Over time, it’s possible to end up with several instances of the same individual in your account. Duplicates in your account can make it difficult to find what you need and can skew reporting. You can merge duplicate individuals to keep and maintain clean data in your account. Learn how to merge duplicate individual records and best practices for merging.
Basics of Merging
You can merge duplicate records in your account to clean up the data. Start by selecting the record you want to keep; this record is called the master. Then, select the record you want to merge; this record is called the duplicate.
Merging takes data from the duplicate record and moves it to master, then deletes the duplicate record. The master is the ‘winner’ of the merge and is kept in your account. Please note, merges cannot be undone.
To merge records, users need both Edit and Delete permissions.
Master - the ‘winner’ of the merge and remains in your account. This is where you’ll start the merge.
Duplicate - the ‘loser’ of the merge where data is moved into the master and then deleted.
Here are details for what happens to different sections of data in a merge:
|Individual Detail & Custom Fields||If a field is blank on the Master, it is updated with the duplicate’s data. If a both the master and duplicate have a value entered in a field, the value in the master is kept. If there are conflicting fields where you want to keep data from the duplicate, make sure to copy it into a note on the duplicate or jot it down before the merge.|
|Group or Carrier Association||If the master is associated with a group or carrier, it keeps that association. Otherwise, the master will be updated with the association of the duplicate.|
|Addresses||The duplicate’s addresses will be moved to the master.|
|Policies||The duplicate’s policies will be updated to the master.|
|Activities||The duplicate’s activities will be moved the master.|
|Notes/Attachments||All the duplicate's notes/attachments will be moved to the master.|
|Relationships||The duplicate's unique relationships will be moved to the master.|
|Emails||The duplicate's sent emails will be moved to the master.|
|Workflows||The duplicate’s workflows and triggered actions will not be moved.|
To merge individual records:
- Find & choose the individual record you’d like to keep.
- This will be the master record and ‘winner’ of the merge.
- From the record action menu, select Merge with Another…
- Choose a Duplicate record to merge into the Master.
- Search to find the duplicate to merge into the master. By default, a search is performed using the first and last name of the master.
- Review the two records to confirm if you'd like to merge them.
- For additional record details, hover on the individual name. If you need to choose a different individual record, select go back or cancel. Merging cannot be undone.
- You’re all set.
- You’ll be returned to the master record and the duplicate record is deleted.
Best Practices for Merging
When merging records, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Before you Merge
It’s a good idea to take a quick glance at both the duplicate and the master to see if there are any conflicting fields, in case you'd like to keep the value from the duplicate. Also, if you have users with limited access to records based on Assigned Only settings, double check to make sure they will still have access after the merge.
Email Campaigns & Workflows
When merging, if the duplicate is a recipient of a drip campaign that has not yet been sent, that email will be stopped. If the duplicate has triggered a workflow, that workflow will be stopped. Also, please note that merging can update data on the master which could potentially trigger a workflow.
Can I undo a merge?
Good question. Merges cannot be undone.
Can I merge several records at the same time?
If you have several records you need to merge, pick the record you want to be the master, then merge each duplicate record into the one master record.
What happens if someone tries to go to the merged duplicate record?
You’ll see a message letting you know the record has been merged and can review the merge history along with who performed the merge.
What happens when you want to switch the master and duplicate?
In this case, do not move forward with the merge. Then, go to the record you want to be the master and start the merge process.