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.






4 Replies to “Dealing with Contacts with Multiple Email Addresses in your Ontraport Account”

  1. One thing I did recently for a client was to make duplicate “reference only” fields for the Bulk Email Status and the Last Activity Date. The system fields don’t show in the Merge screen, but my custom fields do. Now the client can make a better decision about which email address to use when merging.

    One thing I learned recently is that when merging an opted in with an opted out email, even if you select the opted in address, OP will keep the contact as opted out.

    1. Sorry Neil, I just saw this!
      One workaround I’ve used when merging two email addresses/contact records where one of the contact’s email addresses is opted out but I won’t be using that one, is to put their resulting email address into a single opt-in form that gets them back to at least “Single Opt-in”. And then to eliminate a step or two, I’ve now got a sequence with a Ping URL step (uses the Ontraport API) that I can add to the contact that automatically submits them to the single opt-in form..:).

  2. Or you can use an email verifier service, upload your email list and the duplicate email addresses will be rejected. After you will have a clean email list and you can use only the valid file with real email addresses.

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