Changing contact info of many contacts at once

SOLVE
New Contributor

Hello,

 

I created a new property within contact information.

Its a simple drop down list property.

Is there a way to change this property for each contact quickly?

In other words, do I really have to go into each contact and manually fill-in/drop-down click this property for every...single...contact?

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Reply
0 Upvotes
1 Accepted solution

Accepted Solutions
Highlighted
Top Advisor

Email addresses are the unique identifier with contact imports. Review this guide from Academy for more information. If you're updating known contacts, always include one column on your .csv with the email address. Any other columns in that row will update data on the contact with that email.

 

When you're ready to proceed, you may want to start with a small test .csv. Include three or four contacts, some small number you can check manually after the import. Once you're confident the import has the results you want, import the remaining records. 

11 Replies
Top Advisor

Hi, @eberube. There are two ways to update large groups of contacts with desired values: 

 

1) Workflows (available if you also have the Marketing product) - While workflows have a lot of uses beyond what you're describing, they can be used to apply a contact, company, or deal property to everyone who's part of a list, or meets a specific criteria. There are a lot of other things you can do with workflows, and will also work well for what you're describing, if everyone needs the exact same value. 

 

2) Imports - Prepare a .csv of all of the contacts you want to update (by including their email), and a separate column for the intended value you want to apply. Imports work better than workflows if you know the set of records you want to update, but they'll require different values. 

 

I encourage reviewing both of those help articles. If you need to automate within HubSpot, you'll be using that functionality a lot. 

Reply
0 Upvotes
New Contributor

Hi bmampe,

 

Thank you for your input.

Unfortunately Workflows are not available for a sales account.

Also each contact would require a different value, or a value from a list of about 7 designations.

Exporting then importing might speed things up but i'll still have to go through and manually change each contact.

Thanks again for the input.

 

 

Reply
0 Upvotes
Top Advisor

The import changes all the contacts for you. There won't be any need to manually change them after the import. 

 

Also, it may not even be necessary to export, then import. If you know the records you want to update, regardless the value they have in that property right now, then you can simply run the import - it'll overwrite whatever value exists on the record. If that's the case, the import-only job will resolve things for you. 

Reply
0 Upvotes
New Contributor

@bmampe If I export my contacts, add a column and fill in the info I need...when I then go to import that list, will the existing contacts be overwritten? Duplicated? Merged?

Thanks again

Reply
0 Upvotes
Top Advisor

The email is the unique identifier for updating contacts. Any other filled-in columns on that same row will update those properties on the contact, overwriting whatever existed there previously.

 

If the emails of the contacts - and the other property values you want to update - are already known, don't worry about the export. Just prepare your .csv to make sure all desired property values, for all known contact emails, exist on the .csv. The import overwrites the existing data. 

 

If your contacts (or values) aren't known right now, start with the export, modify the .csv, then reimport with the desired values instead. 

Reply
0 Upvotes
New Contributor

So you're saying export all the existing data I have for my contacts to a .csv - add in a column for the new property i'm trying to add - then import the .csv back in - consequently overwriting everything that is there but also adding my new property.

Won't this delete all email threads, notes, activity logs, etc?

Reply
0 Upvotes
Top Advisor

Only the data that's included in the .csv is what gets updated on the contact. It's independent of any company/deal/engagement associations. Either the data exists on the .csv that will overwrite existing contact property values, or nothing on the contact gets updated. 

Reply
0 Upvotes
New Contributor

But it doesn't get "updated" per se, it gets overwritten correct?

Reply
0 Upvotes
Top Advisor

We're both right. Since the record isn't being created, it's an update. Since the import will either write new data where none existed, or overwrite an existing value, then the import is also capable of overwriting.

 

If data exists on the HubSpot contact, and no data exists on the .csv, nothing happens.

If data exists on the HubSpot contact, and data exists on the .csv, the existing contact value is overwritten.

If no data exists on the HubSpot contact, whatever's on the .csv will write to the contact. 

 

As a result, if you already know which contacts need to be updated, and you know what values they should have, the export won't be necessary, since the import either writes to blank data, or overwrites existing data (as long as there's data in the .csv). 

Reply
0 Upvotes
New Contributor

If I am only importing, how will the information line up to the existing contacts?

Say I do two columns in my spreadsheet.

One being a list of Names in the order they'd appear if they'd be exported (for example).

The other column is my new property (which is subject to be different for each contact).

 

You're saying that if I import that file, it will add my new property aka column 2 to my contacts by using the "name" column to match up the contacts?

And no other changes to the contacts information will occur?

Reply
0 Upvotes
Highlighted
Top Advisor

Email addresses are the unique identifier with contact imports. Review this guide from Academy for more information. If you're updating known contacts, always include one column on your .csv with the email address. Any other columns in that row will update data on the contact with that email.

 

When you're ready to proceed, you may want to start with a small test .csv. Include three or four contacts, some small number you can check manually after the import. Once you're confident the import has the results you want, import the remaining records.