Phone number formatting is critical. It plays a critical role in how your CRM works with integrated autodialing solutions. It can be used as a field to help you identify or prevent duplicates in your database. Proper formatting with country codes is also critical for improving readability, which helps sales reps and team members reach out to customers.

But phone number formatting can be difficult. When people enter data, there are many different formats that can be used. Different country codes further complicate the situation, and parsing your information and standardizing it when there are dozens of potential formats is almost impossible in Excel or most CRM systems.

But Insycle delivers the tools that you need to format and standardize your phone numbers with specific country codes.

How It Works

You can create custom phone number formatting for each country based on the country code in the phone number, or using the contact's "Country" field. For example, you might create separate templates for priority countries—"Format UK Phone Numbers", or "Format New Zealand Phone Numbers."

Then, you can use Insycle Recipes to bundle all of your country-specific templates together and run them all at once, or schedule them to run on an automated basis.

Summary

First, we filter for the relevant phone numbers, so that you're only updating phone numbers for one specific country (not other countries).

Then, we apply the phone number format. Whether you use a predefined format or build your own from scratch using rules to determine which separator to use and where to use it.

Create custom templates for each country you would like to format with country codes, and then add them all to a recipe to run them automatically. Alternatively, or as a fallback, you can apply one format to all countries, such as the E.164 international standard or US-centric formats.

Step 1: Set Country-Specific Filter

Navigate to the Transform Data module, this is where we will update the "Phone Number" field and format for international country codes.

First, we set our filter. The filter identifies the records that we would like to update with this operation. For example, if we were formatting phone numbers for Australia, we add that rule here. This ensures we only update the records that we want to update. When you build templates for other countries, you will alter this filter to reflect those countries.

filter australia

 

Click the "Search" button and Insycle will generate a preview of the records that meet this filter at the bottom of the page.

Step 2: Configure Country Code & Phone Formatting

In Step 2, we apply the functions that will format your phone numbers and configure the country code.

We select the "Phone Number" field and can use different functions to format Australian phone numbers with country codes.

Let's start simple. 

First, we can inject the country code at the beginning of the phone number, using the Prefix add function. We'll also remove the local number "0" from the front of these numbers using the Prefix Remove function. Since these processes are run in the order they are shown, we will make sure Prefix Remove runs first.

This will add the country code at the beginning of all phone numbers that match your filter. This is the quick-and-easy way to inject country codes.

prefix remove prefix add

 

You can also use functions to further clean the field, such as using the Remove Non-digits, which removes everything that isn't a number — letters, symbols, punctuation, parenthesis, dashes, etc. The Remove Non-Digits function serves as a fresh start for your data, without losing anything important.

Remember, this will clear existing formatting. If you plan on injecting new non-digits with the template, such as adding a "+61" country code prefix, or adding a dash as a separator, the Remove Non-digits function needs to appear first in the list.

 

Using the Remove Non-Digits is often a requirement before you format your phone numbers. That's because phone numbers may included spaces, periods, dashes, or other random characters that make them impossible to format. By removing everything except digits, you ensure that your data is as clean and consistent as possible before formatting.

Now we add in the Format Phone Custom Separator, and enter "3,1,4" in the Existing Test Field, and a dash (-) in the New Text field.

format phone cusotm separator

 

The Format Phone Customer Separator function formats the phone number for spacing based on the number of characters. For instance, using the "3,1,4" input and a dash, with the country code added through Prefix Add "412129757" becomes → "+61-4-1212-9757."

The numbers show after how many characters the separator will appear.

In "3,1,4" the first separator appears after three characters, then after one more character, then after four. Any remaining numbers will appear after the final separator. You can use other separators too such as spaces (add a blank space to the "New Text" field), periods, stars, or any separator that makes sense.

Here are some examples, using a dash (-) as a separator:

Format Phone Custom Separator Existing Text Input

Original Phone Number

After Custom Phone Separator

3,1,4

+61412129757

+61-4-1212-9757

3,3

2061713177

206-171-3177

2,3,3

+12024446789

+1-202-444-6789

 

You can use this to format your phone numbers to the separation and spacing standards of your chosen country.

