Tags disappearing after overwrite import

  • 15 November 2021
  • 8 replies

Userlevel 1

I work with multiple excel sheets that have various tags on each one but many of the same people. When I import a sheet with Tag columns, the “pre-import tags” are 1) overwritten and replaced (and the previous ones deleted) if I choose the [overwrite] function on import OR 2) they don’t appear at all if I choose the [skip] button on import. 


I would like to add tags to a person on import using the [overwrite] function, not completely replace the tags. 


For example, let’s say Excel sheet Alpha marks Janet with tags that indicate she likes “football” and “softball.” I import. Tags are added to Janet (and 300 others) that say “football” and “softball.” 3 weeks later I acquire new information: Janet likes Karate too, so I start Excel Sheet Beta (because Janet told me this in a google form which generates a google sheet which I download as an excel sheet and name Beta). I add tag “Karate” to Janet and 147 other people. Next is tricky. If I import and overwrite, then it tags Janet as “Karate” and deletes “football” and “softball.” If I import and skip, it doesn’t add “karate” and just keeps “football” and “softball.”


I made Janet up. I will send a box of homemade chocolate chip cookies to the person who can dig me out of this conundrum. 


Best answer by Michelle from Copper 15 November 2021, 16:16

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8 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Hi @Tony B thanks for your post - I love the example you used. I also love cookies…

Internally, we call the function “append”. As in, if you append tags, you’re adding new ones while preserving the old ones as well.

Unfortunately, our importing tool doesn’t have a native function to append tags. The workaround for this is to export the people and their current tags, add the new tags to that file, and re-import it as an update on import. Let me know if you’re comfortable doing this or if you would like more detailed instructions.

There are some folks looking into how to improve our importing function/experience. I’m going to forward this thread to them as part of their research.

Update August 2022: our engineers are working on building a solution for this within the importing tool. To keep track of updates, upvote this Idea thread and we will @mention you upon release. Thank you!

Userlevel 1

Michelle, you’re awesome. Thank you for letting me know it’s not just me. And also I appreciate that you have passed this along to the team. I know how to export, add the tags and then import the whole list. The trouble is selecting the correct people in a simple way. I have about 3000 contacts in Copper now. Let’s say I put an ad out of Facebook that gauges interest in a class we offer. 150 people sign up saying they are interested. I would like to tag them all “FB ad interested in XYZ class” (or something like that). 80 of these people are already in my list (I suspect) and 70 are totally new. 


I can think of a few fairly circuitous ways of solving this issue, but I can’t think of a simple way. An “append” feature for tags would be awesome. 

Userlevel 1

Also Michelle…. I will start making the cookies. Let the research team know the same deal applies to them: I will append their current cookie supply. 😁

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

@Tony B happy to help! It’s too bad there’s not a native way to handle it, but I have bothered the correct people for you :)

By the way, have you looked into automating this process? For example, you could build an automation with Zapier that:

  1. Looks at any new Leads from your Facebook ad,
  2. Checks if they’re already a Lead in your Copper system,
  3. If they’re already in Copper, it can append that tag for you, or
  4. If they’re not already in Copper, it can create that Lead for you and add the tag

Some folks get even fancier and will trigger a follow-up email or log an activity using the same flow.

Userlevel 1

Thanks Michelle. I will look at Zapier a little more. It’s awesome when it works, but there is a bit of a learning curve there too.


 Cookies are in the mail!!! 😀😀😀 Thank you for bothering the people for me too!

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

@Tony B - I totally agree; it’s like magic once it’s up and running but getting there can take some fiddling.

If you do choose to go down the Zapier route, you’re welcome to post any questions about that here. Or, if you prefer to have someone set it up for you, I can connect you with a professional service provider - DM me if that’s the case.

By the way, I’m going to mark my original response as “Best Answer” so that it can be easily found by other customers.

Thanks Tony!

Userlevel 1

Hey Michelle, Go for it. It’s a great answer. Thank you for your help. I might go for the professional service, but either way, could you notify me somehow once that “append” feature is modified?




Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Just a heads up that our team is working on building this feature for the importing tool. Please upvote this Idea thread if you’d like to be notified upon release. Thank you!