Contact override issue

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Occasional Contributor

Has anyone else had this issue? Here is an example of contact override that has been happening to us for a while:
1. Sarah subscribes to our emails June 2017 and becomes a contact. On her timeline, we can see that she received our weekly emails, but hasn't filled out any forms or interacted with us in any way other than receiving our emails. 
2. Someone from the same company, Bob,
 subscribes to our emails a month later and overrides Sarah's details. On that same timline, we can see that emails are now going to Bob instead of Sarah.

3. Sarah then fills out a form on our site and her details overrides Bob's. Now all the emails are going to Sarah instead of Bob. We then see on the timeline, "A form changed the email for Sarah from bob@bobscompany.net to sarah@sarahscompany.com."

 

HubSpot Suppport cannot seem to give us an answer or a solution. We've been told to test forms, turn off/on pre-populate fields with known values, turn off/on disable cookie tracking, have our contacts clear their cache or do things with how their browsers track cookies, but none of these have fixed this contact override problem. 

 

Has anyone else had this issue and fixed it? Please let me know what has helped you. Thanks! 

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HubSpot Product Team
HubSpot Product Team

As Aoifemoon said it's definitely a cookie isuse. The fact that the contacts are in the same company alludes to this more. 

 

A cookie is the main indentifier used in forms, this means (unless cookie tracking is disabled on the form) a submission that happens on the same browser will be appended to the existing contact who has that cookie. 

 

Email tracking also uses unique indentifiers in links to attach a contact record to a specific cookie. So if I send an email from HubSpot to "info@tom.com" for example. The links in that email will have specific parameters to attribute the browser cookie to the existing contact record for "info@tom.com". 

What can happen here then is if I then forwarded that email to my collegue at "guy@tom.com" and they click a link, my contact information will be passed to the browser. and the cookie will become associated with my info@tom.com contact.

If my collegue then goes and fills out a form, this will be attributed to the original contact who was sent the email and any contact information submit on the form will be updated. 

 

As Aoife mentioned you can disable cookie tracking in forms, however this has the drawback of meaning cookies won't be logged to contact records and thus, no analytics will be tracked on the contact record. This will only affect submissions moving forward however, you would need to get those contacts to clear their cookies and fill out forms independently to ensure they can have their own independent contact records. 

14 Replies 14
Anonymous

Hmm it sounds like there are contacts submitting on your forms with the same cookie.

 

Check out this knowledge article: How can I disable cookie tracking on forms so each submission from the same browser creates a new co...

 

Please note: Only enable this setting if you have a valid use case for it. With this option enabled, each form submission from the same browser will create a new contact. This is done by not including the browsing cookie with the submission data. As a result of this, HubSpot will not be able to track pageviews for these contacts, their referral source to your site, or recognize returning visitors to prefill form fields or make them smart. 

Please reference this forms user guide article for proper scenarios in which to enable this setting.

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HubSpot Product Team
HubSpot Product Team

As Aoifemoon said it's definitely a cookie isuse. The fact that the contacts are in the same company alludes to this more. 

 

A cookie is the main indentifier used in forms, this means (unless cookie tracking is disabled on the form) a submission that happens on the same browser will be appended to the existing contact who has that cookie. 

 

Email tracking also uses unique indentifiers in links to attach a contact record to a specific cookie. So if I send an email from HubSpot to "info@tom.com" for example. The links in that email will have specific parameters to attribute the browser cookie to the existing contact record for "info@tom.com". 

What can happen here then is if I then forwarded that email to my collegue at "guy@tom.com" and they click a link, my contact information will be passed to the browser. and the cookie will become associated with my info@tom.com contact.

If my collegue then goes and fills out a form, this will be attributed to the original contact who was sent the email and any contact information submit on the form will be updated. 

 

As Aoife mentioned you can disable cookie tracking in forms, however this has the drawback of meaning cookies won't be logged to contact records and thus, no analytics will be tracked on the contact record. This will only affect submissions moving forward however, you would need to get those contacts to clear their cookies and fill out forms independently to ensure they can have their own independent contact records. 

Top Contributor

I am also having this issue. So does this mean if i want multiple form submissions from the same company i won't be able to track each of their behaviours? That doesn't make sense - of course we will want to do that. 

 

Also if a contact wants to share a download/landing page with someone else (which is a good thing) we also won't be able to track them or it will overide the original submission? 

 

Please confirm if this is correct, I can't understand why hubspot wouldn't allow multiple submissions from the same company and also be able to track them too. 

Occasional Contributor

I don't think the issue is fully solved yet.

 

To me this is just an explaination of why the issue exists - not an acceptable workaround.

It is not an option to instruct users to solve this issue themselves - that would be unprofessional, I think.

 

Until now I have manually created new contacts, when I have accidently stumpled opon a contact, where this was the case. Though this is time consuming it is an acceptable workaround as long as it is only a few contacts every month.

 

The real problem is that there is no way (that I have found) to get a notification when this occurs, or creating an active list with the affected contacts.

This means that I potentially have many contacts with the issue, but no chance to identify them.

 

Is there a way to solve this issue?

Occasional Contributor

Totally agree with you that the issue is not resolved, just a workaround identified. It's a contstant niggle not being able to have emails forwarded etc.


What we've done is set up a workflow that notify's us every time an email address changes so we can see where the issues are. It includes all email changes, but we just sift through and find the broken ones.

Occasional Contributor

Hi JoeRoberts

 

I haven't been able to set up a workflow like that. Could you specify how you do it?

 

Best regards

/Jens

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Occasional Contributor

Here's the way we did it:

Capture.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

We pushed every existing contact through the workflow immediately when we set it live to backdate the changes. 

 

Basically the first time they go through it (either manually pushed through by us or when they are first created) they meet the enrollment criteria and then go down the 'no' path as they have not been through the workflow before.

 

When their email changes, they meet the enrollment criteria again (need to allow re-enrollment), and go through the workflow, but now meet the criteria for the 'yes' path which triggers the alert email.

 

This works for us anyway!

Occasional Contributor

Thank you! This is brilliant!

 

Just to be sure: As I understand it, this method does not reveal the contacts who was previously overwritten, does it?

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Occasional Contributor

No worries =)

 

It jsut shows you which contact record has been messed up. so you'll likely see the new submitters details in the contact, and maybe two email addresses (new person and old persons).

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Occasional Contributor

Yes. I know. Sorry for not being clear.

 

I just wanted to know if this method would identify those contacts, who already has been overwritten - it does not seem like it though, now that I have set it up.

 

Thanks a lot, anyway. This helped me implement an acceptable workaround.

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Top Contributor

Looking on the workflow you've published, how do you check for the email change?

tlm
Occasional Contributor

Basically, as I understand it, if they have been reenrolled in the workflow it means they have changed the email address.

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tlm
Occasional Contributor

I spoke to support today and they informed that this workflow will not work. 

 

They also confirmed that there is no solution to the problem, nor a way to gauge the extend of it or to get notified when it happens.

 

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Occasional Contributor

I'm running into this issue in the following scenario:

 

Our login screen is a form and seems to overrite some contacts' names (but not emails) every time they login. Why can't we just have an option to NOT overwrite contact info if it's not blank? We can do so in workflows, but no control over it in forms, settings, or anywhere. What gives?

 

Thanks,

 

Mitchel

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