Adding, Updating, and Managing Multiple Advocates with a CSV Import

You can use the Import Advocates tool to manage multiple advocates in your AdvocateHub at a time. The tool works by importing a CSV spreadsheet into the system. Using a CSV import allows you to invite new advocates, assign new or existing advocates to groups, and to update new or existing advocates' match criteria.

The following diagram outlines the workflow to follow when using the CSV import function, and their corresponding key points:


1. Export Customer Data from CRM or Other Database

The first step to recruiting advocates is to identify customers that have a high likelihood of engaging with you through your program. Your Onboarding Specialist or your Advocacy Coach will help you build out your personas and give you some pointers on how to segment your unique audience for the purposes of your program.

Once you've identified the personas that you will be recruiting, ensure that the information you have about them in your CRM or database is current and relevant. Verify that you have their names, and that their job titles and company information is up-to-date. Also ensure that you have email addresses for all the customers you want to import into the AdvocateHub, as you cannot invite advocates who don't have email addresses.

The thing to keep in mind is that when these advocates accept your invitation to join your program, they will see the profile data you have on them in their accounts, and in challenges that contain merge fields. As such, you would want their information to be accurate to provide them the richest and most personalized experience possible.

While  match category values are not visible to advocates, this data should be up-to-date and accurate as well because you will be using this data to segment challenges and groups in the AdvocateHub.

After you have confirmed your list of advocates to recruit and that their information is up-to-date, you should export their data into a  comma-delimited CSV file. Please scroll through the file to make sure that it delimited correctly.


2. Clean Exported Data

Before you can import the file into the AdvocateHub, you need to review your exported file and ensure that the data is clean. You can open the file in Excel and remove duplicate rows, remove rows that don't contain customer data (e.g. copyright in the footer), and remove any foreign characters that won't display in the AdvocateHub correctly.

Cleaning your data is a critical step to avoid running into any failures at the time of import, so make sure to spend some time on this step.


3. Transfer Data to Influitive Template

The AdvocateHub can only accept CSV imports that follow the system headers provided on the template. 

To get a copy of your template, from Admin View, click on the Advocates tab, select the grey Options button, and choose Import Advocates from the dropdown menu.

A pop-up window will appear which controls your import settings. Click on the  download a template link and save the CSV file to your computer.

When you open this template in Excel, you will find the standard headers / fields that the AdvocateHub requests for:

The standard system headers / fields are:

Name (required) Email (required) Position Industry
Title Company Salesforce ID Product

To add custom headers, you will need to add them as match categories beforehand by following the instructions in this article. To add multiple values for a match category for a single advocate, be sure to separate the values with a comma and space so that they delimit correctly. For example, if you have a column containing social network information, and you have an advocate who is active on multiple networks, you should list them within the same cell as "Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn".

Once you have the template with all the headers you require, you will need to align them with the data you have in the export you pulled from your database. You can do this either by copy/pasting your data over into the template under the corresponding headers, or vice versa, which is to copy the headers over into your file above the corresponding columns. Once you've compiled your data into the provided template, save the file as a comma-delimited CSV file. Here's an example of what a filled out template could look like:


4. Import CSV File into AdvocateHub

When your file is ready to be imported, return to the AdvocateHub and go back to the Advocates page, click on the Options button and select Import Advocates to prompt the pop-up window again: 

  1. Choose File: Click here to select the CSV file from your computer that should be imported. 
  2. Send an invitation to advocates after import: If you're importing a brand new list of customers who are not yet in the AdvocateHub, checking this box will mean that invitation emails will be automatically sent out to them after the import job finishes running. If you are importing a list of existing advocates, then checking this box has no effect.
  3. Add Imported Advocates to Group(s): Clicking inside the empty space will cause a menu to drop down containing a list of all the groups available. Select the groups you want the list of advocates to be added to upon import.
  4. Import: When you've confirmed all your settings, click the Import button. The dialogue window ill close, but when you refresh the page, you will notice that the number inside the Invite Nominees button will match the number of nominees you now have in your hub as seen below:

When the CSV file finishes importing, you will receive an automated email from Influitive with a summary of your results and an attachment containing the data you just imported. This summary will include details on the number of nominees added and if there were any nominees or advocates from your CSV import list that are already in the hub:

If there were any errors on the import, they will be mentioned in the summary and explained on the attached file. Some common messages that are encountered are:

