Contacts Import Spreadsheet Template - FAQ's


Which fields are required to create a contact record in Redtail?

A Firstname & Lastname must be included on the spreadsheet in order for an individual contact to be created.  A Business Name needs to be included to create a Business, a Trust Name for a Trust, etc. 


What is the minimum number of contacts for an Excel import?

This type of import is intended to be used to create contacts in bulk.  Smaller numbers of contacts (under 25 lines) should be entered into Redtail manually. Please check out this article for more information on using our Quick Add feature:  Add Contact Records to your database


Can I use this spreadsheet to update contacts that already exist in Redtail?

No, this spreadsheet should only be used to import new contacts into your Redtail CRM.  For information on how to update existing contacts, please click here:  How To Update Via Excel And FAQ's


If a name on the spreadsheet already exists in Redtail, will a duplicate be created?

Yes. All the name entries listed on this spreadsheet will create a new contact record in Redtail.  If that name already exists, then a duplicate will be created.  If you need to update existing contacts, this should be done using the Update Contacts via Excel method listed above.


If a name is listed more than once on the spreadsheet, will a duplicate be created?

Yes.  Each "name" column/cell on the spreadsheet will create a duplicate contact in Redtail when the import is processed.  We are not able to merge duplicate contacts for you, and we cannot remove those duplicates from the spreadsheet before we import.  Please be sure to review your data for duplicate entries before submitting it to us for processing.


Can I change any of the column header titles on the template?

Please do not change any of the pre-titled column headers on the template as this could cause issues with the import. The only column header titles you are able to customize on the template are the UD1-UD20 columns.


Can I import into a field in Redtail if it's not listed on the Spreadsheet?

Yes, most text fields can be imported into without a problem.  Just add the Name of the Field to a new column header on the spreadsheet, and be sure to point it out to us when you submit it through the ticket.  For example:



Some fields have static dropdown information - to import into these fields, you would need to add the field name to the spreadsheet, and then be sure to use the information that matches the dropdown. For example:



What is the Companyname field for?

This field is used to create an Employer Record for the Primary Contact listed in columns C-F on the spreadsheet. This will automatically create a separate business record for any company names listed in this field, and be linked back to the Primary Contact as their Employer in Redtail.


You can also create a Business Record, and link multiple contacts/employees back to the Membership section.


If you need to import a Company without linking it to a contact, you can omit adding information to columns C-F, and add a “B” to the Type column. This will create a Business Record only, which can have its own contact information listed (phones, addresses, emails, etc.)


You can also use this field to add Trust Records to your database. Simply add the name of the Trust to the Companyname column and a “T” to the Type column, and we will create a Trust Record when we import this data.



How do I link spouses with the spreadsheet import?

We automatically create a separate record for the spouse if the spouse name is listed under the Spouse Name Columns (Column M1-P1). As long as the spouse is listed on the same row/line as the primary contact, we will automatically link the spouse to the primary contact when we run the import.



A common mistake that we see is listing the spouse name multiple times on the spreadsheet, which results in duplicate records. Please be sure to list the spouse name only once on the spreadsheet.




Can I link Family Members using the Familyname column?

The Familyname column does not link contacts in any way.  This column should only be used if a Spouse Name is also added to the Spouse Name Columns (M-P) on the Import Spreadsheet.  If data is added to the Familyname column, it will mark the Main Contact (listed in columns C-F) as the Head of Household with that Familyname listed in their record.  Other family members/dependants can be linked manually in redtail once the import is complete.






How do I import multiple Keywords or Tag Groups?

We can import multiple Keywords and/or Tag Groups with the spreadsheet import. You will need to use a semicolon to separate multiple Keywords or Tag Group names. Be sure you add your Keywords and Tag Group names exactly as you want them to appear in your database.  Below is an example of how to add the semicolon to separate these:




Can permissions be set when importing from Excel?

We are not able to set permissions for contacts with the import. Permissions would need to be set by the user manually after the import. All the contacts from each spreadsheet will automatically be tagged with an import keyword, so you will be able to set up permission easily with a bulk update.  For more information regarding the Bulk Actions tool, please click here:  How do I make changes in bulk within my database?


Can I import partial Addresses?

You will need to enter a FULL address, starting with "Line 1", to avoid any errors when importing.  For example:






Can I import Addresses from other countries?

Yes, but you will need to add a column to the spreadsheet to indicate which country you want to add to each address.  For example:



Do Phone Numbers need to be formatted a certain way?

Phone numbers can be added to the Spreadsheet with or without parentheses and dashes.  You will want to remove any leading "1" or "+1" however, as this will cause an issue with how the data imports.


Can I import Phone Numbers from other counties?

Yes, but you will need to add a column to the spreadsheet to indicate which country code you want to add to each phone number.  For example:



What format does the spreadsheet need to be in?

Your completed spreadsheet can be saved as either a .csv file, or as .xml.  We are not able to import from numbers files, PDFs, or word docs.


Can I submit more than one spreadsheet for import?

While we do not have a limit on the number of times you can import, we do ask that you try to combine all your data into one spreadsheet and limit the number of requests to one per day.  This makes the import process faster and easier for everyone, and helps us keep our turnaround time lower.


Can I submit multiple sheets/tabs in my Excel Workbook?

All contacts will need to be combined into one front facing spreadsheet.  Since we convert the data to csv format before we import, multiple tabs/worksheets will not be able to be saved, and we cannot combine these for you.


How long does it take for my spreadsheet template to get imported once I send it in?

All requests are processed in the order they were received, and typically completed within 1 business day.




Was this article helpful?
4 out of 4 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request


  • Avatar
    Michael Bowlen

    What Email address do we send the completed spreadsheet to?

  • Avatar
    Sarah Lascheck

    Hi Michael - that is listed on the main article "Can I Import Contacts From An Excel Spreadsheet Into The CRM?" :)

Powered by Zendesk