How to Use a CSV to Specify Records to Delete from Your CRM

Your CRM database size is becoming cluttered with redundant and outdated data, and this is increasing CRM costs and affecting your teams’ productivity. Records that may need clean-up could have hard-bounced emails, were mistakenly added to your CRM, contacts who opted out of your mailing list, companies that have shuttered their doors, or duplicate and bad data from import and integration issues, for example.

You need an easy, reliable way to delete these various records, whether contacts, companies, deals, or custom objects. 

With Insycle, you can upload a CSV containing records you know need to be deleted into the Magical Import module, match the CSV rows to CRM records, and easily delete the data in bulk.

Process Summary

  1. Upload your CSV.
  2. Map the CSV columns to CRM fields.
  3. Choose the field for matching CSV rows to CRM records.
  4. Delete records from your CRM.


Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Select the File, Map Columns, and Specify How to Import Values

In the Magical Import module, select the database and record type in the top menu.

Choose the CSV file containing the record data that you would like to match to CRM records for deletion.


Uploading a file into Insycle does not delete the data right away. Nothing will be deleted from your CRM until you click the red Delete button under Step 2.

Map CSV Columns to CRM Fields

After uploading your CSV data, Insycle analyzes your file and compares the columns in the file to fields in your CRM database.

A column is included for each field in the CSV, with the CSV column header appearing as the top row. Insycle automatically detects the matching CRM fields and maps them for you. The second row shows the mapped CRM field names. (When you plan to delete records you can ignore the Import Mode options.)

Map CSV columns to CRM fields

If your CSV contains fields that are not matched to your CRM, a red error notification icon will show. These "Not Mapped" fields need to be mapped manually by clicking the dropdown and finding the appropriate CRM field. If unmapped, the fields will not be available for use as an Identity field. If they aren't important for helping you delete records, you can remove the column by hovering over the header and clicking the remove button.

If there are issues with a record, the red warning icon will be shown on the left side of the row. When you hover over the icon, an explanation of the error will be displayed. Records that have unresolved errors in them will not be included in the bulk delete process.

Warning hover info

Step 2: Select Identity Field to Match CSV to CRM Records, then Delete

Now you tell Insycle how you want to delete the records that match the CSV data.

Under Step 2, click the Delete tab. 

Select the Identity Field from your CSV data. This should be a field where both the CSV and CRM have the same value. This needs to be a unique identifier that would only belong to a single record—such as email address, phone number, street address, or ID number.


Click the Delete button and confirm the deletion.

Note that there is no preview step for this delete action. Once you click the Yes button, the records will be removed from your CRM.

Please confirm deletion

After the deletion operation runs, you'll be provided with a report detailing how many records were successfully deleted and how many failed. Failed deletions were likely not matched to existing CRM records.

Delete Result info

You can also view changes made in the Magical Import module in the Activity Tracker.

Advanced How-Tos

Create a Backup Export of Your Data Before Deleting

When you use the delete action, the entire record is permanently removed from your CRM. If there's any chance you'll need to refer to this data or restore it later, you may want to create an export that could act as a backup. Though you already have a CSV with some data, you may want more detail from your CRM.

First, upload your CSV and map the columns. Then, under Step 2, click the Export tab.

Choose the Identity Field for matching the CSV rows to CRM records.

Then, use the checkboxes in the Fields to Export dropdown to select all the fields you want to include in your CSV export. 


Selecting a Unique Identifier

Insycle uses Identity Fields to compare your CSV to your CRM data. When selecting your Identity Field, make sure it is truly a "unique identifier." These are data points that would only belong to a single entity—such as email address, phone number, street address, or an ID number. For companies, it could also be company name, or company domain.

For example, no other contact in the database would have Maria Hernandez's email address, phone number, or ID number listed on their contact record. If a contact record contains a match for Maria Hernandez's data in one of those fields, you know that is the contact record for Maria Hernandez.

Using a field that is not uniquely identifying could result in the wrong record in your CRM being deleted. You want to make sure that you are matching data for the correct record.


Using Multiple Identity Fields

You can select more than one identity field, however, Insycle will check all of the fields to match. If one single field does not match, the CRM record will not be identified and will not be deleted. If you include six identity fields and five of them match but one does not, Insycle will not identify the record as a match.

Generally, it is best to stick with a single identity field.


Save a Template for Easy, Consistent Deletions

After you've run your delete operation and are satisfied with the results in the CRM, you can save all of the mapping configurations as a template. This will save you time and provide consistent results in the future.

On the template menu bar, click the new template (plus) button and enter a name, then click the save template (disk) button. 


Then, any time you import data using the same CSV structure you can select the template and the mapping settings will load.



Seeing red warning icon in Step 1

If there are issues with a record, the red warning icon will be shown on the left side of the record. Records that have errors in them will not be imported.

To learn what the problem is and determine steps to resolve it, hover over the red exclamation mark—an explanation of the error will display. 

Row warning

If a field in your CRM includes dropdown values and the data included in your CSV does not match, the row will display an "Invalid picklist value" error. This value needs to be changed to match the dropdown options used in your CRM.

Invalid picklist warning

You can make quick fixes to the import data directly in Insycle by hovering over a value and clicking the pencil icon.

Quick edit

CSV records aren't being matched to CRM records

If a record in your CSV is not being matched to a CRM record and you know that it should be, there are a couple of potential causes.

  • The value of the Identity Field you chose does not match between the CSV and the CRM.
  • You are using too many identity fields.

You can select more than one identity field. However, Insycle will check all the fields to match. If one single field does not match, the corresponding matching CRM record will not be identified and will not be deleted.


Wrong CRM records being matched to CSV data

If you're using a field that is not uniquely identifying, Insycle is likely to identify the wrong record in your CRM as a match and will not be able to identify a record to compare data from. For instance, there are probably many people with the first name "John" in your CRM, but you want to make sure that you are comparing data from the correct record for John. This is why it is important to use uniquely identifying fields.


For general troubleshooting advice, see our article on Troubleshooting Issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I undo a mass deletion operation?

No, not fully. Insycle's Activity Tracker will provide a CSV of the deleted records, which can then be re-imported into your CRM, but the information in this CSV will be incomplete. The CSV will include the  ID, Email, Result, Deeplink, and the fields included in your CSV. Information like activities, list inclusion, and other advanced data will not be available.

Is there a limit on the number of records I can delete?

No, you can delete as many records as required. However, Insycle will only be able to delete records that it is able to match using your chosen identity field(s).

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