How to populate a new CRM system with contacts

This guide will show you how to quickly populate an existing or new CRM with SigParser. It will take about 45 minutes of effort on average.

We'll perform the following steps:

  1. Setup a SigParser account (2 minutes)
  2. Connect email accounts (2 - 15 minutes)
  3. Purchase flashbacks (2 minutes - possibly hours of waiting)
  4. Export contact data (5 minutes)
  5. Import into CRM (15 - 60 minutes)

Setup SigParser Account

Go to SigParser.com and setup an account. If you click the Google or Office 365 register buttons, SigParser will mine whatever mailbox you sign in with. Alternatively, you can sign up with a username/password type authetnication and connect the email accounts you need in the next step.

Connect the email accounts

  1. Go to Settings -> Data Sources
  2. Click "Add" for whatever email connector you want to mine contacts from.
  3. Authenticate
  4. Configure how you want SigParser to update contacts in the mailbox and click "Submit".
    • This isn't talking about how to update contacts in the CRM. If you connected a Google email account, this is referring to how SigParser will update the Google Contacts in that Mailbox.

Office 365: Multiple mailboxes under a single connection?

You can setup SigParser to connect to multiple mailboxes. Open the "Edit" page for an email account in SigParser, go to the bottom of the page and click the "Add Mailbox" button. Type in the email address into the textbox. You'll get an autocomplete if you pause after typing a couple characters.

You can configure each mailbox to have it's own rules for updating and creating contacts.

You will be billed based on the number of mailboxes you add. If you add more than your subscription tier allows, then you'll be billed for additional users.

Purchase Flashbacks

By default SigParser goes back some number of days with the initial extract. But you can buy additional email history to further populate your database. We suggest going back at least 2 years.

Go to the Edit screen for the email accounts. At the bottom of the page click "Buy More Email History" on the mailboxes you want to go back in time for. If you have multiple mailboxes under a single email account connection, you need to purchase history for each of the mailboxes.

How much history can I get?

For Google and Office 365 users we suggest going back as far as you can as Google and Office 365 users often don't have many limits on their account storage. SigParser can only get what is stored on the servers so if you have lots of emails in PST files, SigParser can't get to those.

Export Contacts

To get the contacts out of SigParser and into your CRM we first need to export a CSV file.

  1. Go to Contacts -> Contacts to see a list of all the contacts.
  2. Filter for contacts using the column headers or by clicking on the green filter icon to build an advanced filter.
    • Ideas for filters:
      • Find all the contacts touched in the last six months
      • Find all contacts in the United States
      • Find all contacts with a phone number
  3. Click the orange lighting bolt button at the top of the grid and click Export
  4. A CSV file will be generated which you can open and view in Excel.

Import contacts into your CRM

Before you import, you should decide how you'll use SigParser with this CRM.

  • If you're going to connect SigParser to your CRM so SigParser can update the contacts then...
    • Open the CSV file in Excel and delete all the columns except for the work_email and personal_email columns.
    • Do the import into your CRM
    • Connect the CRM to SigParser and SigParser will update the contacts in your CRM that you just imported with the latest phone numbers, titles and such.
    • Why do we do this? Why not just import the entire spreadsheet? SigParser has rules where it won't ever overwrite fields already set on a contact that it didn't set. So by letting SigParser handle setting the phone numbers, titles, addresses and other fields, as new data is found, SigParser can update those fields.
  • If you don't want to connect SigParser to your CRM then proceed with the following steps.

If this is a new CRM, see our tips below on how to layer multiple imports so you get the best data.

Open your CRM, find the "Import Contacts" section and import the contacts into your CRM.

Here are some tutorials on various CRM systems and how to import contacts:

Layering Imports

If you have a totally new CRM without any data, you should think about how to layer your import files so every contact has the best phone numbers, titles and other fields.

Import the files into the CRM in the order of least correct data to most correct data. When all the files have been imported, each contact will have the most accurate contact information possible.

Example Layering Scenario

Let's say you have 3 files: SigParser CSV Export, an Order History export and the contacts from the CEO's phone as a CSV. You should import them in the order of worst to best data.

Import the files into your CRM like so:

  1. Order History - Least trustworthy/valuable contact information. Mostly accounting department phone numbers in this scenario.
  2. SigParser - Good data that was automatically collected
  3. CEO's contact CSV - Perfect contact data. All manually entered data.

When complete, if the same contact was in all three files and each file had a different phone number, the phone number after all the imports complete will be the one that was manually entered by the CEO.

Be aware that Order History might actually be the most valuable source of data for your company. It all depends on how your business operates.