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How do I upload my CSV of participants?

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Last updated:
June 10, 2021

Setting up your CSV file

As you start building your CSV file, make sure that there is an email column! This is technically the only required column and the import will not work without it.

First name and last name fields are available by default so feel free to include columns for those values as well. This will allow you to send more personalized emails when inviting your users to a project. (Hint: this will also improve your response rate.)

What else can you include? Any other fields you need! During the import process, you can map any column in your CSV to a custom field that you create in our system.

The custom fields can be any of the following data types:

  • Text (i.e. Premium)
  • Number (i.e. 234)
  • Date (i.e. 2018-08-11, note: date columns must use the YYYY-MM-DD format)
  • True/False (i.e. True)

Be careful to select the right data type when you’re creating a new field.

Download sample CSV file

Having trouble? Excel and Numbers sometimes mishandle things like special characters, line breaks, and formulas that may exist in the original file when creating a new CSV file. If you’re having issues, we recommend importing the file to a Google Sheet and creating the CSV there.

Import Confirmation

When a list has been successfully uploaded, the individual who imported that list will be sent an email. It will look like this:

CSV best practices

Include a header row. This will make it easier to map your fields during the import.

  • Use short, succinct column names in your header row. When you create a new custom field in our system, we default to using the data in the header row as the field name. Things can go haywire with excessively long column names.

Pay attention when creating a CSV from another file format. Here are some tips for common tools.

  • ‍Microsoft Excel → “save as” select “CSV UTF-8” or “Comma Separated Values” as the format option when saving.
  • Google Sheets → “download as comma-separated values” works reliably and there are no options to select.
  • Numbers → “export to CSV” then check advanced options to make sure the text encoding is set to Unicode (UTF-8).

In general, keep the original sheet as simple as possible before converting to a CSV.

  • Avoid complex formulas.
  • When possible, copy calculated fields that include formulas and re-paste them as values before converting. You might even consider replacing the formula with its result.
  • ‍Stick to a single worksheet in the original document, if possible. Otherwise, be mindful to only export the worksheet you need to import.

Importing tips and tricks

Our system is designed to support and handle importing the same participant (as determined by email) multiple times and this can be used to your advantage!

Recommended workflow:

  1. Upload your entire population of users with all of the data you need and map everything to custom fields.
  2. Break your master CSV into smaller CSV files that correspond to user segments.
  3. Upload those smaller CSV files and apply labels during the import process to easily segment the users in our system.
  4. Since you’ve previously already mapped all of the custom data you need on these users, you only need to map the email column this time around. Skip the other columns. This will save you a bunch of time.
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