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Import your MS Outlook contacts

When you start with the CRM, the first step for most of the users is to import their contacts from Microsoft Outlook. However, before you are able to import the contacts into the CRM, you first have to get them out of Outlook. From user interface point of view, the different versions of Outlook are a bit different in terms of contact forwarding, regarding content itself and naming, the  Outlook versions from 2007 to 2016 remained quite similar.

Basically you have different formats in Outlook, in which you can save and export your contacts. For importing into the CRM, there are two of them: vCard (.vcf) and Excel (.xls).

1. Transfer your contacts from Outlook as digital vCards via e-mail

The easiest way to transfer your Outlook contacts into the CRM is by email. This works by sending vcard files as an attachment to your CRM storage address (you can find the storage address by clicking on the setting wheel in the upper right beyond “My Settings”). Don’t enter any text into the email. For email subject simply use the word "import". You can attach several individual business cards or a ZIP file with several business cards to the email. Then the systems will automatically import them. That’s how it works - step by step:

  1. In your Outlook, look for people (or contacts, depending on version)

  2. Select the contacts that you want to import

  3. Click Forward

  4. Select "as business card file" (NOT as "Outlook contact" or .msg file!)

  5. An e-mail will be opened with your contacts in the attachments

  6. Write the word "Import" in the subject line (see above)

  7. Add your CRM storage address to the "To" line. You can find your storage address in your settings of the CRM system (on the top right of the setting wheel, click on "My settings", then click "Your personal e-mail storage for people"

  8. Click on "Send"   

Within the next minutes, your contacts will be created in CRM. You can continue working while that happens. It’s not going to happen quite often, however iIf your address import failed, you are able undo this for 24 hours.

  1. Please Remember:
    The contacts should be “people contacts” only. Company vCards like the ones generated from Apple Mail are not supported.

  2. The format should be .vcf (e.g. not .msg for Messenger file sometimes created by outlook)

  3. While importing your contacts, make sure that you don’t exceed the limit of contacts which are provided by your CRM account (package setting).

2. Transfer of contacts from Outlook as Excel file (1997-2003, .xls)

If you do not wish to send your contacts via e-mail, you can also transfer them via Excel. This is useful if you want to add additional information that extends the fields contained in the regular business card files (keywords, more detailed background information, and so on). This data can be imported directly. It can be imported separately later aswell.

2a. Export from Outlook to Excel

  1. In your Outlook, click the File tab, click Options, then click Advanced.

  2. In the export menu, click Export, in the Import / Export Wizard, click Export to File, then click Next

  3. In the menu filetype to be created, choose Excel 1997-2003

  4. choose export from this folder, select the contact folder to export (if necessary, simply "Contacts"), and then click Next. Remember: Only ONE folder can be exported at a time.

  5. choose save exported file as, click Browse, select a destination folder, and type a name for the file in the File name box, e.g. “CRM Contacts.xls”. Click OK.

  6. In the Export to a file dialog box, click Next or Finish

Your contacts are now exported and saved as an Excel spreadsheet. Make sure that all lines in Excel are formatted as text and not formatted as date, formula, or link. Since you can store much more information in Outlook than anyone else does, there are two options: either the last step is to go through "Assign user-defined fields" and define exactly the fields that you want to export. You simply click on Continue, but then the Excel file you just created has many empty columns. We recommend to delete them before the import, in order not to "confuse" the program. Additionally, Outlook does not provide column names. Therefore you have to rename the columns by hand. To do this, insert a new line at the top (right mouse button on the 1 before the first line, insert new line) and give the columns headings (name, first name, company name, etc.)

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