Enforce unique email address for a tracking cookie

Migrated from legacy feedback forum with 246 votes

 

When two different people convert from the same browser (tracking cookie), HubSpot overwrites the contact each time with the new email address and form data. This is the last thing we would ever want to happen. There is a setting to disable cookie tracking on a form, but we don't want to lose valuable analytics data either.

 

The use case for when someone will come back to our site with the same tracking cookie, and want to update their email address to a new one, is very very rare. On the other hand, the use case for multiple people filling out forms from the same computer/device is much more broad. It happens all the time and when we least expect it. It has happened to many of our clients who get frustrated and upset when they see valid leads getting overwritten in HubSpot because of some cookie technology they don't understand.

 

Can we please have a setting, either Contacts-wide or per-form, that will enforce unique email addresses for a tracking cookie? If a different email address converts on a form with an existing contact associated, HubSpot should create a new contact. That new contact would then have no cookie associated until the person identified themselves from a unique cookie.

 

Please HubSpot, we know you can find a solution for this!

HubSpot updates
Enforce unique email address for a tracking cookieHubSpot Product Team
07-11-2019

Hi @dhika  we're working on a new feature which will allow a visitor to reset their cookie if the pre-populated information from the cookie does not match their information. We hope to have this on wide release very soon and will update here as soon as we have more information. 

Enforce unique email address for a tracking cookieHubSpot Product Team
07-11-2019

Hi all, to help minimise cookie overwrites with forms we've just released a new setting within our forms.

Within your form settings you can enable a link on your forms which will display if your form is pre-populating information from a known cookie. This will display "not you? click here to reset" at the top right of your form. If a visitor clicks this, the form will be reset and the submission will not submit a cookie. This will create a new, fresh contact record and will ensure the tracking from the original submission will remain intact. 

 

Full information on how to enable this is available on our Knowledgebase: https://knowledge.hubspot.com/articles/kcs_article/forms/create-forms#reset

 

Thanks to everyone for your continued feedback and for helping us build a great product Smiley Happy

Enforce unique email address for a tracking cookieHubSpot Product Team
changed to: Delivered
07-11-2019

Enforce unique email address for a tracking cookieHubSpot Product Team
changed to: In Planning
07-11-2019

Our product team are currently experimenting with a new feature around this issue. Will update here as soon as we have beta features available. 

Enforce unique email address for a tracking cookieHubSpot Product Team
07-11-2019

Hey @dhika yes this would technically achieve a similar affect to the cookie off. Essentially it is the ability to disable the cookie on a per submission basis. As opposed to having to disable all cookies on your form. 

 

For instance, if you were using a tablet at a conference, and you submit your first submission. Then you go back to the page to submit the second submission that second submission would see the first submissions information pre-populated with a link in the top saying "not you? click here to reset" once this link is clicked the form will reset and be empty. This second submission will then not submit a cookie and will create a new contact record. 

 

For conferences and events that are using the same browser I would definitely still recomend turning off your forms cookie tracking. Cookies are browser specific, so if visitors are visiting your booth and submitting a form through your tablet we would only be tracking their visiting information from that browser. 

 

Hope this helps! 

26 Replies
HubSpot Product Team
HubSpot Product Team

Hey @dhika yes this would technically achieve a similar affect to the cookie off. Essentially it is the ability to disable the cookie on a per submission basis. As opposed to having to disable all cookies on your form. 

 

For instance, if you were using a tablet at a conference, and you submit your first submission. Then you go back to the page to submit the second submission that second submission would see the first submissions information pre-populated with a link in the top saying "not you? click here to reset" once this link is clicked the form will reset and be empty. This second submission will then not submit a cookie and will create a new contact record. 

 

For conferences and events that are using the same browser I would definitely still recomend turning off your forms cookie tracking. Cookies are browser specific, so if visitors are visiting your booth and submitting a form through your tablet we would only be tracking their visiting information from that browser. 

 

Hope this helps! 

dhika
Regular Contributor

Hi @Tom 

 

I'm currently opening up a registration for a webinar, an occassion where overwritten contacts because of cookies happen all the time. I already implemented the reset link feature to the form and still saw some contacts got overwritten. My guess would be that the "notice" to reset  the link isn't prominent enough and that we still relied on visitors' due dilligence to make sure that they reset the form.

 

This gets complicated because the unique join link from the webinar also got overwritten in the contact record. So the suggestion for HubSpot to dedup form submission based on email address (as opposed to cookie tracking) would still be the ideal solution.

ForrestGimp
New Contributor

@dhikaThat is exactly what I see here. The option (which is quite hidden by the way) does not seem to really work or prevent this from happening.

 

How about really solving the problem by just overriding the cookie identification (i.e. resetting the cookie) when a "new E-Mail" in combination with "new first name" and "new last name" is filled in a form? That would take care of all possible cases I can think of, including a contact getting married hence changing their company-email and last name (in which case the cookie would not be reset, as the condition of "new first name" is not met, so the contact would correctly be recognised as the same person).

 

Our current dirty trick to hunt for the double-assigned contacts Hubspot frequently produces is to use Salesforce to find all contacts which meet the described criteria (changed name AND last name AND email) – as it is impossible to even track the problem in Hubspot via a workflow (which is kind of awkward imho, given that the original problem we talk about here surfaced back in april 2017!). So we have to manually run our contacts through a filter in an external tool to produce a list to manually fix Hubspot contacts now. Isn't Hubspot supposed to be an automation tool? And what about your many users that rely on Hubspot as CRM?

dhika
Regular Contributor

Thanks for reinforcing the ideal solution @ForrestGimp !

 

Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury to work around it using Salesforce as we're not using it on top of HubSpot. Currently, the (tedious) solution for me would be to do a periodical export from the email address property history and have a look at those that have multiple columns reflecting that the emails have been changed. If I notice one, I just have to find the latest update with the same user (sometimes people move to a new company so a different domain makes sense, but not a totally different username Smiley Happy) and store all the changes in a new sheet so I can create those as new contacts - basically splitting the overwriting contacts from the overwritten ones.

 

While the email dedup is the super ideal solution, another work around would be the active list creation where we can filter exactly what you said above. Hope HubSpot would hear us and implement it soon.

jbotelho
Occasional Contributor

I agree with Forrest Gimp and dhika. This solution helps decrease the number of overwrites but doesn't truly resolve the problem. Since implementing, we've still seen contacts overwritten because people just ignore the message. This causes huge issues for us as once the email is changed in HubSpot, it changes in Salesforce. I get a lot of unhappy sales reps calling me to ask why their contact "disappeared". 

grahamfcr
New Contributor

Are there any solutions if using a thrid party form that is integrated with HubSpot like typeform?