The files you receive when you export leads (see: Exporting Leads) are "comma-separated value" (CSV) files. They can be used in several ways, such as input for LeadConduit's batch disposition adjustment. Many people use a spreadsheet, such as Microsoft Excel, to view and modify these files.
If you have Excel installed, it will automatically open your CSV files when you double-click them. But note that CSV files are really just plain text files. That means you can open them in any text editor, such as Windows Notepad. (You could even use a word processor, such as Microsoft Word, but be careful to only save the file as "Text Only".)
Keep Leading Zeros in ZIP codes
One common problem is caused by Excel treating ZIP codes as numbers. When a ZIP code begins with a zero, Excel will ignore that leading digit. For example, Excel will treat the ZIP "01922" as the number "1922". There are several ways to handle this problem.
- Format the column as ZIP code data - Select the column with the ZIP code data, then format it as "Zip Code" type (under Excel's "Special" category).
- Save (or rename) the export file with ".txt" extension - When Excel opens a CSV file whose name ends in ".csv", it imports it automatically. That includes the assumption to treat ZIP codes as numbers. However, if you use Excel to open a text file (one whose name ends in ".txt"), it will launch its "Text Import Wizard". This tool takes you through a few steps, in which you specify the details of how the file should be treated: whether values are separated by commas or tabs, whether there is a header row, etc.
In the last step, you are able to select individual columns and tell Excel what data format to use. Choose the column with ZIP code data, and change the format to "Text".
- Run Excel's "Text Import Wizard" manually - Even if the filename ends in ".csv", you can use the Text Import Wizard (described above). With a new spreadsheet open, find and run the wizard (located under "Data" menu or ribbon tab, depending on your version of Excel). Excel will take you through the steps of the wizard, allowing you to set the data format of ZIP code data to "Text".