Preventing contacts from reenrolling in workflows after a merge

Right now, merging a secondary contact into a primary contact might reenroll the primary contact in workflows that have already been completed for the secondary contact. 


This does not make sense for workflows that are configured to enroll contacts only once and might result in unwanted behavior such as sending out marketing emails again, possibly months after they were intended to be sent out.

 

From my perspective, this is a bug, since the whole contact history (including workflow history) is merged and therefore the new contact contains all the information for a workflow to know that the contact should not be reenrolled.

 

This can result in a negative impact on the brand and an increased number of customer service requests from customers who are confused by emails they received unexpectedly.

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25 Replies
Arietow
New Contributor

This definitely seems like poor customer service (for our HubSpot contacts). Particularly old form submissions that merge to act as new. Potentially these can pay attention to the date stamps to eliminate re-enrollment into confirmation workflows etc?

TommiEnenkel
Occasional Contributor

@Arietow: You can work around the bug by adding an additional if/then check at the beginning of the workflow. E.g. you can check if the contact has ever been enrolled in the workflow and put your logic in the else-branch.

EMSAdmin
Regular Contributor

This is definitely a bug. Especially if we have workflows that will send out demo request notifications to our account executives for a demo request that was already processed. Adding a workflow if/then filter at the beginning of our workflows would be to much of a monumental task, since we have over 600 workflows. I see no good example of why this would be a good idea. Please correct. As of this moment, we will no longer be merging records in HubSpot. A very flawed feature.

datadottyler
New Contributor

Hi there, I merged my own contact within the Hubspot system and came across what I thought was a bug, but it was actually the software working as expected. I have workflows setup to deliver triggered emails of downloadable content, and when I merged my own contact, I got re-enrolled into those workflows as if I had just signed up to download those documents again. Since we have a b2b AND b2c side of our platform, we will certainly run into the issue of merging duplicate contacts on a regular basis. So my current workaround of turning off the workflows they could be re-enrolled in is not sustainable or reasonable to expect me to do. For the Hubspot product team, please consider incorporating some functionality where merged contacts do not get re-enrolled into workflows, or at least give admins a prompt to let them know which workflows will be triggered if we merge the contact, so we can opt them out of them. 

rywell
New Contributor

We are having this issue as well. I've read suggestions elsewhere to add conditionals to the workflow to keep people from being re-enrolled if they had been merged or had been previously enrolled. However, we WANT people to be able to re-enroll if they voluntarily go through the enrollment criteria a second, third, or fourth time (some of these things are behaviors that people may choose to do more than once). The problem lies in the fact that merging a contact is not necessarily a voluntary act on the part of the contact. 

HubSpot Employee
HubSpot Employee

This issue is also addressed in the ideas forum post Merging Contacts shouldn't re-enroll the unified contact into a workflow.

 

One workaround I have suggested in the past is to keep a static list for merged contacts and add anyone you would like to merge to the list.  You can then add that list as a suppression list for all of the active workflows that the secondary contact has ever enrolled in. The suppression list can then be removed after the contacts have been merged.

 

Suggestion for the Product Team: Is it possible to block workflow reenrollment based on contact ID or secondary email?

HubSpot Employee
HubSpot Employee

This issue is also addressed in the idea forum post Preventing contacts from reenrolling in workflows after a merge.

christa
Regular Contributor

We have been unable to use the dedupe feature and have been very cautious about merging contacts due to this issue. The scenarios already mentioned are the same for us. A merge should not act the same as a voluntary action on part of the contact. I was told by support that this feature is acting as intended. It's unfortunate that the product team has not considered the actual use case for the feature and created something that is useless in its current state.

EMSAdmin
Regular Contributor

Completely agree!!! that is just one issue with merging. We are staying away as well. "working as intended"

JeffJeff
New Contributor

This is totally unacceptable and is most certainly not "working as intended" unless HubSpot have not used their own platform.

