How to segment your existing and offline contacts into groups

Last updated: June 15, 2016

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Product: HubSpot Marketing
Subscription: Basic, Professional, & Enterprise
With a little bit of planning, you can import all of your pre-existing contacts or contacts that you generate from offline sources into HubSpot and keep track of them the same way you'll keep track of new leads that are entered into HubSpot by completing forms. We recommend that when you first start with HubSpot, you import a list of your existing leadsexisting customers, and an opt-out list.

Why should I segment my leads and customers before importing them into HubSpot?

Pre-segmenting your existing contacts into separate lists and including columns for shared contact properties will not only ensure that you start out with an organized contact database, but also give you additional flexibility when segmenting lists in the future.  

Gather contacts in a CSV spreadsheet to import

Using a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel or Apache OpenOffice, create a spreadsheet of the leads that you would like to import into HubSpot. The top row of the spreadsheet should be used for column headers that will correspond to contact properties in your HubSpot account. You can download this sample spreadsheet of leads for an example of how to format it.

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Remember that HubSpot comes with standard contact properties that you can map your columns to during import, or you can create custom contact properties that you map to by following these instructions.

Adding additional contact properties for future flexibility

Importing a list into HubSpot automatically creates a static list of those contacts grouped together.  But what makes these contacts related other than the fact they are on the same spreadsheet?  

By adding additional columns to your CSV with contact properties, such as Persona, you will be able to easily include them on dynamic smart lists that you create in the future.  The more information you include on import, the more ways you can group these contacts in HubSpot.  So before you import the list, take a moment and see if there are any shared contact properties that you can add to your CSV to increase your future segmentation possibilities.

After you have finished creating a spreadsheet of leads, save this spreadsheet as a CSV (comma separated values) file. To do this in Excel, just go to File > Save As and choose .CSV from the file type drop-down menu.  

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To avoid issues while importing CSV files into HubSpot, please ensure that your CSV file is saved in Unicode (UTF-8) encoding and all members of your list have an email address, as this is a requirement for all contacts in HubSpot.

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