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How Merging Salesforce Contacts Works

Merging Salesforce Contacts can have different outcomes depending on the scenario. It is important to note that when a merge occurs in Salesforce, the losing record(s) will be deleted. So it's the same as if you had independently deleted a record in Salesforce. Below are some common scenarios with expected outcomes.

When two Contacts are merged and they both have the same email address on them and the same subscriber lists

Campaign Monitor only allows an email address to appear once on a subscriber list. If the merged contacts have the same email address then they would only appear on the subscriber list once.

A subscriber list membership record will only link to one contact, generally the record that is the most recently modified. When a merge happens the subscriber list membership record will appear under the winning contact.

When two Contacts are merged that have the same email address but are on different subscriber lists

If two contacts have the same email address and each contact is active on a different subscriber list, then after the merge, the winning contact will remain with the subscriber list as it was before the merge. Whilst the subscriber list status of the losing contact will be set to deleted and this deleted status will appear on the winning contact record after the primary sync next runs (typically hourly).

The losing Contact record will be set to deleted on the corresponding subscriber list in Campaign Monitor.

When two Contacts are merged and have different email addresses but are on the same Subscriber list(s)

The winning contact will remain active on any subscriber lists. The losing contacts subscriber list membership records will be marked as deleted and may appear (for a short time - until the primary sync runs) on the subscriber list membership related list for the winning contact. The primary sync removes the subscriber list membership record from the winning contact.

When two Contacts are merged and they have different email addresses and are on different subscriber lists

The winning contact will remain active on any subscriber lists and will be added to any subscriber lists the losing contact was on and marked active.

The losing contacts subscriber list membership records will be marked as deleted and may appear in the subscriber list membership related list for the winning contact for a short time until the sync which runs every hour by default unparents the subscriber list membership record.

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