Import supporters all at once instead of entering supporters manually.
The first thing you need to do is to create the data file that you will upload into Engage. You can do this using any number of spreadsheet programs, such as OpenOffice or Microsoft Excel. Make sure your filename is 20 characters or less.
The Field Name represents the first cell in a column of data and resides in the first row of your data. The values you import will be in the subsequent rows of your table.
Step 1: Scrub Your Data
Data cleaning is the process of recognizing and correcting or removing inaccurate or irrelevant records from your table. Once your file contains all the records you wish to import, make sure to scrub your data before saving for the final time, to remove any extraneous or unuseful items from your list.
Engage will attempt to remove all extra spaces and non-printing characters (such as hard and soft breaks or tabs) from your import file, but every attempt should be made to scrub the data first before importing.
- Remove commas from all fields. Since you'll be importing a comma-separated .csv file (see below), leaving commas in your data will tell Salsa to start a new supporter record. That would be bad.
- Remove line breaks from all fields. You can use the CLEAN function in Microsoft Excel to remove them.
- Format date cells in the format MM/DD/YYYY or YYYY-MM-DD. Highlight any date values, right-click, select Format, and then format your date cells as shown in this example:
- Get rid of extra spaces.
- Convert numbers stored as text into numbers.
- Remove duplicates.
- Change text to Lower/Upper/Proper Case.
- Spell check.
Following are the fields that you can use in the data file that you will upload into Engage. Make sure that you check the in-app help next to each field to see acceptable values:
- Address Line 1
- Address Line 2
- Cell Phone
- State (two-character state abbreviation, appropriate for country code)
- Country (two-letter abbreviation, ISO 3166-2 country code)
- Date of Birth
- Email Address [required]
- Subscription Status (Subscribed, Unsubscribed, Hard Bounced)
- External ID
- Facebook Username
- First Name
- Last Name
- Gender (Male, female only)
- Home Phone
- Middle Name
- Preferred Language (en-US only)
- Twitter ID
- Work Phone
- Zip Code
- SMS Status (Broadcast Text only)
You can also import into any Supporter Custom Fields that you've already created in Engage. For your column header, use the name of the custom field.
Note: When you are importing fields that contain a date and time, timezone should be included to guarantee proper conversion. Without timezone information, the time will be interpreted by Salsa Engage as GMT.
Step 2: Create Your Comma-Delimited File
Once you have saved your file for the final time, save it as a Comma Separated Value (.csv). To create a comma-delimited text file from your spreadsheet (using Excel as an example)...
- Choose the Save As option.
- Click on Format.
- Select Comma Separated Values (.csv) from the dropdown list.
Robust data collection about your supporters is preferable to limited data collection. There are some standards of data management that should be put into practice:
- Organizations are not currently supported to be imported into Salsa Engage. Do not import blank first name columns.
- Do not put both first and last names in one name field or the other. Split them into separate first and last names.
- Do not use fake/made-up first or last names like 'Unknown'. If you don't know their name, build a sign-up form and ask! If hundreds of records are named 'Unknown Unknown' then there will be thousands of potential duplicates from online that match on the name.
- Do not use fake email addresses if you don't know someone's email. It will negatively impact your delivery reputation if sent to a valid domain.
- If I import data and there are two rows that have the same external ID, but the email addresses do not match, then the second row will not be imported.
- If you are subscribed to Broadcast Text messaging, you may import only US cell phone numbers and their SMS Status (Subscribed (opt-in) or Unsubscribed (opt-out) values only) from a legacy texting system. Format your phone numbers in any accepted format. These numbers are normalized to 10 digits in the database.
Next: Import Supporters