How do I update existing contact data?

Account admins and program admins

Programs tab


Data can be updated for existing contacts at any time via a CSV file upload. For more information on creating CSV files, click here.

The CSV file can be created from scratch, started from an export from your CRM or SIS (or other data source), or started from a contact data export from Message. It can be helpful to begin with an export, to easily start with all contact information in one file. To learn how to export contact data, click here.


Creating the file 

If starting from an export, begin by deleting any contacts that don't need to be updated. For the remaining contacts, delete any columns that aren't present in Message, or that you do not want to update (note that you can also leave unwanted columns present, and simply ignore them in the upload process - this is covered in the next section).

The customer_id or signalvine_id field must be present in the file, as those are the two fields that can be used to match between files and the platform data.

If creating the update file manually, add any contacts and columns that you would like to update. Again, the customer_id or signalvine_id must be present.

Ensure that your column headers exactly match the variable names in Message (found on the Manage Fields page in the Programs tab). If a column in your file does not yet exist in Message, create the new custom field before you attempt to upload the file. Save the file as a CSV. 


Uploading the file

Start by clicking Import Contacts. Select the program at left, then click Import Contacts. Upload your CSV file, then uncheck the Import new contacts box and check the Update existing contacts box.

A box will appear displaying the field headers in your file. Select any fields within the file that you would like to update (if there is a field in your file that you do not want to update, simply leave it unchecked and that data will be ignored).

Choose an error setting (the default option only runs the file if no errors are encountered; the first option runs the file regardless of errors, but gives detailed information on what rows were skipped and why).

Finally, click Start Import. Once the file runs, a summary will appear with the number of newly added contacts and the number of errors. 


Our CSV file is formatted such that the column headers are exact matches to the data field names.

Image of correctly formatted CSV file


We've selected the file to be imported, and chosen to only update existing contacts. Only the selected fields will be updated, and the system will ignore the data in the unchecked fields. We'll click Start Import to begin our update.

Image of Import Contacts screen with Update Existing Contacts selected 

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