When we get emailed by a customer for support by an email address not yet on file - or called from a phone number not yet on file - it creates a new contact, which then must be merged into the existing contact for a million reasons, including all of the reasons that exist for a service platform that tracks interactions (i.e., a "Customer Relations Management" system).  We have dozens of workflows, including (frighteningly) billing workflows, that must operate from an "is known" trigger, since HubSpot also has never created a "has changed" property trigger.

Our phone calls and emails are tracked directly in Service Hub.  How are we supposed to merge those communications into the main contact if it reenrolls the customer into dozens of workflows?  The workarounds so far mentioned in this thread are not tenable for a company with thousands of customers, hundreds of property-based workflows and webhooks, and dozens of daily merge needs.

STWD99
Occasional Contributor

This has GOT to happen.  The nature of our business leads to a lot of duplicate generation, and we're forced to use extremely time-inefficient processes to work around this.  Please HubSpot, make it so! 

AnnemarieTN
Occasional Contributor

This is a really bad thing within HubSpot. I have send out multiple e-mails thanking leads who already met a criteria like became a customer or (unfortunatly) or had no result. 

I will not build in an if/ then branche, that is not a solution it just making the problem even bigger. 

cursu
Regular Contributor

We have the same issue. Contacts were automatically merged and re-enrolled in a workflow. The contacts ended up getting an email 6-8 months after the original interaction. Contacts were automatically merged and some of them had no interactions in the last few months. the whole process, seemed out of the blue - somewhere in the backend something changed and started enrolling people in workflows.

Potential solution suggested by Support is to add date refinements. Not sure this would work in our schenario as the second  email associated with the contact will still be enrolled if the date is after x... 

Sugestions with "static lists' are not reasonable when you are running a lot of forms and workflows.

As others before me- I was told by support that this feature is acting as intended. Agreed with other commenters, this seems like a bug - we need the tools in the workflows toolbox to prevent this without workarounds.

YOSHIHIRO
Regular Visitor

I am very suffering from this specification.
The duplicate search function implemented this time is wonderful, but I think many companies will receive complaints from customers due to this specification.
It is a specification that you want to urgently correct.

Msyvrais
Top Contributor

As many have commented I have the same issue.

 

We imported a very large (40,000 contacts) database into Hubspot, naturally, previous CRM did not recognize contacts by cookies etc so we have a lot of "potential duplicates" 1600 to be exact. As I work through merging them I have noticed that the merge causes a trigger of workflows....

 

Adding it/then or suppression lists etc is not feasible - these are live workflows that handle day to day business that we want people to voluntarily enroll in. All suggested workarounds above are just not reasonable at the level we operate and would break a lot of processes.

 

Suggestion:  Simply do not all the action of "merging" to enroll a contact in a workflow... simple.

 

cmalanga
Occasional Contributor

Echoing comments above! We have a business case where we work with employees of partner companies.  We initially invite them to sign up for our programs using their work email, but then they can create their account with us using their personal email.  If that occurs, we merge the two records (work & personal), but the employee should still remain in our workflows that send out a series of emails.  Right now, they're getting unenrolled when merged and I have to manually find these people and manually re-enroll them.

 

Would love this as an option when setting up workflows, i.e. "Un-enroll merged contacts?" (Y/N).

Msyvrais
Top Contributor

They added a new feature but it is defaulted to YES so you have to go and edit this!

Capture.PNG

STWD99
Occasional Contributor

Interesting find, Msyvrais!  However, I don't think that will solve the problem in question because it will still catch people being merged that are still active in workflows.  It's also unrealistic for my company to 1) identify every single contact that could be affected or 2) force every workflow to be set up that way, because we dont' always wan't them removed from a workflow.

 

I'll keep this setting in mind for future projects, so thanks! But I hope they come up with a more elegant solution.  There must be some kind of technical limitation because this is otherwise a seemingly simple feature to implement.

Msyvrais
Top Contributor

Sorry @STWD99 I did attach the wrong screenshot Smiley Wink  see updated oCapture.PNGne

Msyvrais
Top Contributor

I've also asked that they make it possible to control this setting globally as it is set to YES by default for me. Which in a case a person makes a workflow who isn't aware to turn it off would miss that setting I believe.