How to Associate Records From a CSV While Importing Into Your CRM
Your sales and marketing teams rely on properly associated data for context in communications, sales conversations, and decision-making. But when you import data—whether manually or through an integration—proper associations are not in place. Manually associating contacts can be extremely time-consuming.
Use the Magical Import module to import and associate new records from a CSV, and automatically detect and link contacts, companies, deals, and custom objects in bulk to maintain order in your database and give your teams a complete picture of every account.
- Upload the CSV file.
- Map the CSV columns to the CRM fields and specify how to import the values.
- Select the Identify Field.
- Optionally, specify how to prepare and modify your data before importing.
- Set rules to make associations between CSV and CRM records.
- Import the data with the specified associations to your CRM.
Select the CSV File for Import
In the Magical Import module, select the database and the record type in the top menu.
Click the Choose button and select the CSV file that you would like to import. Uploading a file into Insycle does not import it to the CRM right away, instead, you can prepare the data in a variety of ways before actually importing it to the CRM.
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.
If your CSV contains fields that are not matched to your CRM, a red error notification icon will show at the top of the column. These unmapped fields need to be mapped manually by clicking the picklist and finding the appropriate CRM field. If they remain unmapped they will not be imported.
To remove fields from the import, hover over the column name and click the “X”.
If there are issues with row data, 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 errors in them will not be imported. Learn about fixing common errors in the Troubleshooting section below.
Specify How to Import Values for Each Column
With all relevant fields mapped, tell Insycle how to use the data on a field-by-field basis by selecting the Import Mode, in the third row of the table.
Four Import Mode Options
- Update – Update CRM records with all non-empty field data contained in the CSV.
- Fill – Import CSV values only when the corresponding field in your CRM is empty.
- Overwrite – Insycle will replace any existing data in your CRM with the data in the CSV — even if the CSV field is empty.
- Append – Import values from the CSV and append (add them to) the existing data already in your CRM. A typical example of how “Append” is used would be in a “Notes” field.
To make any final changes to values before they are imported, you can edit the import data directly in Insycle by hovering over a value and clicking the pencil icon.
Insycle uses identity fields to compare your CSV to your CRM data. Identity Fields must be "unique identifiers." This is data that would only belong to a single contact, such as email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses, or ID numbers. 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.
Under Step 2 on the Import tab, and select the Identity Field from the dropdown.
Select the Records Mode to tell Insycle how the imported data should be handled during the import process.
- Update existing and create net new – If Insycle is unable to find a corresponding record, a new record will be created in your CRM.
- Only update existing – If a corresponding record is found, it will be updated with the data from your CSV import. Records that are not matched with an existing CRM record will not be imported.
- Only create net new – Only records that can not be matched with an existing record in your database will be imported. Records that already exist in your CRM will not be updated.
You can make changes to the CSV data in Insycle before it is uploaded to your CRM. You could apply formatting to a field, cleanse data, organize, and perform other actions prior to import.
On the Functions tab of Step 3, select the Column Name from the CSV file. Then, tell Insycle how the data should be formatted when it is imported. When finished, click Apply.
In the above example, the settings will do three things:
- Capitalize First and Last Names.
- Format the Company name.
- Standardize US states to their full name.
Explore the list of options in the Function dropdown to find formatting options for any field in your CSV.
Under Step 4, you'll define the rules for bulk matching the two record types during the association process. In this example, we'll associate Contacts from the CSV to Companies in the CRM.
Click the Associate tab. Note that this tab may be labeled differently, depending on what it's called in the CRM you are working with (i.e., Linking, Mapping, etc.).
Configure the rules that will create the relationship between the two record types:
1. Action tells Insycle what to do to the records surfaced in Step 1. All CRMs allow you to Add or Remove associations. Additionally, for Hubspot, you can use the Set action. For associating on import, choose “Add."
2. Associate specifies the type of record you want to create the relationship with. In the example above, Contacts will be associated to Companies.
You can choose:
- Contacts to Companies
- Contacts to Deals
- Contacts to custom objects (HubSpot only)
3. Hubspot users will see a Labels field which is used to provide further context to the association.
4. The CSV Column is the field from the CSV contacts you want to try and match with the CRM Company records. If you are associating contacts to companies, for example, you will likely choose the “Company” or “Company Name” field from your CSV import.
