Contact Management 101: How to Import Contacts into your CRM

The Starters Guide to Contact Importing in Better Story Marketing OS

January 16, 2024

Managing your contacts effectively is paramount in the fast-paced digital marketing world. 

Whether you're a seasoned professional or new to the game, our guide will provide an easy-to-follow process for importing contacts into the Better Story Marketing OS. We'll break down each step and help you organize your contacts with tags and sort them into Smart Lists. 

Here’s what you’ll learn in this guide about importing contacts to Better Story Marketing OS.

  1. Adding a single contact
  2. Import an existing contacts list
  3. Creating Smart Lists
  4. Restoring a Lost Contact
  5. FAQ’s

When your Marketing OS is set up, you will be equipped to launch your campaigns and build your client network. So, let's dive right in and start expanding your network within the Better Story Marketing OS platform.

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Adding a Single Contact

Sometimes, you just need to add a single contact, not a whole list. 

This is particularly useful if you’re just getting started and have a small number of contacts to add. Or perhaps you met a new lead and want to add them to your CRM.

  1. Log into Better Story Marketing OS
  2. Select the Contacts section from the left-side menu
  3. Select the “+” icon in the top left menu
  1. Input the contact’s information and you are all set. 

Pro Tip: At the bottom is a section labeled DND all channels. If a customer has indicated they do not want to receive communications via a particular channel (text, email, etc.), you can designate that through this menu setting.

Importing an Existing Contacts List

Like any great CRM, the Better Story Marketing OS allows you to import a bulk list of contacts seamlessly. 

This feature is handy when transitioning from another platform or having many contacts to integrate into your system. You’ll learn how to prepare your contact list, avoid common mistakes, and successfully upload your contacts into the Better Story Marketing OS.

You’ll need to take three primary steps to import your existing contacts.

  1. Upload Contacts
  2. Match Fields
  3. Naming and Tagging

Upload the contacts

The first step is just to get the contacts into the system. 

  1. Log into Better Story Marketing OS
  2. Select the Contact option from the side menu
  3. You can select the Import Contacts option on the top menu if you have a file with your contacts already created. 

Pro Tip: If you upload contacts for best results, save your file in .csv format. 

Matching the fields.

Next, we must ensure the data associated with your contacts is imported into the correct fields. 

Once you have selected the file you are importing, you will see a screen to match the content with the Better Story Marketing OS categories via Contact Fields. 

Pro Tip: If there are fields you will not be using (ex. Greeting) or it does not match a category from the Contact Field, leave the Field blank and check the box at the bottom for Do not import data in unmatched columns. The system will not let you upload the file if there is unmatched data.

The menus on the right allow you to choose what information matches the Contact Fields in the Better Story Marketing OS (ex. First Name, Last Name, address, etc. picture below)

The more Contact Fields you can match to the data from your contact sheet, the more will be auto-filled later. 

Naming and tagging.

Name for the Group that these contacts will be found in. (picture below)

Pro Tip: Check the box for Create a list to immediately create a Smart List based on the uploaded contacts. 

If from here the system is not letting you select Submit, there are a couple of boxes that need to be checked to finish. If this list is all new contacts, click Advanced and select None in the Find Existing Contacts menu, as these contacts are not potential duplicates already in your system (picture below). 

Add any Tags you would like to help categorize these contacts, click Submit, and your new contacts will be located by the group name in the Contacts Menu.

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Creating Smart Lists

These smart lists are not only efficient but also incredibly effective in segmenting your contacts based on various criteria, such as their engagement level, location, or purchasing behavior. 

Let’s learn how to leverage the power of smart lists to target your marketing efforts precisely and achieve better results. 

You can create a new Smart List in 2 ways.

  1. Upload a .csv of contacts and create a Smart List through that process.
  2. Use Filters for your contacts to generate a new Smart List

We already covered how to import contacts in the previous section so we’ll move on to creating smart lists with filters. 

