Articles on: Contacts

How to create a valid CSV file

Are you experiencing problems when uploading a CSV file to Please follow the recommendations below to make sure your CSV file is correctly formatted.

A quick intro to the CSV file

A CSV (short for Comma Separated Values) file is a text file where values are separated by commas, which allows data to be saved in a table format. In Platformly, you can use a CSV file to import your contact lists. You can generate a CSV file using your favorite text editor, like Microsoft Word or Notepad, or spreadsheet program, like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, by clicking on "Export" or "Save As".

CSV Examples:

"First Name", "Last Name", "Email Address", "Age"
"John", "Brown", "", "22"
"Peter", "Parker", "", "56"
"Steve", "Wilson", "", "43"

Download as a CSV file

First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Age
John, Brown,, 22
Peter, Parker,, 56
Steve, Wilson,, 43

Download as a CSV file

Most of the systems and applications follow specific rules that you should follow:

Every line has the same number of values (fields) and sometimes the values are enclosed with quotation marks ("")

Empty fields must be separated by commas and/or quotation marks

For example: If a Last Name field is empty, that empty space must be separated by commas:

First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Age
John, ,, 22

Or if your values are enclosed by quotation marks, the empty space needs to be enclosed by quotation marks as well:

"First Name", "Last Name", "Email", "Age"
"John", "", "", "22"

Blank lines are not allowed in a CSV file, so you need to make sure they are removed

Fields should be without unnecessary spaces at the beginning and end of each field

Make sure email addresses are valid

Otherwise, when you import your contacts, you might end up with a lot of invalid email addresses, which will hurt your deliverability, as well as your reputation. The sooner you detect invalid email addresses, the better.

Make sure your special characters are UTF-8 encoded!

Does your data maybe contain special characters (£, €, ¥, å, é, è, î, ñ, ü...)?

For example:

Zoë, Johnson,, 48
Hervé, Blanc,, 33
Garbiñe Lopez,, 30

Before you can upload your contacs, your CSV file must be encoded to UTF-8 to handle these special characters. Here are a few different ways to create a valid UTF-8 CSV file:

Google Docs
Upload your file to Google Docs and then simply download it:

File → Download as → Comma Separated Values

The downloaded CSV file will be saved with UTF-8 formatting.

Notepad (Windows)
This text editor allows you to save UTF-8 encoded text files.

Text Wrangler (Mac)
Simply open your CSV file in Text Wrangler and save it with UTF-8 formatting.

If your CSV file is still not accepted by Platformly, our friendly Support Team will be happy to assist you -- just send us a message with your CSV file attached.

Updated on: 02/08/2019

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