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Import an Excel sheet into CRM as a marketing list

There may be occasions when you want to send an email to a group of prospective customers, but you have their data stored in an Excel file and not in CRM. ClickDimensions emails can only be sent to recipients stored within your CRM, so you will have to import this data as leads (or contacts) then track down the records created and create a marketing list. How exactly is this done, though?

(The following steps describe using native Dynamics CRM functionality to turn an Excel list into a CRM marketing list. For more from Microsoft about importing data and working with marketing lists in Dynamics CRM see here and here.)

Creating a Marketing List from An Excel file:

First, you will need to properly format your Excel file. To do this, include a header row at the top of the Excel sheet with column labels for all of the data you have in the file, such as first name, last name, and email address, then place the data for each person in their own row so that their data matches up with the labels in the header row. Once the Excel sheet is good to go, save it as a .csv file.

In your CRM environment, navigate to Settings > Data Management > Imports,

then click Import Data.

This will open a file select window where you will select your .csv file,

which will open an Import Wizard that will guide you through the process of successfully importing your data as leads.

Once your new records have been created in CRM, navigate back to Settings > Data Management > Imports. This will bring up a list of all of your record import jobs.

Open the one with the same name as your .csv file, then click Leads Fully Imported.

This will show you a list of all of the leads created from your .csv file. Select all of the records, then click the Add to Marketing List button and choose the marketing list to which you want to add the records.

About the Author:

The ClickDimensions marketing team is committed to helping marketers using Microsoft Dynamics 365 achieve their goals.


  1. Adam Rushlow May 30, 2014 at 10:04 am - Reply

    Super relevant. Thanks.

  2. Scott Jackson June 4, 2014 at 10:40 am - Reply

    Great post. Any tips on how you would handle a situation where you would want to import an Excel sheet into a marketing list *but* only add a new lead/contact record if the email address didn’t already exist in CRM. This is to avoid creating duplicate leads/contacts inside CRM. We want to get all the email addresses from Excel into a marketing list, but we don’t want to end up with duplicates leads/contact records. Thanks Scott.

  3. ClickDimensions July 16, 2014 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    Scott — Sorry for the delayed reply. In the Import Data Wizard, there will be an option to allow duplicate records or not (duplicate records will be determined based on the duplicate detection settings in CRM).

  4. JB July 4, 2018 at 9:42 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing your skills on how to import an excel file into CRM. Keep posting something like this which is very informative and thorough.

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