1. Help Center
  2. File Type and Formatting

How should I format my file for upload?

Here are some best practices for file formatting when uploading files via InstantData, FTP or our List API.

There are a few best practices for file formatting:

  • Include column headers (see list below), so InstantData correctly recognizes your data
  • Use ASCII, UTF-8 or ISO-8559-1 character encoding
  • Eliminate blank rows and columns
  • Ensure that every email address is in its own cell
  • List all email addresses in the same column. InstantData only processes one email address column per file
  • Postal addresses should be split into separate fields: address1, address2, city, state and zip
  • Eliminate duplicate records to avoid extra costs
  • Ensure that all of your data is on one sheet
  • Save your file as comma delimited, with a .csv extension, or tab delimited, with a .txt extension
  • Optionally compress the file using zip

InstantData recognizes the following column headers:

  • First name, first, fname
  • Last name, last, lname, surname
  • Full name - for combined first and last
  • Street, address, address 1
  • Street 2, address 2
  • City, town
  • State, region, province
  • Zip, postal code, plus4
  • Country
  • Email, e-mail
  • MD5 - hash of a lower case email address
  • SHA1 - hash of a lower case email address