The Import Contacts function can be used for three (3) primary purposes:
To import NEW accounts and contact data into your database.
To perform a Mass Update of specified fields in either the Accounts or Contacts tables of your database.
To perform a Mass Delete of Accounts in your database.
The first screen of the import wizard contains a section for Import Options. These options are represented by two (2) checkboxes - a checkbox for Update and a checkbox for Delete.
To import New Accounts and Contacts into your database, you simply leave the Update and Delete checkboxes UNCHECKED.
To import Account and/or Contact information in order to mass update information that is already in the system, you must CHECK the Update Checkbox. (Leave the Delete checkbox unchecked).
When doing an Update Import, the system will update data in your database for any field (which you have mapped) where the system finds the appropriate record, and where the field being updated is not blank for the selected record. So, when the system finds the record to update, and the field in your import file contains a value (other than blank), then the system will replace the value in the database with the value from your import file.
How To Prepare Your Import File For An Update Import
The fields contained in your import file only need to be the fields that will a) identify the record to update and b) the fields you are updating. You do not need to have any other fields/columns in the import file.
If you are updating fields that belong only to Account records, then the fields you need in the import file to identify the record are the AccountID field, and the Account Name field. The other fields in your import file will be the fields you want to update.
An example import file being setup in a spreadsheet to update an Account record would resemble the following:
The AccountID and Account Name fields will identify the record to update, and the rest of the columns will be contain the fields you are going to update.
If you are updating fields that belong to a Contact record, then the fields you need in the import file will also need to identify the Contact in addition to the Account. To properly identify the exact contact record you are going to update requires the AccountID field, the AccountName field, the ContactName field (either in full name format, or separate firstname and lastname fields).
An example import file being setup in a spreadsheet to update a Contact record would resemble the following:
The AccountID and Account Name identify the account, and the Contact Name identifies the specific contact to update, the rest of the columns will contain the fields you are going to update.
To get a file that has the fields you need to identify the records, and the fields you want to update, simply build a View (using the Filter function) to selectively display the records you want to update. Then, use the Download function on the View screen to save the records to a file. You can then load this file into a spreadsheet. You will see column headings for the AccountID field, Account Name field, and in the case of a Contact View - the Contact Name fields (both in full name format and in separate firstname and lastname formats). Keep only the other field columns in the file that you are going to be updating - all the other field columns can be deleted from the file - this will speed the import process not only by making it easier to map only the fields you need, but also keep the system from having to read unnecessary data during the import process.
To do an import in order to perform a Mass Delete of Accounts from your database, you must CHECK the Delete Checkbox. (Leave the Update checkbox unchecked).
When doing a Delete Import, the system will delete the Accounts specified in your import file. All information belonging to the deleted account is deleted as well - this will include any Contacts, Opportunities, Activities, and Notes that belong to the Account.
How To Prepare Your Import File For A Delete Import
The only field you need in a Delete Import is the AccountID field. No other fields are required.
An example import file being setup in a spreadsheet to delete Accounts would resemble the following:
The AccountID will identify the Account you want to delete.
To get a file that contains the AccountIDs for the records you want to delete, simply build a View (using the Filter function) to selectively display the records you want to delete. Then, use the Download function on the View screen to save the records to a file. You can then load this file into a spreadsheet. Find the AccountID column and then delete all the other columns from the file - leaving only the AccountID column.