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Bulk import a client list

Import clients via a CSV file into Dubsado.

Sam Gioia avatar
Written by Sam Gioia
Updated over a week ago

Updated Aug 23, 2023

If you have an existing client list, you can import it into Dubsado with a CSV file.

You’ll need:

  • A paid Dubsado plan (not available to trial users).

  • A CSV file of your contacts (the file extension must be .csv, not .xlsx).

Before you import

There are a few important things to know before starting the import process:

  • We strongly recommend watching the video above! It will walk you through the correct way to format your CSV file for import. Preparing your CSV with the proper column titles will make the import go more smoothly.

  • A maximum of 1000 clients can be imported at one time. Split up your CSV into multiple files and repeat the import process for each if you have more than 1,000 clients.

  • Avoid importing duplicate clients. If you already have clients in Dubsado, remove any duplicates from your CSV before importing.

  • It is not possible to automatically apply workflows to new projects created during an import.

  • The import process works best when using the Chrome browser on a desktop or laptop computer.

Import a CSV client list

  1. Go to Utilities >> Address Book.

  2. Click Import in the top right.

  3. Click Browse and select your CSV file. A partial preview of your data will be generated.

  4. Use the dropdown at the top of each column to match the CSV column titles with the names of the fields in Dubsado. See the section below for more information on mapping CSV data.

  5. If you'd like to create a new project for each new client, check the Import as leads checkbox under the file selection area. See import options below in this article for more information.

  6. Click Submit to begin the import.

If you have a very large list, please allow a few minutes for the import to complete. You will then be able to view your clients under Utilities >> Address Book, and if you choose to import as leads, you'll find the new projects on the Projects page under Leads >> All.

Map CSV data to Dubsado fields

When you prepared your CSV file for import, you used the first row to give each column of data a title.

Dubsado will make a best guess based on the title of each column, but you may need to make some adjustments to correctly match each column with a field in Dubsado.

You can import the following data:

Heads up! Any columns in your CSV that you do not map into one of those options will go into the Notes of the client profile. You will be able to select which columns of data you want to import as notes, and which you would like to leave out.

Import options

You have two options for how you'd like to import your clients, controlled by the Import as leads checkbox.

Import to address book only

This is the default option with Import as leads unchecked. This will only enter all of your clients into the address book and not create any new projects. If you would like to create a new project with one of the clients you imported, you can go to the Projects page, click New Project, and then select the client from the dropdown list.

Import as leads

When you check the box for Import as leads, Dubsado will create a new project for each client during import. The project will be titled with the client’s first and last name and will appear under the All Leads status on the Projects page. Importing clients as leads will also give you some additional fields to map to from your CSV:



My data isn’t showing up correctly in the preview.

First, check that your file has a .csv file extension. If not, you need to export a CSV file from your spreadsheet first. Excel (.xlsx) and Numbers (.numbers) files are not supported.

Also, check the formatting of your CSV file. Open up your CSV in Google Sheets or Excel to check the formatting:

  • The first cell of every column should be a header for the data in that column (i.e. "First Name," "Email," "Phone").

  • There should only be ONE row of cells for the headers and nothing above it. Delete any extra rows.

Finally, if you’ve imported your CSV file but the information still isn’t uploading, try restarting your browser or clearing your cache and cookies.

What if I have an Excel Sheet or Google Sheet?

If you already have your contacts in a Google Sheet or Excel Spreadsheet, you will need to export it as a CSV file so you can import it into Dubsado. Follow the tips above or in the video to ensure your data is formatted correctly.

I need to import more data than the default fields (First Name, Last Name, Email, etc).

Before importing, you can create custom mapped client or project fields for any additional data. Learn more about creating custom mapped fields here.

What happens if I import a client that already exists?

Importing a CSV file will create a new entry for each of the clients on that list, duplicating any clients who already exist in your Dubsado address book. We recommend uploading a file of only clients who do not yet exist in Dubsado.

If you do import a duplicate client, carefully review both client profiles in the address book and only delete the newly imported one. Removing clients from the address book will remove all information associated with that client, including invoices. There is no way to merge two clients.

Can I start a workflow automatically on all the new clients I import?

No, but you can manually start a workflow. To do this, before you import your clients, we recommend selecting the checkbox Import as leads so that a new project gets created for each client. After your clients are in Dubsado, go into each project in the Workflows tab and manually apply a workflow.

I made a mistake importing my clients. Can I start over?

Yes, but starting over means you’ll remove all clients that have ever been imported by CSV, not just the most recent import. This will also remove:

  • Any projects created during the import if you had Import as Leads checked

  • Manually created clients or projects

To remove all imported clients, click Remove Project and Client Imports.

How do I add custom mapped project fields?

Go to Settings >> Custom-mapped fields and click on Projects to create your own custom fields there.

And then, when you import clients, select the checkbox Import as leads. This will create a new project for each client and give you the option to map custom mapped project fields from your CSV.

How do I import dates?

Dates are only importable as a custom mapped client field. Your dates will be formatted in Dubsado the same way you have them formatted in your CSV file.

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