Importing Audience and character encoding

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I am importing our audience list via csv file and am getting an "Import failed" error message repeatedly. The error gives little to no information but we have figured out that the data we are importing has a "ë" character that causes the error.

I was able to manually add the contact using a ë character.

What character encoding do you support?
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Bailey's Local Foods

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Posted 5 years ago

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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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Hi there -- It's definitely possible for a special character in your file to hinder your import attempt. As far as I know, any known issues importing special characters have been resolved, but I do know that the file type can have an affect on this as well.

Could you try resaving your file as an .xls or .xlsx and importing it again? Or, you can upload your file to your documents library in your account and I can take a look. Thanks!
(Edited)
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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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Hi there -- Did you have any success importing that file as an .xls or .xlsx?
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Bailey's Local Foods

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It does work when saved as as .xlsx file. Thank you for the suggestion! Saying that, I'd prefer to not have an extra step each time I import. I have uploaded the .csv file to our documents library and would love it if you could let us know which character encoding you support. Thanks!
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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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Hi there -- so sorry for my delay in getting back to you here. I downloaded your csv file and did a search for the "ë" character, but the search didn't find that character anywhere in your file. Did you isolate those and delete them during your attempts to import the file?

When I imported the file to my own account for testing, I got a general "import failed" error message which I was able to resolve just by resaving the file as an .xlsx. Based on the lack of special characters I found in the file and the general error message, I think it's likely your csv file just has some hidden formatting, expecially if you're exporting the csv from a database or CRM. In this case, resaving the file as an .xls or .xlsx is the easiest and quickest fix. As far as I can tell, special characters aren't really in play here. 

I hope this helps!
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Bailey's Local Foods

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Could you please search for the name "Pennaforte" and see if you find the character?
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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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I did a search and found that name and email address, but neither had the special character. I wonder if my Excel is stripping them out upon downloading the file?

If you're exporting your csv file from a database or CRM of some kind, I think it's likely that the special character isn't necessarlily causing the error but some other kind of hidden formatting in the file. Resaving as an .xls or .xlsx can often resolve that without having to dig into the cause, which I thought would be a quick and easy fix for you! Without the special characters in my file, I'm not sure how else to troublshoot this. You could try taking the original .csv with the special characters and following these instructions to see if it works. 

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 with a .csv extension

If the import of this revised file is successful, then we can rule out the special character as the culprit! If that doesn't work, then resaving the file with an .xls or .xlsx extension is going to be the quickest fix!