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πŸŽ₯ Importing for Admins
πŸŽ₯ Importing for Admins

How to import existing lists and spreadsheets into Nexl

Gillian Hood avatar
Written by Gillian Hood
Updated over a week ago


Hi! And welcome back to our special course for Admin users. In this session, we will take a closer look at how you can import existing spreadsheets into Nexl.

Admin users can import both Contacts and Companies from Excel files. Even though Nexl will automatically capture contacts and companies and enrich them, it will sometimes be useful to import spreadsheets to complement the system's automatically-tracked data.

Nexl's import function leverages the power and functionality of Flatfile, a market-leading solution for data onboarding. Let's have a look at how you can use it to your advantage.

Importing Contacts

Admin users will find the import function by clicking on the cog at the top of your page, and selecting the final option at the bottom of the drop-down menu called import.

On the import page, you will see records of previous imports and two buttons on the top right of your page: one for importing contacts and another for companies. The import process for companies and contacts is very similar.

Let's do one example for contacts.

Uploading a File

The import process consists of various phases. The first step is locating your source file. You can drag and drop the file into your page or search the file on your device or in the cloud by clicking on the select file button.

Once your source file has been loaded, Nexl will show you the data that is contained in your spreadsheet. This step is important to verify you have selected the correct source file.

Mapping Fields

When you press continue, you will get to the important step of matching the columns in your file with the corresponding template fields on Nexl.

Note that you don't need to import all of the data from your spreadsheet. You can select which columns to bring over and which ones to leave out. To add a column, simply click on the light blue button with the column name and plus symbol, which will move it up to the matching section of the page.

When selected you will now need to search or select the template fields in which you will want to import the data from that specific column from your spreadsheet.

Nexl will try to match the data automatically, but please verify every column you want to import, is linked to the right template field. If you'd like to remove a specific column from the import motion, hover over the specific item and click on the downward arrow next to the selection drop-down field. This will move the field down and exclude it from the import.

It's also important to emphasize that there is one mandatory field in every import process. For contacts, that is the e-mail address, which functions as a unique identifier. For companies, it is the domain address or e-mail field that will allow mapping the company with the correct entity on Nexl. Note that when importing Contacts, you do not need to import the Company name, as Nexl will automatically link the contact to the right company, or create a new company in case it did not yet exist on the system. If you want to update company names on Nexl, you will need to run an additional Company import.

You can preview the information by hovering over the mapped fields. This will display the data that will be imported on the right-hand side of the screen. Once you've verified the data and you are happy to move forward, please click on continue.

Review and Finalize

On the next screen, you can review and finalize the data import. Nexl will now display the information held in your spreadsheet but across the various template fields as they exist on Nexl.

In this step of the import process, we'll also show you any errors in your list. This is typically due to missing or incorrect emails or domain names. You can still correct any potential mistakes in this step before finalizing the import.

Once you press save and finalize, the system will import the information and take you back to the initial import screen, from where you can follow the progress of your import. For large lists, the import might take a couple of minutes before completion.

Once completed, you can check the imported data by looking up the contacts you have imported, and verify all data has been imported correctly.

Importing Companies

Let's run through the various steps one more time, but now importing a Company list.
To import a company list, again, you will need to press the company button on the import page, and select the source file for your list. This can be an Excel or CSV file.

Once the file has been uploaded and processed, you can review the information as it is in your spreadsheet.

In the next step, you can match the various columns in your spreadsheet with Nexl Template fields. For importing a list of Companies, you will need to have a field with a domain name, or any email address with that domain. This is the unique identifier that will allow Nexl to import the data into the correct company records.

Once you save and finalize, the data will be imported and that concludes the import process.

You can see how easy it is to bulk update in company fields such as Industry or Company type, very useful fields for segmenting Company or Contact lists.

List Imports

There are other places in Nexl from where you can import Contact and Company lists as well.

Firstly, you can directly import spreadsheets into Project lists. As shown in this demo Project, you can import Contacts into Project Contact lists, Companies into Company Project lists, and any items into Generic Project Lists.

Note that for the first two, Contact and Company Project lists, the Nexl Import function can match the records by using the Contact's email address, or the Company's domain. So, as shown earlier, Nexl will not create duplicates if the Contact or Company is already on the list. That is different for Generic lists, that can contain multiple records for the same company or for the same contact.

The import process works exactly as described earlier in this session.

Secondly, you can also import lists into static Contact or Company lists. When you open up your Contacts or Companies, and you have a static list in there, you will see the import button on the top right of the screen.

Finally, you can also import contacts directly into a Marketing list. When you open up your marketing lists module, you will see the import button when clicking through into a specific Marketing list.

Best Practices

Now, let's go over a couple of use cases and recommendations.

Firstly, it is important to realize that because of the unique identifiers, there can be no duplicates on Nexl. When a contact or company is already on the system, Nexl will simply override any fields for which you import data from your source file. Sometimes you will only want to bring across one specific field that can be A tag or a company type. In that case, you really only need to import the domain or e-mail address and the additional data point you would like to bring across.

The import function can be useful in various scenarios. At the start of an implementation project, for instance, we typically run a company in port to update the company type for existing clients in bulk. Or, you might have existing contact lists in spreadsheets that contain specific attributes such as practice area or legal area of interest, or other data points that Nexl's enrichment process wouldn't be able to pick up on.

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