The Ultimate Preparation Guide for Importing Data from CSV into Hubspot
You know the phrase — measure twice cut once. Think of this as your #1 principle when preparing for a data import.
Measuring in this sense means prepping your CSV file to meet the requirements of Hubspot so that you can proceed with your data import to accurately import your data and encounter no pesky errors.
Hubspot has a number of various articles, community posts and more to find info on resolving issues — which I’ll link to here for reference. But the purpose of this article is to round up all of the pertinent information in one place so you have a comprehensive checklist and resource to quickly and effecitvely prep your CSV file so you can get moving full steam ahead with your import!
First up, your “short list” of items to validate so that you can avoid:
- Getting through the data import, but receiving an error report on all or some of the data
- Getting stuck halfway through your import setup when you realize you are missing required data
- Getting all the way through your import setup just to get an error message that something went wrong (read: having to go through every step all over again!)
Here’s what you want to check (with links to the articles for more info on why these are important):
- Your file is a valid type (i.e. the file extension is “.csv”)
- Your file is UTF-8 encoded. This is especially important if you have special characters to import
- Your rows don’t exceed 250,000
- Your columns don’t exceed 1,000
- You have no blank rows. Hubspot will not process these and will provide you with an error report
- You have a header row
- You have no extra headers or columns
- First and Last name fields are in separate columns
- Email column is present, even if you do not wish to import emails and have this setting checked in your import setup
- Emails (if present) are in a valid format
If you’d like some help checking your file for the above items, we have a (free!) CSV File Checker designed just for this purpose. Give it a try here!
There are also some things to be aware of that can help you prep your data to ensure that your import processes accurately:
- Include Lifecycle stage values in your CSV file (if you do not wish to assign one value to all of your contacts). Here’s an article I put together with some handy tips on how to correctly import these.
- If you are updating your existing contacts and have multi-picklist fields to import, make sure you have formatted your data in the CSV to meet Hubspot’s requirements. This will ensure you do not unintentionally overwrite your existing data.
Hopefully this helps you move ahead with your imports with more confidence, and you find less errors as a result. If I’ve missed anything that you’ve encountered as an issue, please comment!