Import, upload, and export contacts in Front

Overview

You can quickly import a large number of contacts into Front using a CSV file, without the need to manually add your contacts one by one! You can even upload their lists, description, and Twitter, in addition to basic phone and email contact information.

Other methods for uploading and managing your contacts in Front are:

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


Prepare your CSV file

Template

You can download a CSV template here.

File formatting

Column headings and naming conventions are critical for a successful import. The file may only contain the exact fields listed below, in any order:

Column heading Contact field Example value Description
name Name John Smith [Required] Must contain the full name. First Name and Last Name cannot be divided in separate columns.
email Email jsmith@front.com Include the email address associated with the contact. You can add multiple email addresses to a contact by appending the heading: email2, email3, etc.
phone Phone number 19998887777 Include the country code (like +1 for USA) in any phone numbers for consistency. If no country code is provided, Front will add the +1 country code by default. You can add multiple phone numbers to a contact by appending the heading: phone2, phone3, etc.
link Link https://front.com/ A link associated with this contact
contactList Contact List VIPs The name of the contact list the contact belongs to. You can add a contact to more than one contact list by listing them in contactList, contactList2, contactList3, etc.
twitter Twitter @jsmith123 The contact's Twitter handle
description Description Front is the leading Customer Communications Hub A description of the contact
accountName Account Front The name of the account the contact belongs to. This will associate the contact to the oldest account in Front with a matching case-insensitive name. For example, supplying "Acme" would link the contact to an existing "Acme" account in Front. Learn more about accounts here.
name of your custom contact field, ex: Account Manager Custom fields Depending on the type of custom field, this could be a string, number, boolean, date time, or teammate email You can add columns for any of the custom contact 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 Unix timestamp, to millisecond accuracy. 2021-11-18 09:30:00 PST would be uploaded as 1637256600000.
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

  • Extra columns and rows must be deleted, including blank columns and rows.
  • You can upload up to 3000 rows (not including headers) in a single upload.
  • Up to five upload jobs can be running simultaneously. For large batches of contacts, you can break up your job into five groups of 3000 at a time.

Example

Below is an example of a CSV file we can upload:


Instructions

Step 1

Go to your Contacts Manager by clicking the Contacts icon at the top left of Front.

Step 2

In the left sidebar menu, click Company contacts or Private contacts, depending on whether you want to upload contacts that are visible to all teammates or only to yourself. The contacts space you have selected will determine where your contacts are uploaded, as company contacts and private contacts are kept separate.

You can also click Accounts to import a list of accounts.

Step 3

Click the Import button at the top right.

Step 4

Drag and drop a CSV file or click the Choose file button and select a file from your computer.

Step 5

Click Import CSV to start importing your file. If your CSV is correctly formatted, you’ll see a confirmation in green text.

Step 6

After the import, you will see a new contact list created in the left panel based on the import date, in the format: YYYY-MM-DD. This is an easy way to access your contacts from a single import all at once.

If you'd like, you can delete this contact list by following the steps here. If you listed any new contact list names in your CSV, those contact lists will also be created for those contacts. Otherwise, you’ll find your contacts in your specified lists.


Errors you might see

Contact imports require specific formatting to ensure you can use your contacts correctly in Front! If you hit an error, please check the following: 

Your CSV formatting for these common issues below and how to fix:

We display

How to fix

Missing headings in first row

We cannot detect a header row. Check to see if you have an extra empty row and check that your first row contains field names.

File type not in .csv format

We only support CSV files. Convert your file to a .csv format.

Maximum rows 3000

We only support a maximum of 3000 rows per file (not including the header). You can always split large CSV files into smaller ones.

The generated CSV error file. When you open the CSV file, it will display a column that indicates the row-related errors. Please see an example error log file below along with common error types and how fix them below:

 

We display

How to fix

Invalid column heading

There are columns we don’t recognize (could be typo or totally new fields) or columns we don’t support multiple of (name#, description#, team#). If you wish to bring in custom columns, you may do so with our API. Please reference the following for additional details: https://dev.frontapp.com/reference/contacts#post_contacts 

Name, email, or phone must be included

You’re missing values in critical fields: name, email, or phone for certain rows. Double-check and remove those rows or fill them out.

Invalid email

A value in the email column is not properly formatted (<text>@<text>.<text>).

Invalid Twitter handle

A value in the twitter column is not properly formatted (@name between 1 and 15 characters).

Invalid phone number

Please ensure that your phone number is in the format: +1-999-999-9999.

More row columns than header columns

You have more columns in that row than in the header row. 


Updating contacts with a new upload

If you upload a new CSV that may have some of the same contacts that are already in your Contact Manager, Front will scan for duplicates automatically based on an existing phone number or email address. If there is a match in phone or email, then Front will only replace or update the new fields in your new CSV.

How fields on existing contacts are updated

  • If the value was blank before and there is a new value provided in the CSV, use the new value provided in the import.
  • If there was an old value before and there is a new value now, use the new value provided in the CSV.
  • If there was an old value before and the value provided for that field in the CSV is blank, we will remove that value from that contact. You will need to ensure you pass the current contact field value in the CSV in order to retain that value after the update.

Exporting contacts

There are two ways to export your Front contacts: either directly from your Contacts Manager, or through Front's contact API endpoint

To export your contacts directly from your Contacts Manager, go to your Contacts Manager and click Export at the top right.

You'll be able to choose to export Company contacts, Private contacts, or All shared contacts. Choosing the All shared contacts option will export all contacts from your Company contacts plus any contacts from your Other contacts that were created in team inboxes that you have access to.

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  • Debra Gunn Hi! When you import contacts, you can add a Group column and import those contacts into a group that already exists. Does that make sense?

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