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 groups, description, and Twitter, in addition to basic phone and email contact information. 

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


Preparing your file

File formatting

Column headings

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

  • name
  • email
  • phone
  • link
  • group
  • twitter
  • description
  • any custom contact fields: the column heading needs to match the exact name of your existing custom field, or a new custom field will be created 

Important to know

  • You can include more than one of each field with the number appended: email2, email3, phone2, phone3, etc. You can add a contact to more than one group by listing them in group, group2, group3, etc. Name and description can only have single fields. 
  • The name column must contain the full name. First Name and Last Name cannot be divided in separate columns.
  • 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).
  • Extra columns and rows must be deleted, including blank columns and rows.

Example

Below is an example of a .csv file we can upload:

Template

We have created a .csv template to help get you started: 

Click here for template


Import your contacts

Step 1

Click the 3 dots in the bottom left corner of Front and select Contacts.

Step 2

Click on the type of contacts you want to upload, either private or team. You can select your private contacts in the My Contacts section, or select team contacts below that. The contacts space you have selected will determine where your contacts are uploaded, as private and team contacts are kept separately.

Private contacts:

Team contacts:

Step 3

Click the dropdown arrow next to the blue person icon and choose the second option Import to [chosen space]. To add a contact one at a time, just click Add contact and skip the remaining steps.

Private contacts:

Team contacts:

Step 4

Click the Choose file button and select the CSV file you want to import.

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 group 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, but you can delete this group label if you don’t need it, following the steps from the Contact Groups section of this article. If you listed any new group names in your .csv, those groups will also be created for those contacts. Otherwise, you’ll find your contacts in your specified groups. 


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: 

1. 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.

2. 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. 


Contact groups

Contact groups are any easy way to create lists of contacts to email at once or to use in rules. Click the + icon to create a new contact group in your private or team contacts.

Contact groups can be renamed or deleted by hovering on a contact, clicking the options menu, then Rename or Delete. Deleting a group does not remove contacts from your contact manager. It just removes the grouping, so you can still access these contacts in the global contact view (click My Contacts or Team Name).

Additionally, contact groups and contact group membership can be managed via the API (https://dev.frontapp.com/reference/contact-groups).


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

Should you be interested in exporting contacts from Front, you can do so through Front's contact API endpoint. Front does not currently support the ability to export contacts through the platform, however, an admin of your Front account can send a contact export request to support@frontapp.com.

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  • I need to know if there is a way to fetch custom field of contact from front app...Sorry this question is not related to this thread..could not find a better platform to ask

    Like
  • Hello, is there a way I can view analytics on which countries emails are coming from?

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  • Brooke Hahn At this time, this isn't something that Front analytics includes. However, if you figure out a way to tag each conversation with the Country name, then you can pull analytics on those specific tags.

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  • Is there any particular reason why we can't just import a CSV into FrontApp ourselves..?

    Like 1
  • Allie Huang We haven't built this capability yet, but we hope to in the future.

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  • If we send a CSV for import, will it update existing customers?

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  • Grant Andrew Yes, it will.

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  • Cori Morris based on phone number, or does the update require an email address? How do we prevent and manage duplicates?

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  • Tim Berman It does not require an email address and duplicates will not occur. If we import contacts with the same name but different email address from what's already in your Contact Manager, the new imported information will override what's already there.

    Like 1
  • Cori Morris I have dupes from Intercom. Need to be able to associate more than one Intercom cookie with a user as sometimes, they visit from home and work, or on more than one device from home. Some contact via SMS, as well.

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  • Tim Berman You can have multiple phone numbers per contact. On the .csv, your would just need phone2, phone3, etc.

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  • Can 'description' be a number string? 

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  • Chris Morris Yes!

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  • what an epic fail! - this is basic stuff, importing your contacts into a mail app!

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  • Nicholas Saunders , it is definitely something that needs to be addressed. In the meantime, they just launched the Piesync integration, which allows you to sync in all your contacts from tons of tools, real-time. Beats manual uploads! 

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  • Have you been able to implement Excel uploads of contacts yet?

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  • Hi Chris ! We hope to work on this in the coming months and make this feature available soon!

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  • What happens if I upload a CVS with a lot of rows and a lot of them match contacts that are already in our contact book? 

    Is there a way to display the old vs new contact and allow for us to merge or overwrite on a row-by-row basis? 

    (I guess i answered my own question by doing a small test... FYI to everyone else... importing overwrites whatever you already had if there was an existing contact already with the same info) 

    Like 2
  • Cori Morris hello! Any chance analytics based on customer's country has been a new feature released since I last enquired 12 months ago? 🤞

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  • Are there any plans to let users customize fields for upload? For instance, we are an education company and we like to be able to mention students' names in emails to their parents; it would be great if we could upload contact info with a student name that would populate a designated field within the email itself.

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