Should I merge a contact in this case?

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Occasional Contributor

So I understand the ramifications of merging contacts in Hubspot. But the real question I have is should I? Here are the two use cases I'm thinking of.

 

Back ground, we are a B2B SaaS company.

 

First - Contact with business and personal email

We find that users might cycle between email that is from the personal domains and their company domains. We only want outbound comm's to company domains, but because contacts might send us content via their personal email we want to keep things streamlined.

 

Second - Contact leaves one company, then joins another company.

We can leave the two contacts alive, but clearly the old contact is no longer valid...its a dead end.

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Occasional Contributor

Thanks for the feedback everyone and the reference about depreciated contacts. That's a use case we are seeing a great deal of as well. (so an upvote for me there)

 

I think it ties nicely to how this should end up too.

 

Step 1 The contact is no longer with the company. You need to mark the contact as unusable for the time being as you likely don't know where they are now, just that they are gone.

 

Step 2 you pick up the contact at their new company and need to effectively transfer them over.

 

What still concerns me about merging the contact records together is in sorting out what information on the contact really should transfer over versus what should not.

 

A. Lead scoring.

B. Workflow history (ie would the "new" contact record still be excluded from re-running a workflow?)

C. Salesforce linkage (I'm putting this in because I have to now, but frankly we are going to turn off Salesforce soon)

D. Webanalytics

E. Conversion information

 

What is critical to me is the activity history. You want to keep that history of their engagement with us, and our people, so that you ensure good conitnuity and don't repeat things they have seen already.

 

As closing reference, the goal on our end is that our service would follow this contact to the new company and help us sell into that new organization. For now I'm going to try merging a couple of contacts and see what that looks like.

 

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Community Manager

Hello @EricCrux welcome to the Community - great question!

 

I beleive both of thea bove are very strong use cases for merging contacts. Is this something you've tried already?

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Occasional Contributor

On the first case regarding personal and company email. Yes we have merged those contact records.

 

It is the second case that is a problem and one we can't really experiment with since you cannot rollback.

 

This is the advice I'm looking for, what is the general practice people are doing in Hubspot with contacts that move from one organization to another.

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Community Manager

CCing some of our customers to share their insights:

 

@shearn@Samantha_Alford@HelenRoss,

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Advisor

Thanks for the mention @roisinkirby.

 

@EricCrux what are the experiments that you'd be wanting to run?

 

Keeping their old company email will not only clog up your database (and cost you more money based on contact number tiers) but can hurt your sender reputation if you start getting a high volume of hard bounces.

 

To me, it all comes down to whether or not the historical data you have on your contacts is important when providing a service for them. 9 out of 10 times, I will merge the two records in case of a contact moving companies. This way I know their preferences and actions so I'm consistent with what I'm offering. 

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Regular Contributor

Personally I'm a bit frustrated with the way that hubspot handles deprecated contacts (which is what I term anyone who has left one company and joined another). 

 

Because the email domain (provided they're using a work email) has changed, I don't merge the contacts, I opt the old contact out of all communication, and leave the new contact associated to the new company. 

 

I do wish hubspot had a way to flag customers who were no longer at a company, rather than needing to unsubscribe them (since then the unsubscribe numbers aren't an actual reflection of Unsubs for marketing reasons). 

 

In the first scenario I merge the contacts. 

Community Manager

Thanks @shearn @HelenRoss, it's always valuable to get insights from customers.

 

For reference, here is an idea I found (the votes are climbing) r.e. depreciated contacts: https://community.hubspot.com/t5/HubSpot-Ideas/Archive-Contacts/idi-p/11734

I'd encourage all in this thread to vote/post with their use case. 

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Occasional Contributor

Thanks for the feedback everyone and the reference about depreciated contacts. That's a use case we are seeing a great deal of as well. (so an upvote for me there)

 

I think it ties nicely to how this should end up too.

 

Step 1 The contact is no longer with the company. You need to mark the contact as unusable for the time being as you likely don't know where they are now, just that they are gone.

 

Step 2 you pick up the contact at their new company and need to effectively transfer them over.

 

What still concerns me about merging the contact records together is in sorting out what information on the contact really should transfer over versus what should not.

 

A. Lead scoring.

B. Workflow history (ie would the "new" contact record still be excluded from re-running a workflow?)

C. Salesforce linkage (I'm putting this in because I have to now, but frankly we are going to turn off Salesforce soon)

D. Webanalytics

E. Conversion information

 

What is critical to me is the activity history. You want to keep that history of their engagement with us, and our people, so that you ensure good conitnuity and don't repeat things they have seen already.

 

As closing reference, the goal on our end is that our service would follow this contact to the new company and help us sell into that new organization. For now I'm going to try merging a couple of contacts and see what that looks like.

 

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