Punctuation marks in numeric answer field cause import to fail

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I imported a list of 10,000+ emails that added about 100 emails and updated another 100. I put these all into the new group I need to send to today. I realized I wanted to add two additional segments of information to all these members. So I went to re-import the list with these added fields. The import won't work saying there's no information to update. So I went in and deleted a couple people from our audience, deleted the group, and tried again. It still says there's no one to update or add, despite the new fields of information I want to add and the deleted audience members, and it won't place the 10,000+ members in the new group. Please help!
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Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation

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  • frustrated and under deadline.

Posted 4 years ago

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Katie Lewis, Official Rep

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I’m sorry to hear this happened, and on deadline! I’m jumping in now to take a look. When the import said there’s no information to update, was that an error message, or what gave you that indication? I see on your Imports page that the import failed, but I’m curious if there was another error message.

If you’ll add that spreadsheet, "Undergrads with Parent Info 2014.xlsx,” to your document library, I’ll grab it from there. 
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Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation

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Thank you for getting back with me! It seems to be an error on the import, yes. I've added the spreadsheet to the document library.
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Katie Lewis, Official Rep

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Thanks! The first thing I’m noticing is that the cell lines are gone. That means there could be some kind of formatting in here that’s throwing Emma a curveball. I’ve added a new spreadsheet called “Undergrads_with_Parent_Info_2014_v2” to your document library, if you’d like to download and try importing it. Here’s what I did to it:

  1. Click the diamond at the top left of your spreadsheet to highlight everything. Click Copy.
  2. Open a new Excel spreadsheet and choose Edit, then Paste Special. In the popup box, select Values, and click OK.
  3. Save the new spreadsheet.

When you’re importing, you’ll select Add & Update as the import method, and be sure that you select to import the email address field and also select an audience group. Fingers crossed you don’t hit a snag, but if you do, would you mind sharing a screenshot here of what that looks like?

If this still doesn’t do the trick, I’d like to walk through the steps myself, if you’re OK with that; I’ll just need to know into which group you’re importing and whether there are any columns on the spreadsheet that shouldn’t be imported.
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Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation

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I uploaded it again and it got the same error message. Then I tried it again without including the new fields I created. It uploaded just fine. I believe the issue is in the new fields I tried creating: Parent's Names and Parent's Phone Numbers. I don't need these for this mailing as I was just experimenting, so for now I'm good! I wonder if part of my issue is I accidentally included spaces in my field names, or perhaps used an incorrect input type (number answer vs. short answer).
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Katie Lewis, Official Rep

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The Parent’s Name field looks correct, but I think you’re right about Parent’s Phone Numbers: That member field was created as a numeric answer field, and since you'll have punctuation marks (like dashes or periods) in the phone numbers, that won’t import properly.

I’d instead create a short answer field for your Parent’s Phone Numbers. Any letters, numbers or symbols will work in a short answer field. You’ll have to create a brand-new field, since you can’t switch the field type in an already-created field, but that should do the trick!