Upload accounts with a CSV

Overview

You can quickly import up to 3000 accounts at a time into Front using a CSV file. Accounts represent the clients or organizations that your team works with. Once you’ve imported your accounts, you’ll be able to use those accounts in rules, analytics, and more.

If you'd like to upload contacts rather than accounts, see this guide.


Prepare your CSV file

Template

You can download a CSV template here. The following column headers are supported:

Column header (not case-sensitive)

Account field

Example value

Description

name

Name

Front

[Required] The name of this account

description

Description

Front is the leading Customer Communications Hub

[Optional] A description of this account

domains

Domains

front.com, frontapp.com

[Optional] A comma-separated list of one or more email domains. Contacts with a matching email domain will be automatically associated with this account. Domains are unique and can belong to at most one account.

externalId

External ID

abcd1234

[Optional] A unique identifier for this Account, usually from another data source like a CRM.

name of your custom account field, ex: Revenue

Custom fields

Depending on the type of custom field, this could be a string, number, boolean, date time, or teammate email

[Optional] You can add columns for any of the account custom fields you’ve set up.

Here are the valid values that can be supplied for each type of custom field column:

Custom field type Valid CSV values
Date and time Most common date time formats are accepted like:
  • 2020-01-01 09:24:15
  • 2020-01-01
  • 2020-01-25T09:24:15
  • Sun, 06 Nov 1994 08:49:37 GMT
  • 1637256600000 (Unix timestamp for 2021-11-18 09:30:00 PST)
Note that if a time is not provided, the time will default to midnight in UTC on the provided day.
Inbox Provide the inbox ID (e.g. inb_12345), not the inbox name (e.g. Marketing Team Inbox). The inbox ID can be obtained via the API.
Number A number
Teammate The email address of a user within your company in Front (user names are not accepted)
Text Any text
Yes or no Valid values include “True”, “False”, “Yes”, or “No” (case insensitive)

Important to know

  • Column headers for standard account properties are not case-sensitive; Name will be treated the same as name. However, custom field names are case-sensitive, so the column header for a custom field must exactly match the custom field property. For example, if you setup a custom "Revenue" field, your CSV column header would need to "Revenue" not "revenue".
  • The order of columns in your CSV does not matter.
  • Empty rows and columns in your CSV will be ignored.
  • Unrecognized column headers will trigger an error; they will not result in the creation of a new account custom field. For example, if you have a Revenue column in your CSV but have not created an account custom field called Revenue, you’ll encounter an error. 
  • If a property column is not provided in your CSV, that account property will not be updated.
  • If a cell is left blank and the account previously had a non-empty value for that property, that value is removed from the account.
  • The name column is required.

Instructions

Step 0 (optional)

If you are migrating contacts from a CRM into Front, you will first need to export your contacts from your CRM into a CSV file, then follow the instructions in the Prepare your CSV file section to re-format your file for Front. Below are some popular CRMs' help articles on how to export contacts:

You can also use one of our CRM accounts sync features to automatically sync accounts into Front:

Step 1

Accounts are managed from the Contacts Manager, which you can access by clicking the Contacts icon at the top left of Front.

Step 2

Click Accounts, and you will see a list of the accounts in your Front instance.

Step 3

Click the blue Import button at the top right, then click from CSV.

Step 4

Drag and drop your CSV file into the page, or click Choose file and select the file from your computer. 

Step 5

If there are any errors, you will see a red (critical error) or orange (warning error) box with instructions on how to resolve the errors. See below for a full list of errors and resolution steps.

Resolve any errors and re-upload your CSV file if needed (steps 3-4). 

Step 6

Map your CSV column headers to account fields in Front. 

  • If an existing account field name matches the CSV column name, we will automatically map those account fields. 
  • To manually map an account field, click the Add custom field dropdown, and select a field you’d like to map to from the dropdown. 
  • If the account field does not exist, a company admin can create a new custom field by clicking New custom field, or in the Custom fields section of your company settings. See instructions here.

Step 7

Click Import accounts to start importing your account data. It may take a moment for account data to appear within Front.

If you import accounts without fixing any warning errors, invalid values won’t be imported. If you import accounts without mapping all account fields, unmapped fields won’t be imported. 

Once the import completes, a green success banner will appear at bottom left corner of the screen.


CSV validation errors

Error types

Red: Critical errors. You will need to fix any errors in your accounts file and re-upload it to continue.

Orange: Warning errors. You can continue with the accounts import process without re-uploading your file. However, the import will skip all invalid values with errors.

CSV file issues

Error type

Resolution

No header row found

Add a header row to your CSV. A header row with at least a name column is required. Download the CSV template.

A name column was not found

Add name column to your CSV. Download the CSV template.

Unrecognized column name

Remove the unrecognized column from your CSV, or create an account custom field with a matching name. 

Uploaded file is not a csv file

Ensure that the file you’re uploading is a CSV file.

Duplicate columns for the same property

Check your CSV header and remove any duplicate columns.

Uploaded file exceeds 3000 rows

Split your CSV into smaller files that do not exceed 3000 rows

Row-specific issues

When a row-specific error is encountered, Front will supply an updated CSV for you to download — the CSV will contain your original data along with an error column that describes the error for each row. 

Error type

Resolution

A name is required for an account

Add a name to this row — the name field is required

The domain is already taken by another account

A domain can only belong to one account. Remove the domain from an existing account in Front, or the remove the taken domain from your CSV.

Invalid domain provided

Fix the domain to be a valid email domain, such as example.com (no http, @, etc.)

Common domain cannot be used with accounts

Common email domains like gmail.com or outlook.com cannot be used with accounts. To fix this error, remove the common email domain from your CSV.

The value in a custom field column doesn’t match the field type

Update the row’s value in the custom field column to match the custom field type. For example, if the custom field is of type number, the value must be a valid number.


Update accounts with new upload

If you upload a new CSV that may have accounts that already exist in Front, here is how Front will update those records:

  1. If a row contains an externalId, that row will be matched to an existing account with the same externalId
  2. If a row does not include an externalId but includes domains, that row will be matched to existing account(s) with the same domain. 
  3. If a row does not include an externalId or domains, that row will be matched to an existing account with the same non-case-sensitive name.
  4. If no existing accounts are found with the above, we’ll attempt to create a new account.
  5. If you’re trying to upload different accounts with the same name, you’ll need to include a domain or externalId to distinguish those accounts.

Upload specific contacts for an account

After uploading accounts into Front, you can also upload a list of specific contacts that should be associated to those accounts.

Note that you can also add an email domain to an account and Front will automatically associate all existing contacts with matching email domains to that account. This is the recommended approach if email domains are a reliable indicator for the account that a contact should belong to. 

Follow the steps in this article to upload contacts via CSV. In addition to the steps there, you can also include an optional accountName column to associate the contacts with an account:

  • The accountName column associates the contact to the oldest account with the same case-insensitive name.
  • If a value specified in the accountName column doesn’t match any existing account, you’ll encounter an error.
  • If the contact being updated is already associated with a different account, it will get updated to be associated with the account specified in the accountName column.
  • The account specified in the accountName column supersedes any automatic email domain association that may have occurred because of the contact’s email addresses.
  • If accountName is left blank, no change is made to the contact’s account.
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