Before merging contacts in Salesforce you should first identify all duplicates. Keep in mind, duplicate emails is only one way of identifying duplicates. For example: First, Last name and company name can be another way to establish a duplicate especially when your contacts can use both personal and professional email addresses when submitting forms. You should also think about de-duping accounts first as contacts can appear in the different accounts that should be merged. If you are looking to de-dupe your data you can use a deduplication tool or look for data deduplication services. Now that you have identified duplicates, you probably have the question of how to merge contacts in salesforce?

There are different ways you can merge your contacts in Salesforce:

  • If you have only a few records to merge:

You can use Salesforce’s native “Merge Contacts” from the Account, scroll down to the contact list and select the contacts you want to merge, click on Merge my contacts tool. You can select which fields you want to keep as master, and thats it!

  • If you have many records to merge but do not have the budget to pay for a tool: 

You can manually update the surviving contacts with data from the merged contacts by using Dataloader or data upload using Salesforce native upload tool. You can also move any salesforce entities by updating the contact id in the same way. For example: you can move a event or task by pulling all activities related to the Merged Contacts. In the report you should have Activity ID and Contact ID, replace in excel Contact ID (merged record) to Contact ID (master record) and uploading it back to Salesforce will move all activities into the surviving record. After all entities are moved and you have validated that the merged contacts have no remaining data that is needed to remain in Salesforce, you can use the merge list to delete those accounts from Salesforce.

  • If you have many records to merge and have a large budget: 

If you have many contacts that are duplicates in your CRM that want to identify you can contact StrategicDB for a full data cleaning. Alternatively you can use third party tools such as DemandTools to automatically merge contacts in your Salesforce.