5. On the Match Field, select the field that the CSV field should match to in your CRM database. If you are using the “Company” field from the CSV, for example, you'd want to match that to the “Company” or “Company Name” field in your CRM.
The CSV Column and Match Field are often the same for both records.
6. If no matching Company is found, an association will not be created. In these cases, you can choose to automatically create a new Company record based on what is in the Contact record. Check the Create new Companies when no matching is found box to enable. Note that this feature only works when associating Contacts to Companies, not Companies to Contacts.
By default, Insycle will attempt to import all of your formatted CSV data into your database.
If there are only a few records you want to import—perhaps to test things out before importing the entire CSV—return to the table under Step 1 and check the boxes beside the select records. Leave the checkboxes blank to import all of the records.
When ready, click the IMPORT button under Step 5. Note that changes are applied to your CRM immediately, there is no preview step.
After the import runs, the Import Result breaks down the import information—how many records you tried to import and how many succeeded, failed, were updated, deleted, or unmodified. Click the Run ID to open a CSV report.
After you've seen the results in the CRM and you are satisfied with how the operation runs, you can save all of the configurations as a template, to reproduce the same formatting operation in the future.
Tips for Creating Associations Between Records
- To create associations between records, you need a field with a similar value in both records. For example, "Email Domain" on the contact, and "Website Domain" on the company. Then, you can pick those fields to match the records and establish the association.
- Though making associations will work in both directions, consider that Contacts to Companies is the standard direction and some features (such as the "If Company is Not Found Create New Company" feature) are only designed to work when Contacts are being associated to Companies.
- For straightforward relationships with obvious matching fields, the direction of the association doesn't matter. But in some cases, such as creating relationships with custom objects or child and parent companies, the direction may be important.
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 record—such as email address, phone number, street address, or 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.
You can select more than one Identity Field in Step 2, however, Insycle will check all the fields to match. If one single field does not match, a corresponding company CRM record will not be identified.
Using the Update existing and create net new setting, Insycle will fail to match many records and instead will create a new record.
With the Only update existing setting, you may identify far fewer existing records and much of your CSV data may not be imported because Insycle will not be able to find the correct record to update.
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.
If a field in your CRM includes picklist 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 picklist options used in your CRM.
You can make quick fixes to the import data directly in Insycle by hovering over a value and clicking the pencil icon.
If you receive a "Multiple Sources Matched" error, this indicates Insycle found multiple records that meet the criteria. Try changing the direction of the association to resolve the error.
Bulk associations require that you have a field that you can use to match the two records. For instance, you might store "Company" for contacts, and "Company Name" for companies. You then use these two fields to associate the two records.
But what do you do if you have no obvious matching field between the two record types that you would like to associate?
This is a fairly common scenario. For example, maybe you would like to associate contacts not only with the company that they work for but with the parent company as well. In this scenario, it is not very likely that you capture the parent company on the Contact record, which means that you may have no field to use to match the association. As a result, you'll need to create a custom field for contacts and companies, such as "Custom Parent Company."
Then, you'll be able to use the Custom Parent Company field for both contacts and companies to make the patch.
The key is finding a data point that would allow you to match the associations, even if it is only available for one record type. Then we create the custom matching fields that allow us to make the associations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Insycle allows you to associate contacts, companies, deals, and custom objects while importing data from a CSV, from the Associate tab in Step 4 (this may also be called the Link tab, depending on the naming convention in your CRM).
Yes, but you will have to run the Magical Import module multiple times. Insycle is only able to run one association operation with each run of the Magical Import module. So if you need to make up to three associations per contact, you'll need to run the module three times. Alternatively, once you've imported the CSV, you can make additional associations using the Bulk Operations module.
Related Help Articles
- Import New Records or Update From CSV
- Link and Associate People to Companies
- HubSpot Multiple Associations and Labels
- Associate or Link Parent-Child Companies, Create Accounts Hierarchy and Relationships
- Module Overview: Bulk Operations
Related Blog Articles
- Fix Stray HubSpot Contacts With Bulk Association — Connect Contacts to Companies and Deals With Complete Control
- How Insycle Solves Common Problems with HubSpot and Salesforce Integration
- Considerations for Using HubSpot’s Automatic Contact to Companies Association
- Salesforce ABM - Associating Leads and Contacts to Accounts