How to Quickly Prepare and Import CSV Contact Lists to Create Matched Audiences in LinkedIn Campaign Manager Without Errors?

Use Dropbase to quickly and effortlessly prepare and import multiple CSV contact lists to LinkedIn Campaign Manager in order to create a Matched Audience.

TLDR. If you've ever tried importing a contact list into LinkedIn Campaign Manager to create a Matched Audience, you would know that it isn't as easy as it's made out to be. Even once you've formatted your contact list to follow LinkedIn's template, you might still get some obscure errors that make the process of importing your data tedious. In this post, I'll show you how to use Dropbase to simplify the process and easily prepare multiple contact lists into a single audience file that follows LinkedIn template so you can easily upload it to create your Audience.


You work on sales or marketing, maybe both. On the marketing side you’re creating content; on the sales side you’re starting to reach out to a segment of the market you think would be most receptive to your product. You want to find your ideal customer profile (ICP) or you’re just experimenting with it to find out.

You have a list of contacts that you want to target via Linkedin Ads. You set out to create a Matched Audience via the LinkedIn Campaign Manager. However, when you want to upload your contact list, you realize that LinkedIn wants your contact list in a specific format, using their template. Your options are to open your contact list and rename the columns to be exactly the ones that LinkedIn wants. Or to copy and paste the data from your contact list to the LinkedIn template. In either case, chances are you made a typo and LinkedIn rejects your upload but you don’t know where you went wrong.

On top of that, if you have more than one contact list to upload, you might have to move them into a single file before uploading it. And if you have to do this process over and over again, it’s just tedious and error prone. I recently had this problem myself and used our own product to solve it. I realized how much easier the experience was so I wanted to share how I did it.


  • A contact list in CSV or Excel format
  • A Linkedin Campaign Manager account from where you have exported the contact template (or the account template)
  • A Dropbase account to easily map and validate your contact list in preparation to import it to LinkedIn

Video walkthrough

A step by step guide will follow.

Step by step guide

Step 1. Download the LinkedIn contact list template

Skip this step if you already have the LinkedIn contact list template. You can also download it here and skip this step (link opens in a new tab)

Go to Campaign Manager. Under Plan, click on Audiences. Then click on Create Audience

linkedin audiences

Click on Company / Contact in the Upload a list section

upload contact list

Click on the link to download the contact list template

LinkedIn contact list template

Step 2. Create a Dropbase table based on this template

Click on Create Table, then click on Import Data

create a table in dropbase

Upload the LinkedIn contact list you downloaded from the previous step and click Next

upload linkedin template

Review that the header row and data rows are correctly selected. If they are not correct, you can adjust by dragging the colored squares to the correct location. Click Next when you're done

review header row and data row

Click on Use file columns to use the columns from the LinkedIn template

use file columns

Click to turn the switch off. You don't want to import LinkedIn's sample data, you just need the template's columns

switch off import data

Click on the email column to add a validation check for email

add an email check

Delete the appleidfa and googleaid columns, we won't need them. This is an optional step. You can keep those columns. If you do however, you will have to make sure you unselect them later if your contact list doesn't have those values. In this guide, the contact lists do not have these values, so it's easier to delete them.

delete unnecessary columns

Click on Create Table to finish setting up the template

create table

Step 3. Upload your CSV contact list

Click on Import Data and upload your contact list. When you're done click next

import apollo list

Review your header rows and data rows. Make changes if needed

confirm header and data row selection

Verify that columns mapped automatically are correct. Change if needed and click Next

automatic column mapping

Fix any validation issues highlighted and click Validate

highlight and fix validation issues

Click on Append, then Load to database

import data to database

Your data is successfully loaded. Notice how everything is automatically formatted to match LinkedIn's template requirements. You can optionally import more data from other contact lists to the same table. Simply click on Import Data and repeat the process.

dropbase table with data ready for linkedin

Step 4. Export as CSV

You can now export this data as a CSV. Click on Export to CSV.

export csv from dropbase

Step 5. Smoothly upload to LinkedIn!

Select a contact list

select file to upload to linkedin

Upload the file you exported from Dropbase. Then click on Agree and Upload and you're done!

upload file to linkedin
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