Filter your contacts

Every business has specific details that help them manage their contacts. The Better Story Marketing OS lets you filter the view of your contacts via many of the details. 

To filter your contacts, click the More Filters button on the right side of the page. A menu will open up with all the options you can use to narrow your search.

Pro Tip: Tags are powerful. Tags enable you to be as broad or specific as you need. If you have contacts based on the year, you can have that as a tag. Or, if you have sent an email campaign to a specific group (Iguana Enthusiasts), a specific tag for that group will enable you to identify those contacts and know precisely who was a part of that campaign. 

Some examples of how you might want to filter your contacts include.

  • Newly subscribed leads
  • Customers in specific geography
  • Customers who have all purchased a particular product in the past
  • Customers who regularly open your emails.
  • Donors who you need to send a thank you note to

Identify your smart list with a tag

Smart Lists are a helpful tool for segmenting your contacts into smaller groups. An easy way to create a Smart List is by assigning a tag to the contact. A Tag can be as simple as the month and year the person was added to your system or the name of a specific campaign that was responsible for cultivating that relationship. Anything that helps you categorize your contacts. 

To set up a Smart List, you will first go to the Contacts page in the Better Story Marketing 

  1. If you have not created any tags for your contacts, you can select the boxes to the left of the contact’s name and then select Add Tag option which is the logo with the card and a plus sign on it. Once you have created your tag(s) you can create a Smart List using that tag. 
  1. NOTE: Add video for this step process
  1. Once you have created the necessary Tag(s), to create a Smart List, start by selecting More Filters from the top menu. 
  2. Then in the new menu that opens up for filters, select Tags. It should be in the Most Used category near the top of the list. 
  3. Once you have selected Tags, it will give you the option to select which Tag(s) you would like, then select Save as Smart List. 
  1. If you have different Tags, but would like them to be in the same Smart List, simply use the AND button so that each tag is connected to the new Smart List. 

Save your filtered view as a new smart list.

You can choose from various filters to create a Smart List. In the Contacts menu, select More Filters from the right side of the page, and then choose the filters you need. Once you have set the necessary ones, select the Save as Smart Filter option at the bottom. Your new list will show up at the top menu under the name you created for the list (examples below).


Pro Tip:  If you need to focus on a specific group of contacts (ex. live in California, and the source for them was from a conference you attended) you can combine the filters for State. 

Creating smart lists helps you save time as a business owner because you can quickly access your customer list filtered just the way you need it.

No more stringing together a hodgepodge of tools that only sort of get the job done. Instead, it's time you experience marketing that runs the way it should without you having to babysit it.

Identify key areas where marketing automation can help you reach the goals of your small business or nonprofit.

Restoring a Lost Contact

If you accidentally delete a contact, do not worry. It is a simple process to regain that information. 

How to restore a lost contact

  1. On the Contacts page, select the Restore tab in the top menu. 
  2. Select the box by the contact(s) you wish to restore, and then select the green Restore button from the top right of the page. 
  3. Once you have selected Restore, your contact will again be in your Contacts list.

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Managing contacts in a CRM system is vital to any successful business strategy. 

It's not just about storing information; it's about organizing and leveraging that data to build stronger relationships, deliver personalized experiences, and drive business growth.

With the Better Story Marketing OS, you're doing more than just keeping up with your contacts. You're staying ahead of the curve, anticipating needs, and exceeding expectations. So, harness the power of your Marketing OS and transform your contact management into a robust engine for business success. 

Remember, every contact is not just a name on a list but a potential avenue for growth and opportunity. 

Action Plan

In this guide, we covered how to add contacts, create smart lists, and restore lost contacts.

Now that you have contacts in your Marketing OS, you’re ready to turn leads into customers and nurture a long-term relationship with your current customers. Setting up your pipeline will be vital to taking timely action with your contact. 

Here are some guides to help you set up your Marketing OS.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is the use of software to automate repetitive marketing tasks. This includes email marketing, social media posting, and ad campaigns, allowing businesses to nurture prospects wit

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