  • Email is invalid, Email can't be blank: This message appears next to contacts that were imported without any email addresses. Such contacts will not have any data imported into the system at all until they are re-imported with valid email addresses listed in the 'Email' column.
  • Email is invalid: This message appears next to contacts that were imported with invalid email addresses. Such contacts will not have any data imported into the system at all until they are re-imported with valid email addresses listed in the 'Email' column.
  • Email is already taken: This message appears when the contacts you are attempting to import were already added previously and were sent invitations to join the hub already. You can find these contacts by selecting the "Not joined" filter on the 'Advocates' page. These contacts cannot be sent another invitation through the CSV import function again, and will have to be re-invited manually by visiting their individual profiles. You can however update their match criteria values through the CSV and add them to more groups if you wish.
  • Match values value can't be blank: This is the error message that appears when you have a seemingly blank column that is in fact containing spaces. Spaces without values cannot be imported into the system. To resolve this, simply open your file in Excel, select the blank match category columns and then find all spaces in those columns to replace with nothing. 
  • Match values value has already been taken: This error message appears when a match criteria value is repeated for a single contact. For instance, if you were importing data for a John Smith about the match criteria called "Product", and in his values you import "Product A, Product B, Product A, Product C", because you've mentioned Product A twice for John, the system will alert you to the error. All the other unique data for that contact will be imported, and any duplicate match category values will be removed.
  • Match values value is too long (maximum is 255 characters): You can have multiple values for the same match criteria, as long as you use a comma and space to separate the values, and each value is under 255 characters. If you do not enter the comma and space combination, the system will not be able to delimit the individual values correctly, so it will read the whole string as one long value. If any of your match criteria values for a single contact is over the limit, none of the data for that particular contact will be imported. In some cases when the match criteria values are far and beyond the limit, for instance over 500 characters, then the entire import may fail. To resolve this error, check to make sure you don't have any match category values over 255 characters through the use of the len formula in Excel (consult this Microsoft Support article for more details on that formula). 
  • FAILED: Invalid Encoding: This is the error message that appears when there are foreign or special characters detected. Special characters are accented letters and symbols. You will need to delete or replace the characters, save and re-upload the list. Here are examples of foreign characters that you can find in csv import: ä ó æ ñ.
  • Invalid header - position, , . Valid headers are...: This error message will usually appear after attempting to upload the CSV file. It will appear when you have manually entered custom headers in the CSV template e.g. company size, industry etc. If you wish for these headers to appear in the template CSV file, you should create them as match categories first by following the instructions in this help article. Once you have created them, download the template CSV file again and these headers will appear by default. 

5. Send Invitation Emails to Imported Contacts

As mentioned in  Section 4, when using the CSV importer tool, you have the ability to choose whether the hub should automatically send invitations to all the contacts immediately after they've been successfully added to the system. To make sure invite sending is automatic, simply check the box in the import dialogue as illustrated in Section 4. 

Invitations will be sent from the admin who is marked as the default sender in your hub and the invitation URL will be the one that will add the advocate to the appropriate group upon joining.

If you choose not to check this box during the import process, then you will have to manually select the individuals to send the invitations to afterwards. 

After your CSV file is imported successfully, the contacts are listed as nominees. You can find them by selecting the Advocates tab, and then clicking on the blue Invite Nominees button towards the top of the page:

This will take you to the Nominees page, which lists all the contacts that you have added the system, but not yet invited as an advocate. 

Here's a run through of what you'll find:

  1. The Click here to generate a group incite URL link will open a pop-up that will list the available join codes for your respective groups

  2. The Invite/Upgrade button will open a pop-up that will allow you to send an invitation to the selected nominee(s)

  3. The Source column identifies how this nominee was added to the hub - sources can include: Manually Added, Open Signup, Salesforce, or Advocate Anywhere

  4. The Archive button allows you to reduce the number of nominees found to keep the page clutter free

  5. The Status search feature finds any nominees that have been archived or is currently active

After an invite is sent to a contact upon import or to a nominee after import, that account converts into a  not joined advocate account. To find not joined advocate accounts, click on the Advocates tab and select the Not joined filter in the search options on the right:

Clicking the blue NOT JOINED button underneath the advocate's name will open a pop-up which will allow you to send that advocate another invitation: 

This pop-up shows you: 

  1. When the invite was last sent
  2. Options on how to re-invite the Not Joined advocate: It can be sent through the hub or the Resend invitation code myself option allows you to hare the Invite URL with the advocate directly through a a medium such as emai

Once an invited nominee accepts an invitation to the hub and logs into their account, they are then considered a joined advocate. You can find all your joined advocates when you click on the Advocates tab by default.


6. Contacts Join AdvocateHub As Advocates

The moment your contacts accept your invitation and join the hub as advocates, they will be added to the groups that you selected at the time when you were importing the CSV file. They will be able to see the challenges, rewards, Communities and Experiences they now meet the targeting rules for. 

After a group of advocates have joined your hub, you can still use the CSV importer to update their profile information by following the same procedure as outlined above. Remember that our system uses an advocate's email address as the unique identifier. Any changes you make in the profile data or match criteria will be overwritten upon successful import, however importing blank values does  not overwrite or erase previously existing data. To erase previously imported data, you will need to do this manually by editing each individual advocate profile, or alternatively you can choose to import a character like an asterisk for all the values you want to overwrite. Also note that you cannot use a CSV import to remove advocates from a group en masse, and you will need to do this manually.


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