Dealing with Contacts with Multiple Email Addresses in your Ontraport Account

We’re constantly dealing with the issue of contacts with multiple email addresses in our Ontraport account and I’ve seen that others with Ontraport accounts are experiencing this problem too. It leads to at least a few issues:

  1.  Us getting charged extra by Ontraport for more contacts and/or messages to contacts than is necessary
  2. Contacts purchasing multiple products under different emails, so all their products don’t appear under one login
  3. Contacts getting multiple copies of a message we send out, or getting messages they shouldn’t because we filtered them properly on one of their addresses but not their other address/es

Now, one can go into the “Find and Merge Duplicates” function in Ontraport and find all the records with duplicate First + Last Names and do some merging. However:

  1. it’s not always clear which emails are related to the same person (there may be multiple people with the same first + last names)
  2. bulk email status isn’t displayed during merging(!!)**–AND if one of the statuses is Opt-out, the merged record is Opt-out!
  3. without feedback from the contact, it’s unclear which email address should be the *one* to use

I’m making this post so that others can share their strategies…and also to state a strategy I’ve just recently started using…

  • I’ve implemented a rule in Ontraport (in conjunction with an Ontraport API script) that checks for duplicate contacts with the same First + Last name each time a new contact record is added. When a duplicate is created, an email message is sent to our support email with a link to the duplicate contact records in Ontraport: it links to a search result in Ontraport on the first and last names.
  • As the support person, I check this list of contacts and determine if they seem to be the same person.
  • I then select all the contacts from the list that seem related and send them a saved email message I’ve created that says something like ” We have multiple email messages in our system for you. Please reply to this message with ‘Use this one’ if it would be OK for us to just use this email address to send messages to you”.
  • Not only does receiving a reply message from them insure I can send them messages from Ontraport using the replied-from email address, but it tells me which one to choose and which ones to delete out of our system.

This strategy may evolve and change over time, but this is what I’m trying for the time being.

If you have other strategies you have found effective for eliminating multiple email addresses for contacts in Ontraport, please share them as comments below!

**Since writing this, I discovered a work-around; you can add “Bulk Email Status” as a column for contact listings in Ontraport, so that when you go into the “Find and Merge Duplicates” function, it’ll show you the bulk email status for each contact before you select the contacts you want to merge.