Find duplicate contacts
You can find, merge, and delete duplicate contacts in the Acoustic Campaign to avoid sending too many emails to a single contact, and possibly causing the contact to opt-out of emails altogether.
- Find duplicate contacts as follows.
- Navigate to the Search tab of a regular, double opt-in or single opt-in database with 1.5 million or fewer contacts.
- Select the Find Duplicate Contacts option and choose the fields that you want to search for duplicates.
- Click Find.
- Choose the field or fields that you want to use to determine what contact is a duplicate of another from the Find Duplicates column.
- Choose which fields you want to display in results from the Display column.
- Click Find.
Duplicates are displayed according to the selections you made.
- Merge duplicate contacts as follows.
- After duplicate contacts are displayed, check the boxes next to Merge in the results grid.
- Click the Merge link in the Merge column to begin the merge records process.
- Next, click Merge at the bottom right of the screen to initiate the merge contacts data job. This preserves the activity history from all selected contacts in the master record and deletes the non-master contacts.
You are returned to the Find Duplicates screen with the merging contacts grayed out.
If your database contains more than 1.5 million contacts and there are a large number of duplicates present, you may need to export your data and perform a larger analysis and cleanup process before running a deletion or purge. Contact Support or Customer Success for additional assistance.
Will Acoustic Campaign automatically suppress duplicate email addresses?
It depends on the type of database you use.
For restricted databases it will depend on the unique identifier you choose. With email as the UID only unique addresses are allowed - so no duplicates exist.
If the email field is NOT a unique identifier and there are multiple contacts with the same email address, then on send, Acoustic Campaign will send the message one time to each contact resulting in the same email address receiving multiple sent emails.
For flexible databases, Acoustic Campaign suppresses duplicate email addresses on send. You will be able to locate these suppressed recipients in your Single Mailing Report under Suppressed > Error Code 11 'suppressed duplicates due to non-email keyed database'.
Note: For flexible databases, duplicate email addresses will be suppressed at send time. If multiple records exist with the same email address in your database, the record that is used when there are multiple emails going to the same email address is the record with the smallest recipient ID/Oldest Acoustic Campaign contact, NOT the one with the last modified date.
Does a database send to duplicate contacts?
If the database is a flexible database, then Acoustic Campaign suppresses multiple addresses. In the email Report, Acoustic Campaign displays a duplicate email and flexible list. This means that the contact was part of a flexible database and was sent a message twice, but Acoustic Campaign suppressed one of the email addresses so that the contact receives the message only once.
The information in this article is relevant only to the email channel. For information on SMS channel consent, see Using and Managing SMS consent opt-ins and opt-outs.
If the restricted database has email as the unique identifier, it is not possible to have an email address in the database multiple times, therefore the contact can receive the message only once.
If the restricted database does not have email as the unique identifier, but designates other fields as the unique identifier, multiple addresses can receive multiple emails.
|Database type||Unique identifier||Details|
|Restricted database (formerly email keyed)||Email only||The database has the email field is the unique identifier and each contact must have a unique email address.|
|Restricted database (formerly custom key)||Selected by user||Unique identifier can be up to 10 fields and are treated as a string. Email can be one of these 10 fields.|
|Flexible database (formerly non keyed)||No unique identifier||
The unique identifier is an ID that Acoustic Campaign can 'see', but is not visible to the user.
The database does not have a designed unique identifier field and duplicate email addresses can exist.
|Feature||Restricted database (Email unique identifier)||Restricted database (User defined unique identifier)||Flexible database|
|On send, deduplication is not necessary since only unique addresses are allowed in a restricted database with email as the unique identifier.||If the email field is not a unique identifier and there are multiple contacts with the same email address, then on send, Acoustic Campaign sends the message one time to each contact, this results in the same email address receiving multiple copies of the same email.||On send, Acoustic Campaign suppresses and send the message only one time to each unique email address.|
Disable deduplication for flexible databases
Complete the following steps to disable deduplication of a single or double opt-in flexible database for email or SMS and their child lists such as queries, contact lists, and flexible test lists.
- Log in to Acoustic Campaign as an Org Admin.
- Select the database.
- Navigate to the Settings tab.
- Select the Disable Deduplication check box.
Note: If you disable deduplication, contacts who share an email address or mobile number each receive an instance of the sent message.
For programs, sending occurs at different times based on when contacts enter and arrive at steps. A unique contact is only allowed to participate in a program once, unless repeats are set after a contact has exited the program. Program participation is regulated by programs, but send suppression is managed by the send process.
Programs can be set to send only during a certain time frame (such as 8AM to 5PM) and/or send on weekdays only. Steps can be set to send as contacts arrive, or at a certain time of day or by using send time optimization. For any program contacts, suppression is managed by the send process based on the contacts that have reached that step, not based on entrance. See the Enabling send time optimization article for more information.
When duplicate contacts arrive at the step at the same time - duplicates are suppressed.
When duplicate contacts arrive at the step at different times - each contact gets the email.
Sending an email to multiple contact sources and what happens if a recipient is in more than one contact source
It is possible to send to an email address multiple times, so you need to take this into consideration if you are using a multiple database approach.
In many instances this is a perfectly valid scenario - such as sending newsletters for different subscriptions that have no direct correlation with one another.
However, if you are planning to send a single email template to different contact databases that could potentially contain the same recipient, then you might want to enable frequency control to limit how many emails can be sent to a single recipient each day.
Alternatively, you can create a suppression list created from your very first send and attach to the other emails at send time.
A recommended practice would be to use a single master database and then use contact lists for the purpose of email sends and if at all possible and if relevant, dynamic content blocks.
If you are using a single database that uses email as the primary key, then only one instance of that recipient exists. If however you are using a flexible database (either another field or none at all in the case of a CRM database), then Acoustic Campaign suppresses all duplicate sends of the template to an email address automatically. You will see a reason code of 11 in the export of the suppressed email report which means: Duplicate Email in Non-Key List.
Unica Campaign and Acoustic Campaign integration
Sending emails to contacts who share an email address (when deduplication is disabled) does not function in the Unica Campaign v10 and Acoustic Campaign integration. Only the first contact using that email address is transferred to Acoustic Campaign and all subsequent records are skipped. This action results in an error.
How many duplicate contacts does Acoustic Campaign display?
Acoustic Campaign displays up to 500 duplicates. If more than 500 duplicates are found, Acoustic Campaign displays up to the first 500 duplicates in complete sets.