Updating existing contacts

Your database in Flexmail can contain more info than just the email address. For a contact you can collect several data points:

  • Email address: unique value
  • Name and first name
  • Communication language preference: one of the languages you use to send emails in
  • Multiple sources
  • Custom fields: created by you, never required
  • Interests: one or multiple ’tags’ on what the contact is interested in based on import or clicking behaviour

When a contact adds or changes his or her information, we always consider this as most accurate. Your contacts can update this information through:

  • His or her profile page
  • Filling in a form, which you have linked to the contact database

You can edit this through:

  • An import
  • Making changes on a contact detail page
  • A workflow
It's very possible that you don't just store information about people in Flexmail, but in external sources as well. That's why we cannot decide for you which information is accurate or has the most value for you when sending emails.

Updating contacts through import

When a contact that is included in your CSV already exists in your Flexmail account, that existing contact should be updated. Our logic for updating is as follows:

  • The value of a field/custom field is only updated when a different value is provided in your new CSV
    • In case the column for that field in your CSV is empty or doesn't exist there, the value is not changed.
    • In case the value is different, we will replace the information in the database with the information in your CSV. 
    • For multiple choice fields, this will mean that the selected values will be replaced with the values that are present in your CSV file.
  • Sources and interests are never overwritten but instead any new value is appended to the existing contact. This also means it is not possible to delete an interest with an import. 

What if there are duplicate email addresses in my import file?

In the most ideal situation, an email address appears only once in your file. If the same contact appears more than once in your file, we use the following logic for deduplication:

  • We start with the first row containing the double email address. Then we take the next row.
    • The value of a field is updated only when there is a different value in the new row.
    • If the value for that field in your CSV is empty, the value will not be changed.
    • In the case of multiple-choice fields, the value will not be changed either, if the value in your CSV file does not exist in Flexmail.
    • Sources and interests are never overwritten, only supplemented. Each new value is added to the existing information. This also means that it is not possible to delete an interest via an import.

Here is an example:

On the overview screen after analysing your import, you will see how many valid contacts we have found in your file. This data is thus already deduplicated. In the warnings, we show you the number of duplicate contacts.

What else is there to know about Flexmail?
How to do that exactly in my account?
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