Importing leads and contacts using a CSV file

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  • Dustin Glasscoe

    Hi, how do we ensure the imported data is mapped to the existing Contact email address in Sell and the Import does not create a Duplicate entry?  I have the Duplication rules set to ONLY Email and to not allow Duplicates.  Every time in the past and just today when I import 13,000 Contacts Sell creates new Contacts for these records....  even though I know the vast majority of them are already in Sell with the same Address.  Because I exported the data from Sell and amended new fields to it.  When we re-import the records New Contacts are created - have never gotten this to work successfully - hoping you can point out the issue.

    Thank you

  • Katie Dougherty
    Zendesk Digital Resources Team

    Hi @...,

    I would recommend using the Batch updating using a CSV file option if you are updating existing Contacts in your account with new information. 

    Navigate to your Settings > Data > Import > Update existing data option. From there you can clarify what type of data you are importing and you can ensure a new Contact is not created by strictly matching based on Contact ID. Additionally, you will only need to import the fields you need to update. 

    That being said, the duplicate management settings in your screenshot above should catch any duplicates you accidentally import along with new Contacts and merge them together. Keep in mind:

    • The two Contacts must have the exact same email address.
    • You must select the appropriate data mapping strategy upon import to not create duplicates. 

    Lastly, feel free to reach out to our team with any questions or if you catch duplicates in your account, you can always merge them together

  • Faye Admin

    I was attempting to import to Sell Contacts today and I run up against a number of things I was not expecting, some feel like they could be bugs.

    1. I was not able to import values to a custom "address" type field value I had created.  The new field is available to map but never populates with my CSV values.
    2. When importing to the regular "Address" field - The full address appears only in the Street field
    3. Is it possible to set the "Customer status" during an import or import and update?  I tried but this field is not available in the mapping screen.
    4. How can we specify the Date format when importing dates to Sell Contacts, it appears sell tries to "guess" the format today and was making mistakes, i.e. 3/7/2020 imports as 3rd July 2020 and 3/25/2020 imports as 25th March 2020

    That is a mixed bag of questions but I'm curious to see if others have experienced these issues and what they did to overcome them.  If I find solutions myself I'll share back here on the community.

    UPDATE: this article appears to answer most of my questions above:

  • David González

    I've encountered a few challenges when importing Sell Contacts in Zendesk Sell.

    • Zendesk Sell will not let me upload data to a custom field that is a multi-select. Only the first option of that multi-select is applied when mapping data. 
    • The option "Customer Status" does not appear when mapping data from the CSV to Zendesk Sell. Customer Status is a default field included in the profiles 
    • I am not able to import a client's billing address through a CSV, only enter it manually. This is not the main address, but the billing address (a field only triggered when the contact is labeled as a current customer... see second point above)
  • Sabra
    Zendesk Customer Care

    Hey @...! A custom multiselect field is supported for imports, so I will go ahead and open a ticket on your behalf to take a closer look at your specific use case, and you will receive an email about this ticket shortly. 

    On the other hand, as mentioned in this article, Creating a CSV file to import leads, contacts, or deals, The "Customer Status" and "Billing address" fields are not currently supported during the import process. These fields can be updated using our Contacts API endpoint

  • Lori Northrup

    I import Contacts every week, so I'm quite used to that.  However, suddenly our custom field "SOURCE - USE THIS" is no longer available to match fields with.  What happened, and how can I fix it?  thanks, Lori  716-474-7580


  • Andy Lowder

    Hello All,

    I recently imported a few lists as deals with contacts. After completing the import, nearly half of the imported data did not include the Import ID, but the data is in the system.

    What would cause this and is there any way to fix this without reverting the import and then importing the data again?

  • Shrikanth Barkur

    How do I import data from social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Analytics into Zendesk Sell to measure marketing performances such as viewed, opened, responded?


  • Gab
    Zendesk Customer Care
    Hi @Sreekantha, 
    I'm afraid that there's no native functionality that is available at this time for importing data (such as viewed, opened, responded) from social media channels into Zendesk Sell. However, I do agree that it would be a nice feature to have, and I'm happy to pass your feedback to our Voice of the Customer team for further discussion. Please feel free to let me know if I can help with anything else!
    Hi @Jose, 
    By default, admins can export data from Sell, but if granted, all users can export data (see Granting permission to export in Sell). You can export Contacts following this article: Exporting data from Zendesk Sell

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