSV file and map the data fields.

  1. In the Import New Contacts from CSV section, click the Choose File button and select the .csv file from your local drive.
  2. Leave the remaining items as is. if the CSV file has been set up correctly you should not need to change the other options here.
  3. Click Save Data Source.
  4. After saving the data source, the Import New Contacts from CSV section will be replaced with the Import Another File section and an Import Fields sections.Import_Data_Source_-_Import_Another_File_View_Apr2023.png Import_Data_Source_Import_and_Map_2.png
DON'T CLICK "Start Merge" yet! Merging before fields have been mapped will cause all contacts to be uploaded with no data and you'll be left with blank contacts.


Mapping the Fields

  1. Now you will select the fields from within the CRM you wish to map the column headers from the CSV file to. In the example below, we are mapping "fname" to "First Name", "lname" to "Last Name", "phone" to "Home Phone" and "email" to "Email".

    The dropdown menu starts with Standard (system) fields, if you continue to scroll you will find your CRM's Custom Fields and other additional options. The ability to add the data as a note on the contact is an option if you do not wish to save the information to a field.
  2. Now that you have mapped the fields, you can click start merge to import the contacts. However, you may wish to activate some of the additional options discussed in the next section of the article before doing so. Now that the field mapping is set up, you can reuse this data source as long as the CSV file you are trying to upload is set up the same. Trying to upload a file containing a CSV file in a different format will not work. If you are working with a lead vendor, it is in both of your best interests to agree on a format for the file to be submitted, so that you do not have to repeat this process every time you wish to upload a file of leads from them.
  3. Click Starts Merge. The contacts will be created and a push notification will appear in the bottom right confirming the process has started. Depending on the number of contacts and fields included in the CSV file you are attempting to upload, the process will take varying amounts of time. You should see the contact filter into the All Contacts list or a list setup to display leads coming in from the Data Source.
  4. Once finished you will see a push notification appear in the bottom right confirming the process has been completed.

It is not possible to map Co-applicant fields. This is because the system cannot create the Primary contact and Co-applicant contact at the same time. If you have Co-applicant data that you would like to import, you may instead use Custom Fields.

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