Starting to use a new contact management program, be it an email marketing system or CRM program, it always entails exporting existing data out of the old and importing in the new software.
I won't bother you with all the details, this short post will just highlight some of the "problems" and some of the simplicity I encountered.
Simplicity: custom fields
I regard myself as a person with a positive attitude, so let's start with the good bits.
Octane HQ makes it rather simple to import existing data, as long as it is a CSV file (comma separated values). CSV files are easily generated, most software systems give you the option to either export data in such a format or save the document (an Excel spreadsheet for instance) as a CSV file. Tip: if the exported data does not contain column headers, create your own.
Per file you want to upload you can select a "contact source" which will be added to every contact about to be imported into your new system. So if you have more than one source of existing data you can start the segmentation here.
(In part 4 of this series I'll dive deeper into all the default and custom fields Octane HQ offers and the flexibility of it.)
Link all headers - hence the tip above - with default (1) or custom fields (2) in Octane HQ. And the number of custom fields can be plenty, no limits here. If one of the fields in Octane doesn't have a counterpart on the csv file you select [no match]
Then click "import" at the bottom of the page and done.
Simple and so far so good.
Getting the data ready
In our case we had to import data from two existing different programs: AWeber and Mamut (CRM, accounting and secure webshop desktop software).
For AWeber the default field "Background" in Octane comes in very handy, more about this in part 4. I used it to indicate which specific list a subscriber had been on. Lists from AWeber can be downloaded as an excel file (go to Subscribers, select the search preferences you need, click search and then click the Excel icon that shows above the results.
Mamut however turned out not to be so simple.
Oh, all data can be exported in an almost unlimited ways but preferably you want to do this export/import exercise only once, not 25 times!
I thought I'd found the perfect export option containing all the fields in Mamut that I needed, from ID/Status, lead source, type of client etc etc and export it straight away as csv file
When data no longer has any meaning
This is what was exported: data1, data2, data3 etc etc etc and the data itself where numbers. Since I don't speak or read this particular "data-language" it is just field after field of gibberish.
I did manage to export readable date from Mamut after al, taking the long way round. 25 times the long way round! Exporting data was now restricted per status (prospect, client, returning clients); per source (ads, website, webforms, wom etc) and per client type (DIY floor, DIY small materials, Supply & Install etc) into separate excel files which I then had to save as csv files.
I did of course submit a support ticket to Mamut and after 7 days I received this answer:
A: too late and B: not very helpful.
Anyway, with the simplicity of Octane Import function it took only 30 minutes to import all the needed data (after spending 4 hours "cleaning-up" the data exported from Mamut).
And then the real fun started - which I will dive into in part 4 of this series, so stay tuned.