How to quickly convert phone numbers to international format

engageSPARK enables you to engage your constituents using Voice IVR and SMS Text campaigns anywhere in the world. Because your constituents could be in any of 200+ countries, we need their phone numbers to be in international format.

Let’s say your constituents are in Uganda, where the country code is 256 and a mobile phone number might be 770000123. If you upload the phone number as 770000123, our system will think it’s a Russian phone number because Russia’s country code is 7. So, you’ll need to upload it in international format, as 256770000123.

If the phone numbers in your contact list are in local format, you’ll need to add in the country codes to convert them to international format. Doing that manually per phone number will take too much time. But it’s easy and quick to do in Excel or Google Sheets for large lists of phone numbers.


Steps to add country code to phone numbers in local format using Excel or Google Sheets

  1. To get a copy of the Excel template for adding contacts to your account, access the Contacts page, then select Upload Contacts and click Download the Excel template button. You can quickly run an International Format Conversion on the third sheet of the downloadable contacts template by following the steps there. Upload instructions and tips are provided on the second tab to successfully add contacts to your Contacts page. But in case you want to do this manually for any purposes, read further steps.
  2. Open the Excel template (you can, of course, import it into Google Sheets if you are more comfortable there and work on it from there).
  3. Populate the table with your contact details.
  4. Create a new column to the right of the column with the phone numbers (so, this new column would be Column C, the Phone Number column would be Column B).
  5. Copy cell B1 to C1, so the column name for column C is also Phone Number
  6. In cell C2:
    a. If your phone numbers do not start with 0, e.g., they look like this 9051234567, then put in this formula: =”COUNTRYCODE”&B2 (NOTE:replace COUNTRYCODE with the appropriate country code. For example, if you are in the Philippines (where the country code is 63), the formula would be: =”63″&B2
    b. if your phone numbers start with a 0, e.g., 09051234567, then put in this formula:
  7. Copy cell C2 all the way down to the bottom of the rows of phone numbers.
  8. Now you should see all the numbers with the country code in front.
  9. Convert Column C to values instead of formulas:
    a. In Excel: Highlight Column C. Press ctrl-c (i.e., copy the column). Then press alt, then e, then s, then v, then Enter (or after copying the column, keep it highlighted and then click on the arrow under the Paste button on the top left of Excel and then click on the “123” icon on the left side underneath Paste Values”).
    b. In Google Sheets: Highlight Column C. Press ctrl-c. Then go to Edit > Paste Special > Paste Values only.
  10. To make sure Step 9 worked correctly, double click on a few different cells in Column C. They should contain phone numbers, not formulas. If any one of them still shows a formula, try re-doing Step 9.
  11. Delete column B. The Phone Number column will now have the country code at the beginning of each number.

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