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Getting Started with HubSpot CRM: Data Imports

When starting with a new CRM software, one of the first steps is to transfer your data from existing sources (e.g., another CRM, spreadsheet, email inbox) into HubSpot.

The CRM is the backbone of HubSpot, supporting your website, social media accounts, deal manager, email marketing lists, sales tools, support services/tickets, and other operations (depending on your subscription). Ensuring the data you import is correct, useful, and manageable is crucial.

Quick Tips Before You Get Started

Consider the Who, Why, How, and What

  • Who: Think about which contacts, companies, and other data need to be imported. Not every record from your existing database may be necessary in HubSpot.
  • Why: Understand the purpose of importing each type of data. Define the goals and outcomes you expect from having this data in HubSpot.
  • How: Plan how you will structure your data. Consider the format, properties, and any custom fields you may need.
  • What: Determine what specific data you need. Identify key fields and properties required for your business processes.

CRM Records and Properties

CRM records for any object (Contacts, Companies, Deals, Tickets, etc.) consist of properties.

Properties are fields that contain relevant information to help you and your team make informed decisions like moving prospects through the customer journey, resolving issues, and managing deals.

HubSpot includes default properties tailored for most businesses new to CRM and managing prospect and customer data. For deeper insights and detailed reporting, you can create Custom Properties. These can capture specific information about a contact's interests, behavior, or other attributes, providing a comprehensive view of their engagement with your business.

Creating Properties

  1. Go to Your Settings: Click the settings gear icon.
  2. Navigate to Properties: Scroll down the left sidebar and click “Properties” under Data Management.
  3. Create Property: Click the orange “Create Property” button.
  4. Fill Out the Form:
    • Select Object: Choose the correct object (Contact, Company, Ticket, Deal, etc.).
    • Select Group: Choose an appropriate default group or create a custom group.
    • Label: Enter a descriptive label for the property.
    • Field Type: Choose the appropriate field type (e.g., single line text, dropdown).
    • Visibility & Validation: Set visibility and validation rules to ensure data accuracy and relevance.

Exporting Your Data from Your Existing System

To get started with HubSpot, you need to export your data from your existing system. Here's how to do it:

  1. Identify the Data: Determine which data you need to export, such as contacts, companies, deals, and tickets.

  2. Choose Export Format: Select a file format compatible with HubSpot (e.g., .csv, .xlsx).

  3. Export Data: Follow your existing system's export procedures to download the data.

  4. Review and Clean Data: Before importing into HubSpot, review and clean your data to remove duplicates, correct errors, and ensure consistency.

By following these steps, you’ll ensure a smooth transition of your data into HubSpot CRM, enabling your team to leverage the system effectively from the start.

Preparing Your File for Import

  1. File Format: Save your file as a .csv, .xlsx, or .xls.
  2. Headers: Ensure the first row contains headers corresponding to HubSpot properties.
  3. Unique Identifiers: Include unique identifiers like email addresses for contacts and domain names for companies to prevent duplicates.

Example of property types for inclusion in an import file

Here is a table that showcases how you might set up your import file for these various objects


Field Name




First Name

The contact's first name



Last Name

The contact's last name




The contact's email address



Phone Number

The contact's phone number



Lifecycle Stage

The stage of the contact in your lifecycle (e.g., Lead)



Custom Interest

Specific interests related to your products/services



Last Interaction Date

The date of the last interaction with the contact



Company Name

The name of the company




The company's website domain




The industry the company operates in



Company Size

The number of employees in the company



Custom Note

Additional notes specific to the company



Deal Name

The name of the deal



Deal Stage

The current stage of the deal




The monetary value of the deal



Close Date

The expected close date of the deal



Ticket ID

A unique identifier for the ticket




The current status of the ticket




The priority level of the ticket



Custom Issue Type

Specific issue type related to your business operations


Sample Files 

Uploading Your File and Mapping Columns

  1.  Go to Your Settings: Click the settings gear icon.
  2. Navigate to Import & Export: Scroll down the left sidebar and click “Import & Export” under Data Management. Click the "Go to Import Button in the Import Data section
  3. Begin import process: Click "Start an Import" button
  4. Identify Source of Import: Choose "Import file from computer" and click "Next" in the bottom right corner.
  5. Select Object to import: Select one or more of the objects you want to create and associate. Choose "Contacts", click "Next"
  6. Upload file: Drag or upload your file, click "Next"
  7. Map Columns: Match each column from your file to the appropriate HubSpot property, click "Next"
  8. Finalize Import: At the last step of the import you have a few final fields to fil, name the import, create an optional list from this particular import, agree to the terms of the list being imported ensuring you have permission to use for outreach, and decide if these are marketing contacts or not. Once complete, click "Finish Import"

By following these steps, you'll successfully import your data into HubSpot CRM, ensuring it’s accurate and useful for your team's operations.


After the import is complete  - you'll get a summary of the import and be notified of any errors during the process. Review these, correct them in your file and reimport or update through the CRM. 

Looking to Sync Data from One System to Another? Try HubSpot’s Data Sync

If you need to keep data synchronized between HubSpot and another system, consider using HubSpot’s Data Sync. This tool allows you to connect HubSpot with various other applications, ensuring your data stays consistent and up-to-date across all platforms.

Learn more here or ask your On-Target! rep for more details