If you'd like to add a 0 instead of the country code at the beginning of the phone number, you can do that using the Prefix Replace function.

prefix replace

 

In the end, you can add these different functions together into one template.

functions

 

Using the functions in this article, you can create templates for all of the phone numbers from specific countries that you would like to format with country codes.

Step 3: Preview or Update

With your filter and functions set, we can now run the operation and update our phone numbers.

Click the Review bottom of the page.

preview or update

 

A popup will appear. Here, you can choose Preview Mode or Update Mode. It is a good idea to run first in Preview Mode to ensure the template is working how you intend. This will generate a CSV that shows you what the changes will be but does not update your live CRM data. Once you are sure things are working as intended, run in Update Mode.

preview mode or update mode

 

Click Next. Here, you can add colleagues and additional context to the report email.

share

 

Click next. Here you can choose to whether you want this template to run automatically on a set schedule, or run it one-time immediately.

automate or run now

 

Once you are satisfied with how the operation runs, you can save your settings as a template for future use by clicking on the "+" and "Save" buttons on the Template Menu.

templates

 

Step 4: Add All Templates to a Recipe & Schedule Automation

Once you've created all of your templates for international phone number formatting and country code usage, you can bundle them all together in a Recipe.

recipes

 

Recipes are a collection of templates, ordered into numbered steps.

recpie

 

Using Recipes, you can run all templates together so that you do not have to run them by hand every time that you want to format your international phone numbers. These templates can be reordered.

You can also add additional phone number formatting templates here, such as the "Format All Other Countries" template, which allow you to format numbers in bulk, outside of your countries with specific templates.

Recipe Automation

Additionally, you can use Recipes to automate international phone number formatting.

Click the "Review" Button on the Recipes page. Here, you can schedule the entire Recipe to run on a set schedule.

You'll be taken through a three-step process. In the third-step, you'll be able to set an automation schedule for this Recipe, and all of your included templates will be run in order, automatically.

automate insycle recipes

 

Additionally, HubSpot users can schedule their international phone number Recipes directly into HubSpot Workflows.

workflows

 

Automation

You can schedule your Transform Data templates to run on an automated, set schedule. You can schedule your template directly in the Merge Duplicates module. You do this by clicking the Review button at the bottom of the module page.

Then, you go through a three-step process to run the operation. In the third step, you can choose the "Automate" tab, and schedule your template to run on a set schedule.

automate or run now

 

You can also schedule formatting automation using Recipes, which are a collection of templates run together. You can view all scheduled automations on the “Automations” page on your dashboard. HubSpot users can also automate using Workflows.

Learn More:

Troubleshooting

Phone Number Formatting In HubSpot:

HubSpot's phone number formatting features can conflict with Insycle's ability to format phone number fields. If HubSpot's automatic phone number formatting is turned on and you'd like to use Insycle for formatting, you'll need to revert this and un-apply the format in HubSpot.

However, it is not always simple to remove because clicking "Remove" alone will not remove this. You need to also add one space to the phone number for the "Confirm" button to be activated.

phone-format-1.png

Add the space at the end of the phone number field in HubSpot, then click 'Confirm.'

 

phone-format-2.png

Lastly, make sure to click the Save button to save the changes.

phone-format-3.png

Preview Changes Before They Go Live

With Insycle's Transform Data module, you can preview the changes that you are making to your data before those changes are pushed to your live database. That way, you can check to ensure your template is working as expected.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will this template work with all country codes?

No. This template can serve as a good starting point but will require customization to work for other countries.

Which default templates can I use to format phone numbers?

Template Name

Description

Format Phone Number E. 164

Formats phone numbers to the E. 164 international standard

Format Phone Number US (xxx) xxx-xxxx

Formats USA phone numbers to the (xxx) xxx-xxxx standard

Format Phone Number US +1 (xxx) xxx-xxxx

Formats USA phone numbers to the 1+ (xxx) xxx-xxxx standard

 

Do I have to filter my data?

Yes. While you can run the Transform Data module without one, Insycle will analyze your entire database. This is not advisable, as the operations can take a very long time for large database. Instead, it is easier to filter your data down into small segments, and use multiple templates rather than running operations for your entire database.

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