19 Replies Latest reply on Oct 16, 2018 11:05 AM by Sanford Whiteman

    Can Marketo handle duplicate email addresses for different people?

    Sarah Samuels

      Hi all.  We have a database which includes family members who are using the same email address.

       

      A few questions:

      1. Can marketo cope with imported data for the same email address but with eg 3 different names?

      2. Can marketo send separate emails to each record, e.g. the 3 different people at the same email address?

       

      This doesn't impact us so much with newsletter comms, but for things like sending out unique discount codes it poses a problem as only one person is receiving their code.

       

      thanks

      Sarah

        • Re: Can Marketo handle duplicate email addresses for different people?
          Sanford Whiteman

          Marketo, as a database, fully supports multiple records with the same Email Address. Email Address is not a unique identifier.

           

          However, that is not the whole story because Email Address is still the only lookup key for most UI-based (as opposed to API-based) operations. Standard list imports, for example, will locate the target lead by its email address. (In contrast, API-based imports can be set to lookup on another key, like the built-in Lead ID or even a custom string field.) And a list import with 3 rows referring to a single email address will only ever update a single lead, continually updating its values. This post will shed more light on the logic.

           

          Your example of sending separate emails is actually slightly different from the unique key vs. lookup key decision. It's principally to stop you from looking like a spammer. Marketo will only send to one email address per Send Email step. If you want to send to multiple qualified leads with the same address, then instead of calling Send Email directly, you can trigger a Request Campaign on another campaign that in turn uses Send Email. Such individual Request Campaigns can send to multiple leads that happen to have the same email address, since there is no batching-and-deduping.

          8 of 8 people found this helpful
          • Re: Can Marketo handle duplicate email addresses for different people?
            Veronica Holmes

            Hi Sarah - Marketo has another workaround for both these scenarios.

             

            a) If you want to import lists with duplicate email addresses you can ask Support to change your dedupe criteria for list import. Email address MUST be one of the criteria, but you can add one or more other criteria to it to refine the dedupe. To dedupe it must be an exact match for ALL criteria (there's not if this plus this type logic, it's not that smart)

            Down side is ALL list imports from that point will use this extended criteria, so you have to be certain all your list imports follow the same scenario you've set up or you'll accidentally create a bunch of duplicate new leads. Talk to Marketo Support for more info on that since they have to set it up for you.

             

            b) Sanford is 100% correct that the Send Email will only send to one email address. I've hit the exact same scenario as you with needing to send the unique promo codes, and instead of using the Request Campaign (which I always avoid if possible as it puts tremendous pressure on your Marketo system, plus I'm lazy and don't want to build too many campaigns!) many of us out here use this process within a single Smart Campaign flow:

             

            Send Email

            Wait Step (length depends on size of list)

            Send Email (add Choice - If Not Sent Email is this email)

            Wait Step

            Send Email (add Choice - If Not Sent Email is this email)

             

            Repeat as often as you need to cover all potential dupes.

             

            However I will second Sanford's suggestion to read the post by John Mattos he linked to on the unexpected behaviour of deliberate duplicates in the system.

            2 of 2 people found this helpful
              • Re: Can Marketo handle duplicate email addresses for different people?
                Sanford Whiteman

                If you want to import lists with duplicate email addresses you can ask Support to change your dedupe criteria for list import.

                Yeah, that compound dedupe key option, while initially attractive, is one that I've seen fail miserably.  Working with a client right now who's wiping their entire Marketo instance and starting over because they made the misstep of having support enable this option. (What they should've done -- and will be doing going forward! -- was use API-based imports, deduping on a single custom field, their guaranteed-unique member ID.)

                 

                It's vanishingly rare for a business to have a consistently valid compound key including Email Address (as you mentioned). Usually if they think they do, they haven't thought through all the cases.

                4 of 4 people found this helpful
                • Re: Can Marketo handle duplicate email addresses for different people?
                  Jan Leonhard

                  Hi Veronica, I love that you mentioned the dedupe criteria! Do you have any documentation for this functionality? I searched product docs and community (on January 11th!) and didn't find any mention of it. Thanks in advance!

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Can Marketo handle duplicate email addresses for different people?
                      Veronica Holmes

                      I'm afraid not - it literally is kind of a "secret" feature, and for all the reasons Sanford mentioned can often not be the right solution. There are three rules to it:

                       

                      1. A "secondary" dedupe criteria can be added, but it will then apply across ALL imports of that type. For instance, you could have one dedupe criteria set for forms, and another for list imports. Whatever you choose, it then applies to all leads that come in through that method.

                       

                      2. It must be an EXACT match. (For instance, if I chose email address and first name as my criteria, it looks at the EXACT name and email for deduping. If that first name was ever missing, a new lead would be created.)

                       

                      3. One of the criteria must be the email address. The other (or multiple) can be anything you want, a standard or custom field.

                       

                      I'd work with a consultant to get this right, it can be tricky and the gotchas are eveywhere. Support will enable it for you, but won't necessarily counsel you that you are strategically making the wrong choice. It's not their job.

                      3 of 3 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Can Marketo handle duplicate email addresses for different people?
                      Kimberley Shortt

                      Hi Veronica Holmes

                       

                      I know this is an older post now but I was trying to duplicate your suggestions for working around the duplicate email addresses:

                       

                      many of us out here use this process within a single Smart Campaign flow:

                       

                      Send Email

                      Wait Step (length depends on size of list)

                      Send Email (add Choice - If Not Sent Email is this email)

                      Wait Step

                      Send Email (add Choice - If Not Sent Email is this email)

                       

                      Repeat as often as you need to cover all potential dupes.

                       

                      I set up a campaign following these steps and it does work but it seems to be pulling in all the tokens from the first recipient instead of pulling the unique information from the subsequent contact records we have in Salesforce.  For example, the email I'm trying to use this for contains the contact's individual sales numbers and the first recipient's numbers get replicated in the subsequent emails (to the same email address) instead of pulling their unique numbers.  Any idea how to get around that?  Thanks so much for any help/suggestions!

                       

                      Kimberley