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Importing and Migrating Data

How to import data into Capsule

If you are moving data into Capsule from another CRM or another tool where you have contact information stored, there are a variety of options available to you in how you can migrate this data into Capsule. Your choice is largely dependent on the format your data is in currently. We walk through some of these options below:

How to import Contacts from a CSV file

This is one of the most common ways to get your data into Capsule as most CRMs and tools allow you to export your data as a CSV file. The key to importing this successfully into Capsule is in preparing the data first and setting up Capsule to support all of your data fields.

If you’re using an import to update existing contacts in Capsule then please check out our dedicated section on updating through an import.

We have some dedicated guides for how to export contacts from these popular tools to a CSV file which you in turn can use to import as per the steps below.

Step 1: Prepare your account for import

The first step is to prepare your account for the data you want to import. Any custom fields that you’d like to populate in Capsule need to first be setup by an Admin from the Account Settings. You can read more about how to create custom fields in our section on enriching data.

Step 2: Organize your CSV file for import

When you import a CSV file, Capsule will look at each row in the file and if a row includes a first and/or last name then Capsule will always use that row to create a person and add all the remaining contact details on the row to that person. Therefore you need to make sure to always have separate rows for each person and organization. The row for the person needs to have first and/or last name populated as well as the organization name and the row for the organization need to have just the organization name populated. We have this illustrated in the example below.

All remaining details on each row will be stored against the record that the row is for.

Step 3: Getting the fields right for import

Most fields are straight forward but it’s good to understand how some fields might need specific formatting.

  • First & Last Name: As mentioned above, any row that contains a first and/or last name will be used to create a Person in Capsule and all remaining details on that row will be stored on that Person. If an Organization name is also populated on that row then the Person will be linked to that Organization.
  • Organization: Any row with the Organization name populated and the first & last name fields blank will be used to create an Organization record and all remaining details on that row will be stored on the Organization record.
  • Address: Capsule uses a single field for the street in the address meaning that your csv file needs to have a single column for the Street. You can still use multiple lines within the address for things like apartment numbers etc. They just need to be in the same cell, separated with a line break. Remaining fields like city, zip etc should all have their own columns in the file.
  • Tags: You can include either a single column with all Tags for each record - separated by a comma or you can have separate Tag columns with a tag in each one. Either way, during the import you then map those columns to [Apply as a tag] in Capsule.
  • Custom Fields: As mentioned above they need to first be created from the account settings. Then make sure to map the columns to their corresponding field in Capsule. Custom Check Box fields are best marked with Y for ‘checked’ or N ‘not checked’.
  • DataTags: When importing DataTags you need to include the DataTag name in the ‘Tag’ column and then have a separate column for each custom field within the DataTag.
  • Notes: Notes can be imported but are best formatted in a certain way to ensure that they are separated out and have the correct dates against them. Read more details in our dedicated section on importing history below.

For a DataTag called ‘Lead’ with a Custom Field in it called ‘Source’ you would map the fields like this:

A custom field source within a data tag is displayed as lead.source

That will tag the contact with ‘Lead’ and add the value ‘Conference’ into the ‘Source’ Custom Field.

See example file below for how all these things can be setup in your csv file.

example of csv spreadsheet with contact data

Click to download the sample file.

Step 4: Importing the CSV file into Capsule

Once you have your files ready to go:

  1. Go to the People & Organizations tab .
  2. Click the Import Contacts button at the top-right of the screen.
  3. Select Import from Outlook or CSV file.

Options for importing a csv file

  1. Use the Choose file button and then click the button to Upload & Preview.
  2. Now you’ll be asked to match up the columns in your CSV file to the corresponding fields in Capsule. Capsule will try to automatically detect the right columns but please double check all columns to make sure it is correct. The ‘Sample Values’ section shows what values from your file will be put into each field.

Preview of mapped fields

  1. When you’re done with your selection, click the button to Continue
  2. Next you’ll see a preview of the contacts that are about to be imported. Confirm that it all looks right and check to make sure that the number of contacts about to be created matches up with your expectations.
    Import preview

The duplicates will be visible in that preview too:

Notification of duplicate contacts

  1. If Capsule has found duplicates in your file then you’ll be presented with an option to choose how to handle those. You can either import them all as new contacts anyway, ignore the duplicates or choose the option to Import and update duplicates using the data from your file.
    Options modal for handling duplicates - radio buttons with: import all, don't import, or import and update duplicates
    We have more details on this process in our dedicated section on updating contacts with an import.
  2. Finally click I’m happy, Import Now!. Your import will start and you will be notified via email when it’s complete

Import complete notification

Adding Tags via import

Adding Tags to your contacts during import helps you to organize your contacts into manageable groups from the get go.

There are two ways to do this:

  • The first is to add a single column called “Tags” and then add your Tags to each relevant contact as a comma separated list.
example of single column of tags
  • The second option is to add a separate column for each Tag and just add the Tag in each row where you would like it to be applied. When you come to the mapping stage in Capsule, you will select the option to Apply as tag.
Multiple tag columns

How to import history

When importing your contacts using the CSV import process you can also import notes & emails. During the import you map the history column in your CSV file to ‘add as note/history to contact’ in Capsule.

