How to Export Contacts from Salesforce

Description of the image

Imagine you are running an email marketing campaign, and the company uses Salesforce, a Customer Relationship Management software. You need to send emails to customers through an external platform, and the entire contact list is on Salesforce. How do you extract this data efficiently? The easiest and quickest way to do this is to move or export contacts from Salesforce to the other platform.  

Here is a clear and comprehensive tutorial on how to export contacts from Salesforce. Read and follow this guide to understand this task thoroughly and clearly.

Why should you export contacts from Salesforce?

Besides migrating contacts for marketing campaigns, there may be several reasons why you need to shift your contact information to another software or platform:

  1. Backing up your data makes sense, so it is prudent to export your contact information.
  2. You may need parts of the contact list to create customized reports.
  3. You may need it for compliance and audit purposes.
  4. A list of your contacts on a spreadsheet may make it more comfortable to peruse, and analyze.  

Exporting or Migrating Contacts: What you need to know 

The preferred way users like to see their contact lists is on a spreadsheet, which enables selecting, compiling, and filtering the data quickly. There is no direct method or standard format for doing so in Salesforce. However, Salesforce allows data to be exported in the XLS or CSV formats. If you need to migrate contacts from Salesforce, you will need to create a custom report type.  

Step 1 

To migrate your contact data, you must sign in to your company's Salesforce account and navigate to the Salesforce Dashboard.

Step 2 

On the dashboard, locate the REPORTS tab. Choose NEW REPORT. 

export contacts from Salesforce 


Step 3 

This opens up a CREATE REPORT pageSelect ACCOUNTS AND CONTACTS on the left navigation bar.  Choose the START REPORT icon.  

export contacts from Salesforce


Step 4 

You will see a preview or snapshot of the data on the page. This will be the contact list with the details such as salutation, first and last name, and the complete street address with zip code. 


You may need to use the FILTER function if you cannot see the data associated with a particular contact. Access the filter function and set it to CREATED DATE and ALL TIME

export contacts from Salesforce

Step 5 

Salesforce allows you to enter extensive information for the contacts on your database, so your contact data may have a lot of fields that you don't want to export. It is now time to remove unnecessary fields and clean up the data. Mainly, you can restrict the information to  First Name, Last Name, And Email Address. 


export contacts from Salesforce


Step 6

After removing all the unwanted columns, RUN the report to get a preview of what your contact data looks like.

export contacts from Salesforce

Step 7 

Salesforce gives you two options before exporting the data. Either save your data and then migrate it or export it without the save option. 

export contacts from Salesforce

Step 8

To save the report, use the REPORT NAME option to save the report. Salesforce automatically generates an appropriate name for this custom report. The SELECT FOLDER icon allows you to choose where the report has to be saved.

export contacts from Salesforce


Step 9

Now that you have named your report, it is time to export your contact data in your preferred format. On the drop-down list, choose the EXPORT option. 

export contacts from Salesforce


Step 10

When you export contacts from Salesforce, it offers two types of presentation and viewing options. Depending on the format you wish to see your contact data in, you can choose either the DETAILS ONLY VIEW or the FORMATTED VIEW. 

The Formatted view is beneficial when users want to maintain the formatting they have set and export it the same way. When choosing the Formatted view, it is essential to note that you can migrate contact data only to Excel.

The Details Only view is helpful if the user wishes to migrate only the contents and is not interested in the preset format. By selecting the DETAILS view, a user can export the data to any format, not only Excel. 

Select the EXPORT button to start the process once you have opted for either of the views.PC

export contacts from Salesforce

Step 11

 The  Excel spreadsheet containing your contacts list will look like this.

export contacts from Salesforce


If you choose the Comma Delimited.csv format, you will get a file containing unformatted contact data. The data will generally be separated by a(",")or a(";"). You can save it on your computer for further use.

export contacts from Salesforce


Utilizing Exported Data

Once you've exported contact data from Salesforce, it opens up various ways to enhance your marketing campaigns and analyze customer information. Here's how you can make the most out of this exported data:

Integrating with Marketing Tools: You can import the exported contact list into different email marketing platforms or CRM systems. This integration allows you to directly target these contacts with your marketing campaigns, send out newsletters, promotional offers, or updates about your products or services.

Segmentation for Personalized Campaigns: By analyzing the exported data, you can segment your contacts based on various criteria like location, interests, or past purchases. This segmentation enables you to tailor your marketing messages, making them more relevant and personal to different groups of customers, which can lead to higher engagement rates.

Sharing with Team Members: The exported data can be shared easily with team members who may not have access to Salesforce. This helps in collaborative planning and execution of marketing strategies. Teams can discuss and plan campaigns more effectively when they have access to the same contact information.

Offline Analysis and Reporting: With the data in a spreadsheet format, it's easier to carry out detailed analyses, create reports, or even visualize data using tools like Excel. This can help in identifying trends, understanding customer behavior, and making data-driven decisions for future marketing efforts.

By utilizing the exported data effectively, you can significantly improve the reach and effectiveness of your marketing campaigns while ensuring all team members are aligned with the marketing strategies.



Salesforce is an excellent tool to help companies optimally manage sales, marketing, and customer relationship functions. It is essential to master the inbuilt functionalities of Salesforce, one of which is to export contacts from Salesforce to other platforms. Taking data of contacts outside the Salesforce software gives users the flexibility to share it and use it extensively. As Salesforce allows users to filter and add fields, they can customize the data per requirements. This invaluable function is exceptionally beneficial to streamline business processes and make offline data-driven decisions. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a difference between transferring contacts and exporting contacts in Salesforce?

There is a difference between transferring contacts and exporting contacts. A user who wants to move the data to another user within the Salesforce software will use the transfer option to move the data. The exporting or migrating function is used when the contact data is carried out of Salesforce into another platform.  

Can I schedule to export my contact data regularly?

As Salesforce integrates well with other software, scheduling regular extraction and export of contacts is possible depending on the user's convenience and preference.

Is there a limitation to the file size while exporting my contacts? 

Keeping the file size of your exports small is a good idea. Salesforce allows exports of up to 512 MB in one file. If the file size is greater than that, files are created.

Read More

Follow us on

Table of Contents

    Leave a reply

    Subscribe to Us

    Always Get Notified