Pardot Knowledge Base

Import Field Validation

Last Updated: Apr 26, 2016 | Print this Article
Keep your data clean when you do an import! Pardot admins can choose to set prospect default and custom fields with predefined values to be validated on import. This allows prospects to be imported and fields to be updated via the import wizard only if the input value is in the list of predefined values. Validation errors for this feature (and other import errors: importing archived prospects and invalid emails) are included in an error report CSV file that is emailed out with the import summary. Only administrator users can enable field validation.

Why You Should Validate on Import

You should validate on import for a few reasons:
  • Validating your values on import ensures that your data is as clean and uniform as possible
  • Uniform values help keep your data consistent when syncing with your CRM
  • Removing variations in your field values make it easy to implement rules around your values

Import Errors

Any prospect whose field values aren't validated will not be imported. Prospect data errors encountered during the import process are stored and included as part of the import report email. The error report is a CSV export of prospects with import issues exactly as they were imported, with two additional columns. The first is the name of the import error type (Archived Prospects, Invalid Email, Field Validation Failure, Email Not Allowed), the second is a more detailed description of the error. This CSV format allows you to:
  • sort errors by type
  • fix them appropriately
  • re-import them straight from the error report

Error Types Defined

Error Types Definition
Archived Prospects If you did not select the "Un-delete matching prospects found in the recycle bin during this import" option in the import wizard, Pardot prospects that have been archived and are included in the file you’re importing will not be reimported. This will generate an error export for those prospects. If you did select "Un-delete matching prospects found in the recycle bin during this import," archived prospects found in the import will be un-archived and updated without generating an error.
Invalid Email The email address is invalid
Field Validation Failure The imported field value does not match one of the predefined field values
Email Not Allowed This email is not allowed. Pardot rejects spammy and role-based email addresses on import because they are likely to cause spam complaints and blacklisting.
Invalid according to Policy: Policy Expired The time on your computer is incorrect. We recommend that you update your computer time using a resource like

How To Set a Prospect Field to Validate During Import:

  1. Navigate to Admin > Configure Fields > Prospect Fields.
  2. For new Custom fields, click + Add Custom Field.
  3. For existing Custom or Default Fields, click the gear icon in the table next to the field.
  4. Click Edit in the Actions dropdown to open your field options.
  5. Mark Use pre-defined values (for checkboxes, radio buttons, drop downs, and multi-selects.Use Predefined ValuesThis will trigger the checkbox Validate this Field on Import to load.
  6. Mark Validate this Field On Import to require field validation. Validate This Field on Import
  7. Click Save Custom/Default Field to save your changes to your field criteria.
  8. Import Your Prospects.


  • Encountering an error stops the processing of an import for a specific prospect, so only one error type will be logged for each prospect. Some error types (such as field validation) can log more than one error in the description column for each prospect.
  • Import error exports are processed separately from the import itself. Imports that have errors can take longer to finish than imports without errors.
  • When re-importing from your error report, please be sure you either delete or do not map the error type and error description columns.
  • When doing prospect import value validation for fields with predefined values, Pardot will do a case insensitive comparison to determine if the input is valid and if it is, it will be stored with the case matching the predefined value store. For example, if "France" is the pre-defined value and a prospect enters "FRANCE", Pardot will recognize the field as a match and store it as "France".

Need more? Start a conversation with other Pardot users in our Success Community