Option to map history column to contact

To import multiple notes for the same contact and to set a date for your history entry there’s some specific formatting you need to use:

*** NOTE ***
First interesting note

*** NOTE ***
Second interesting note

Emails can be imported with simlar formatting - you just replace NOTE with EMAIL like this:

*** EMAIL ***
First interesting note
  • The note separator field must be formatted exactly as in the example without any extra or removed spaces.
  • The date element is optional.
  • Excel truncates fields to a relatively short limit of 32,000 characters. As a result Excel is unsuitable if you’re generating CSV files with long note histories.
  • For better control over note importing, consider engaging a developer to import the notes via the Capsule API.

How to assign users when importing

To assign Contacts to a specific User when importing, you will first need to add a column in your CSV file with the header ‘Assigned User’. You can then add the username for the Capsule User you would like to assign each Contact to in each respective row.

Administrators on your account can find the username for each User by going to Account Settings > Users and Teams.

How to undo an import

If you want to undo an import for any reason, Capsule gives you the option to view the contacts in your last import which you can then delete in bulk. To do that, you should follow these steps:

  1. Go to the People & Organizations page
  2. Select Last Import from the saved lists at the top of the page
  3. Click the trash-can button at the top-right of the page to delete all the contacts in the list at once
Select save the last import

CSV import troubleshooting

All contacts importing as a single line

Capsule only accepts CSV files in a comma-separated format. Some CSV formats use semi-colons rather than commas which are ignored by Capsule. The CSV format that your computer uses is usually based on the regional settings of your computer and can be solved by simply changing these settings. In most cases, changing the country in your spreadsheet or computer settings to the UK or US will change the default CSV format to comma-separated.

Question marks or strange characters in the import

Capsule assumes that CSV files are in UTF-8 format which allows you to store details about your contacts using characters from most of the world’s languages. However some applications save files in a format specific to your location.

You can usually convert these files to UTF-8 format using a simple text editor. On Windows you can use Notepad, and on Mac OSX you can use TextEdit. Then follow these steps:

  1. Open the CSV file in your text editor
  2. Select ‘Save As’ from the file menu
  3. Select Unicode (UTF-8) from the text encoding menu in the Save as dialog box

How to import from a vCard

If you have a vCard file of contacts from an address book or other service, this is a simple way to import these contacts directly into Capsule. You can for example export your iPhone contacts through iCloud to a vCard file which can then be imported into Capsule. To import a vCard file:

  1. Go to People & Organizations
  2. Click the Import Contacts button at the top-right of the screen click
  3. Select Import from vCard file.
    Import contacts options
  4. Click Choose file and select the vCard file you want to import
    Upload a vCard form
  5. Before the final upload, Capsule will highlight contacts that appear to be duplicates. You can manually change each import status from Ignore to Import for any contacts you want to import them anyway
    Duplicate vCard import notifications
  6. Finally click I’m happy, Import Now! to complete the process

How to import Opportunities and Projects

It’s not possible to import sales Opportunities or Projects in the same way as you can with Contacts. The way we do this instead is using a service called Zapier.

In Zapier you create ‘zaps’ which when triggered in one app, action something in another. This allows you to create a zap with a Google Sheet which creates a new Opportunity or Project in Capsule when a new row is added to your Google Sheet. Once the zap template is created it’s simply a case of copying the data you have for your Opportunities or Projects in the CSV file to the Google Sheet and the zap will take care of the rest.

There are Zapier Templates for importing Opportunities and importing Projects to help with this.

How to import Contacts using the Capsule Mobile App

To import contacts from your phone’s contacts:

  1. Open the Capsule mobile app and select the Contacts tab
  2. Click the + button at the top-right of the screen and select Import Contact
  3. Then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

How to import Contacts using accounting integrations

Accounting integrations allow you to easily sync all of the contacts from your accounting tool into Capsule. You can setup an integration with your accounting tool at any point. If you have your contacts in your accounting tool already but not in Capsule, enabling the integration early on will add your contacts into Capsule in one simple step. Learn more about how to connect your accounting tool to Capsule:

Migrating data to Capsule from a different CRM

Preparation is key when making the transition from one CRM to Capsule. You can start by checking out our blog post: 6 Steps to Successfully Migrate CRM Data

When migrating data from one CRM to another, after you have completed your data analysis and cleanup (steps 1 and 2 in the above blog post), the next step is to export the data from your existing system and then format it ready to import into Capsule. The way the exported data will be formatted after export is dependent on your current CRM.

We have some helpful tips depending on the CRM you are migrating from.


You can export your contacts from HubSpot and then directly import these into Capsule. Within the HubSpot Academy there is an article explaining the process to export your lists.

Salesforce, Pipedrive, Act! And Zoho

Some CRM’s don’t provide all of your data in a single CSV file, for example, contact details and notes can end up separated. Salesforce, Pipedrive, Act! and Zoho are instances of a CRM that doesn’t export your data to a single CSV file.

Salesforce’s backup data export gives you a list of different files where the data is split up. Act! gives you all the contacts in one export and a separate export gives you the history. Pipedrive also exports to separate files. Similar to the others, the export from Zoho gives you an option to export from individual modules or individual reports. Zoho reports have additional limitations that reduce their suitability for large scale exports.

With Capsule when you import a CSV file, all the information for the contact, such as name, phone number, notes and email history, needs to be in the same file when you do the import. You can’t complement an existing contact with notes and email history from a new CSV file. Due to this, for an export from Salesforce, Pipedrive, Act! or Zoho, you’ll need to merge the individual files into a single file before importing.

Contact import

The last step will be to import the contact records via a CSV file or vCard. We have a full guide to help you with this step. One thing to note is that our in-app import is purely for the contact records and their associated information like phone numbers and addresses, etc. Third party tools can be used to help with importing Opportunities and Projects.