Manage Duplicate Contacts

The best way to manage duplicate contacts is to avoid them by encouraging your customers to use a managed preferences webform to make updates to their accounts. But it is possible that contacts might submit more than one email address in a variety of ways and it is important to try to manage duplicate contact records quickly when this happens.

About this task

Bronto only requires the email address contact field to be unique. This means that it is possible to have more than one record for a contact if the contact submits information to you using different email addresses. For example, a contact may have used both a Yahoo account and a Google account to place orders. Or an engaged contact may have switched email providers and subscribed again using their new email address. Because fields like first name, last name, address, etc. do not need to be unique there is nothing to prevent both from being imported into Bronto as separate contact records even though it is the same person.

If you discover that you have a contact who has more than one email address stored in Bronto you can delete the record associated with the outdated email address. However, when the outdated email address is associated with a great deal of historical contact data you will not want to delete it. Instead you should:
  1. Change the email address you want to use for the contact. The best way to do this is to prefix the word deleted to the email address.
  2. Delete this record.
  3. Update the outdated email address for the contact.
You must change the email address before using it to update a contact's email or Bronto won't be able to recognize the email address as unique when you try to make the update. This is true even if you delete the record before you try to use the email address again.

To update the email address for a contact in order to preserve the contact's historical data:


  1. Go to Contacts > Search.
  2. Search for the email address you want to maintain for the contact.

    The contact record should appear in the table. If it does not, make sure you searched using Email.

  3. Make sure you have a copy of the email address saved somewhere else.
  4. Click the pencil icon to edit the contact record.
  5. In the Email Address box enter deleted. before the email address.

    For example the email address would look similar to To save time, you can copy the new email address so you can search for it on the Search Contacts page.

    Make sure you are updating and deleting the correct contact record.

  6. Click Save & Close.
  7. Search for the contact record you just updated and delete it.

    Make sure you delete the correct version of the contact record.

  8. Search for the email address you want to update.
  9. Click the pencil icon to edit the contact record.
  10. In the Email Address box enter the correct email address for the contact.

    This is the email address before deleted. was added to it.

  11. Click Save Changes.