Delete contacts by using the search feature
- Click the Search tab.
- To locate the contact you wish to delete, input the criteria you seek in the Search field and click Search. The contact should display in the results.
- Click the check box next to the desired contact's row and then click the Remove Contacts button which is located below the Search tab.
Purge or erase the entire contents of a database
Purging clears the entire contents of a database. If you change your mind, a copy of the original file is preserved and its name appended with 'PURGE'. The original is not deleted.
- Make a backup of your database.
- In Data, go to Database.
- Select the database and click Save As.
- A copy of the database is created, with 'Copy of' added to the original name.
- Click Submit.
- Go back to the original database you selected.
- Select the database.
- Click Purge.
- Select the contact source that contains the contacts you would like to use for purging.
- Click Next.
- Click Submit.
Purge from a database
Purging a database permanently removes contacts from the database if they exist in a comparison database or query. The purge feature will not delete the opted-out contacts from the database due to CAN-SPAM regulations.
After these contact records have been purged, you have to re-add the purged addresses if you ever want to add them back to an email database.
Purging permanently removes the specified fields and email records from your list. After the purge is complete, you must manually re-add any emails if you want them in the database. If you have a user who opted-out of your emails, and then was purged from the database, that opt-out status is removed. You would need to manually set that email address to opted-out.
- In Acoustic Campaign, go to View Data.
- In View Databases, click a database from the list. The Database Summary page opens.
- Click Purge. The Purge Contact Sources page opens.
- In the upper Select Database drop-down, select the database you want the recipients removed from.
- In the lower Select Database drop-down, select the database to be used for the purging, the new database that was just imported.
- Click Continue and then submit the data job.
- A copy of the original database (the one to purge) that contains only the purged contacts is listed in the databases table with the date, time, and PM_Purge append to its name. The contacts are intact.
- The newly purged database displays by name in the databases table, minus the purged contacts.
Empty a database
Follow these steps to empty a database and still keep its structure.
The database must have at least one dependency. That dependency can be a query, contact list, associated template, autoresponder, sent email, automated message, or web form. If the database does not have one of these dependencies, create a simple query. After you create the dependency, follow these steps.
- In Data, go to Databases, and then select the database.
- Click Delete and then click OK on the dialog box that says: Are you sure you want to delete the selected items?
Note: If you see the message: The following contact sources will be deleted: It means you do not have a dependency. Click Cancel and create a dependency, such as a simple query on the database.
- Choose option 1, Delete all contacts from the contact sources leaving the structure and associated items, and click Submit.
When the data job is completed, you have an empty database with the structure still intact.
Note: Various messages display when trying to delete databases that have dependencies.
Select the operation that is best suited for the job you want to perform.
Purge a database when there is no unique identifier
Using the purge feature on a flexible database with no unique identifier can cause failed purge jobs, simply because without having a defined unique identifier the purge job doesn't really know who what/who it's suppose to purge, particularly when the purge is referencing some other contact source.
If you are getting an error while trying to purge, you have some alternative options.
Note: If this is a CRMi integrated database, after you delete the Acoustic Campaign contact, the sync with its match in CRM is severed forever. The CRM contact record remains intact, but all integration functionality with Acoustic Campaign for that CRM record stops.
If you can create a classic query on the contact database that identifies who you want to delete, then reference this article, "Removing contacts without email addresses from a flexible database" for a use case.
Otherwise, the workaround outlined below begins with flagging the Acoustic Campaign contacts for deletion and then once flagged you have a couple of options on how to delete them.
Generally speaking, the workaround is to first create a custom field on your main database that you will populate via a CSV import/update to basically flag those records you want to purge/delete. For example:
- Create a custom TEXT field called TEMP in the main contact database.
- Have your CSV file handy. It contains an email column or another column that identifies which contacts you want to purge from the main contact database. Choose another column that you will match to the custom TEMP field in your database. In this column, paste the value DELETE for every row that you want to purge.
- Next, perform an Import/Update to the main contact database where you want to flag the TEMP custom field with the text DELETE.
- Choose Update field values in the contact source so that you do not add more contacts to this database if your CSV file has records that are not found in the main contact database.
- Map your CSV file. Map the TEMP custom field in your database to the column in the CSV file that contains the DELETE values.
- After you import your CSV file, the custom field in your database is updated with DELETE for all the contacts that you want to purge. These can easily be identified by the Search tab on the contact database and within a classic query.
Now that you have flagged these Acoustic Campaign contacts for delete, you have some options.
Go to the database Search tab and search where field TEMP= DELETE. The search grid populates with 100 records at a time. You can click the mark-all button and then click Remove Contacts. Repeat until you are finished. **Be sure you are also clicking the Search Email Opt Outs, Search Email Undeliverables, and Search Email Snoozed Contacts, otherwise the search view is a filtered view.
Create a classic query on the database where field TEMP= DELETE. Now you can use the 'purge functionality by selecting the classic query as the Select the contact source which contains the contacts you would like to use for purging. After this is complete, go back to Option 1. and see if any remain. Classic queries exclude opt-outs, so some contacts might remain that you must purge 100 at a time.
