Table of Contents:
- Deduplicating records in HubSpot
- Automatic deduplication
- Manual deduplication
- How to deduplicate data from external systems?
One of the reasons why many companies underestimate the impact of duplicate data on their organization is because they don't fully understand what it means. While there is the obvious example of duplicating records by making an exact copy within your database, most duplicate data is not exact copies of a complete record. In such cases, one of the two copies is often still being edited and expanded, making it more up-to-date than the other. However, the older record continues to exist and can confuse teams and lead to errors.
Deduplicating Records in HubSpot
We have several options for managing contact duplicates in HubSpot, either automatically or manually.
- Currently, whenever a record is entered into the HubSpot CRM, it validates it using the email address and automatically merges duplicate records. Registration IDs can also be used to prevent duplication. You can include registration IDs in your import file.
- Additionally, users on a Pro or Enterprise account can manually manage potential duplicates using the duplicate management tool.
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HubSpot eliminates contact duplication created in the CRM (e.g., imports, form submissions) in the following ways:
By email address By registration ID By user token
Deduplicating Contacts by Email Address
When adding a new contact, HubSpot searches for a matching value in the email address property.
If you attempt to manually create a contact with the same email address as an existing contact, HubSpot will alert you that the contact already exists, and you won't be able to add the additional contact.
When added through form submissions or API, if there is already a contact in your account with the same email address, the new contact information will be added to the existing contact record. If the contact submits a form with your secondary email address, the secondary email address will overwrite the existing email address for the contact.
When added through import:
If there is already a contact in your account with the same email address, the new contact information will be added to the existing contact record. For example, if you import a contact list that includes "firstname.lastname@example.org," and an existing contact in your HubSpot account already has the email address "email@example.com," the imported information will be added to that contact record. If you use a contact's secondary email address in HubSpot as their unique identifier in an import, if you include both the secondary email address and the registration ID as columns in the file, the secondary email address will replace the primary email address when imported. If you do not want the secondary email address to overwrite the primary one, do not include the registration ID column in your file. If you do not include the email address property in your import, each row in your import file will be imported as a new contact record. If there are already multiple records with the same email address as a contact you are importing, you will receive an import error, and that contact will not be imported.
Deduplicating Contacts by User Token
If two form submissions come from the same browser and computer, the submissions will be merged into one record because HubSpot detects the same user token for both submissions.
Deduplicating Records by Record ID
When you want to import contacts, you can use a unique Record ID to match these records with existing records in HubSpot. This Record ID can be used to deduplicate records during the import process or to look up a specific record in HubSpot.
To obtain the Record IDs, export your records or query the value of a specific object for its Record ID. Include a Record ID column in your file when importing your records into HubSpot. If you include the Record ID column in your file, any row without a value for Record ID will create new records. During import, you will be prompted to match the column with the Record ID in the "Import as" dropdown menu.
You can remove contact duplicates in your account using the duplicate management tool. Additionally, if your account has an Operations Hub Pro or Enterprise subscription, you can deduplicate records in bulk and view a summary of duplicate record data in the Data Quality Control Center.
The duplicate management tool identifies duplicates by comparing the values of contact records for the following properties: First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Country IP, Phone Number, ZIP Code, and Company Name.
HubSpot displays up to 2,000 of the most probable duplicates. Some weeks, HubSpot will automatically recalculate these results. You can see when the next recalculation will occur in the title of the duplicate manager.
In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Contacts.
In the top right corner, click on the "Actions" dropdown menu and select "Manage duplicates".
Here, you will see a list of duplicate contact pairs for your review.
To change the properties displayed when comparing the records, above the table, click on "Select properties to review". This option only appears if there are potential duplicates currently included in the list.
- To remove a displayed property, click on the X next to it in the "Selected properties" section.
- To show a property, click on the checkbox next to the property.
- Click Apply once you have selected the properties.
- To compare an individual pair of potential duplicates, click on the "Review" option next to a contact pair.
In the dialog box, you can compare the record properties and analyze which record to keep. In the dialog box, select the contact you want to keep, then click on "Merge". If the two records do not match as duplicates, in the dialog box, click "Cancel". Then, in the table, click "Reject" to remove this identified pair from the "Manage duplicates" panel. Rejected suggestions will not appear in the duplicate tool going forward.
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To merge duplicate records or reject suggestions in bulk (Operations Hub Pro and Enterprise only), select the checkboxes next to the records.
To reject the suggested pair, click on "Reject" at the top of the table. The records will be removed from the panel and will not appear as suggestions in the future. If a record from a previously rejected suggestion is merged with another record, it might reappear in the duplicate tool.
To compare the records, click on "Review" at the top of the table.
In the dialog box, click on the "Merge criteria" dropdown menu and select the criteria that determines how to combine the records:
Most recent engagement: All selected records will be merged into the record with the most recent value for the "Last Engagement Date" property. Interactions that affect this property include interactions with web pages, forms, documents, meeting links, or tracked custom emails.
Oldest engagement: All selected records will be merged into the record with the oldest value for the "Last Engagement Date" property.
Created first: All selected records will be merged into the oldest record based on the "Create Date" property.
Created last: All selected records will be merged into the most recent record based on the "Create Date" property.
Most recently updated: All selected records will be merged into the record with the most recent update to the property value.
Finally, click on "Merge all".
How to deduplicate data from external systems
If your company has a customer database in an external system to HubSpot and you want to eliminate data duplication using HubSpot, there are several options available. Here are some strategies you can follow:
Export and import:
Export the existing database from the external system in a format compatible with HubSpot, such as a CSV file.
In HubSpot, use the import tool to upload the data from the CSV file.
During the import process, HubSpot will perform comparisons and automatically merge duplicate records based on key properties like email.
Make sure to carefully review property mappings during the import process to ensure proper data merging.
Integrations and synchronization:
If the external system and HubSpot have an available integration, you can use it to synchronize the data between the two systems.
Configure the integration to perform either bi-directional or uni-directional synchronization, depending on your needs.
During the synchronization, HubSpot will check key properties and automatically merge duplicate records.
If you have technical skills or access to a developer, you can use the HubSpot API to eliminate data duplication.
Export the database from the external system and use the HubSpot API to perform a comparison and merge of records.
You can use the API to search for duplicate records, compare their properties, and merge them based on your specific criteria.
It is important to note that each case may vary depending on the complexity of the data and the configuration of the systems involved. It is recommended to perform tests and ensure data backups before carrying out any duplicate removal process. If needed, you may also consider seeking assistance from a HubSpot consultant or specialist to ensure a proper and secure duplicate removal process.
Efficiently managing contact duplicates is crucial for maintaining an organized and accurate database. By implementing best practices and leveraging available tools, you can overcome the challenges associated with duplication and maximize the value of your CRM. Do not underestimate the positive impact that a clean database can have on your business operations and marketing strategies. Start today by eliminating duplicates and prepare to reach new levels of efficiency and success in your company!