Try these options out with a small sampling so you can see how it works.
Use the database to purge a contact list
It is not necessary to create a classic query or any other type of contact source to purge a contact list. Instead, you can use the database that is associated to the contact list.
You can purge a contact list through the user interface or by using an API call.
- To purge the contact list through the user interface, do the following.
- Go to View Contact Lists. Check the box to the left of contact list name and click Purge.
- Select the database as the contact source to be used for purging.
- Click Next and Submit to complete the data job. This effectively purges the entire contact list.
- To purge the contact list using an API call, do the following.
Submit the following XML API call to purge the list.
<Envelope> <Body> <PurgeData> <TARGET_ID>00000</TARGET_ID> <SOURCE_ID>11111</SOURCE_ID> </PurgeData> </Body> </Envelope>
In this example 00000 is the list ID for the contact list to purge, and 11111 is the list ID for its associated database used for matching up contacts to be purged from the contact list. Note: The database remains and is unaffected using either of these options.
Delete contacts without an email address
You can remove all contacts without an email address from your flexible database.
- Create a query identifying contacts that have no email address.
- After you create the query, click Purge within the database section.
- Select your flexible database as the contact source from which you want to remove your contacts and then the classic query list which contains the contacts to be deleted.
This purges all contacts with no value for the email field.
Purge contacts in .CSV file against a flexible database
If you have a .CSV file containing contacts and you are not sure whether they exist in the database, you can make sure they are not present in a flexible database by doing a purge using a contact list or a classic query.
- Select Import Update.
- Select database as the contact source.
- Choose the Create New Contact List.
- Select the file with contacts that you would like to purge. After the import is complete, all the contacts from the list are added into your database (if not already existing) and a contact list with the imported contacts is created.
- Select the purge function and select the database as target and the new contact list as source. This removes everyone from the database that was added to the new contact list and no contact within the CSV is present in the database.
Remove bounced email addresses from lists
There are two ways to remove bounced addresses from your email list. You can either mark bounces as undeliverable or you can purge the addresses from your list.
Purging permanently removes the specified fields and email records from you list. After the purge is complete, you must manually re-add any emails if you want them in the database. If you have a contact who opted-out of your emails, and then was purged from the database, that opt-out status is removed. You would need to manually set that email address to opted-out.
Remember, that if a contact selects to be opted-out of a email their entry is flagged (in the database) as an opt-out. Their name/entry still appears in your email list, but they will not receive future email sent out to that list.
Option 1: Mark bounces as undeliverable
- Go to Single Mailing Report.
- Click the most recent incidence of the email that was sent.
- From the Summary screen, scroll down until Delivery Info is shown.
- Click Hard Bounces.
- Check the button Mark Bounces as Undeliverable.
Option 2: Purge bounces from an email list
- Go to Single Mailing Report.
- Click the most recent incidence of your email.
- From the Summary screen, click Hard Bounces (or Soft Bounces or Total Bounces -- depending on what you want to purge).
- Click Create Database of Contacts.
- Click Submit. A database with your bounces will be created. You should be able to see it under your Databases tab.
- Find your original list -- check the box next to it and choose Purge from the toolbar.
- Select both lists: the original that you want to remove addresses from and the new one that contains only your bounce addresses.
- Submit your Data Job.
When complete, your original list should not contain those bounce recipients.
Purge bounced addresses and opted-out contacts
There are three ways to remove bounced addresses from your email database. You can either mark bounces as undeliverable in your database, purge the addresses from your database or use GDPR erasure to remove opted out contacts.
Option 1: Mark Bounces as undeliverable
- Open your most recent email report to the database.
- Click on the link for Soft or Hard bounces.
- Click the Mark bounces as Undeliverable button .
Important: Standard Org Settings should place undeliverables in to the master suppression list as well as marking the recipient as undeliverable within the database. Other Org settings scenarios may exhibit different results so check with support if required.
Option 2: Purge Bounces from a database
Note: Due to CAN-SPAM regulations, the purge feature will not delete the opted-out contacts from the database.
- Open your most recent email report to the database.
- Click on the link for Soft or Hard bounce.
- Click the Create database of Contacts button.
- Navigate to your Database section and you should see a mailing database with a name, for example 'Monthly Newsletter_soft bounces' or 'Monthly Newsletter-hard bounces'.
- Click on the Purge button at the top of the View Data page.
- Select the database you want to purge bounces from.
- Select the database of bounces you just created as the list of undeliverables to use for purging.
- Click the Next button and finish the purge wizard.
- You now have a modified database that no longer contains the bounced email addresses. You will still have your bounce email database. You'll also have a new third database called Monthly Newsletter Purge which contains the addresses/fields that were removed from your Monthly Newsletter email database.
Warning: After you've purged, emails and field records are permanently removed. If you want those email addresses to be added to the database again, you must manually add the email address.