How to find and remove duplicate contacts in ActiveCampaign

by | Jul 19, 2022 | ActiveCampaign Tutorials

People who have more than one email address (which is basically everyone now) may have more than one contact record in your ActiveCampaign.

Any person with more than one contact in your ActiveCampaign can wind up confused, disrupted, and being sent duplicate copies of your emails.

One version of them looks like a purchaser – another is a lead that never bought a thing but has your best converting lead magnet – still another is an affiliate – and this other one over here is the ghost of a long-gone inbox with their name on it.

And you’re paying for a spot in your contact limit for each active duplicate contact they have in your ActiveCampaign account too.


This blog shows how to easily find duplicate contacts in your ActiveCampaign account, and then remove them, to reduce confusion and save you money.

Follow these steps to find & remove duplicate ActiveCampaign contacts

Watch Kay on why and how to get rid of duplicate contacts in ActiveCampaign

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Understand how duplicate contacts in ActiveCampaign cause trouble

Duplicate contacts in your ActiveCampaign account cost you in time, money and deliverability.

And they cost the contact in time, confusion, and reduced quality of customer experience.

In an ideal fantasy-land of email marketing, each real-life person in your business world has exactly one email address they always use for their interactions with you, and they never mis-type it.

But this is the real life…

Mis-spellings are rife, and I’ve found people with four different email addresses in my system! 

5 reasons you should care about duplicate contacts in ActiveCampaign

  1. A mistyped email address means a bounce, which means your real-life person didn’t get what they wanted when they wanted it
  2. An extra active contact in your ActiveCampaign account takes up a spot that you’re paying for in your contact limit
  3. An email address you keep sending to, but they’re not opening because it’s a duplicate, hurts your deliverability, which costs you sales.
  4. A complaint of “you’re sending me two copies of emails” costs you time and money to troubleshoot and irks your contact
  5. A disrupted customer journey record spread across multiple contacts messes up the numbers and stops you making informed decisions to grow your business.

Are you paying attention now?

Jolly good – let’s move on to how to reduce duplicate contacts in your ActiveCampaign account – because prevention is a lot easier than cure on this one…

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Learn how to reduce duplicates by showing their email address

Here’s a radical idea, that dramatically reduces duplicate contacts, and is very fast and easy to do in every ActiveCampaign email you send:

When you want them to do something that needs their email address, show them their email address, right there, in the content of the email.

101 brilliant ActiveCampaign tips from Kay Peacey

It’s easy to show the contact’s email address in ActiveCampaign emails.

Just add %EMAIL% to the content of your ActiveCampaign email.  And to be really kind, make it easy to grab on the clipboard to copy and paste where it’s needed.  You can do this for other ActiveCampaign contact fields too.

I love when businesses do this routinely, so I don’t have to dig around to see which email I use with them. Showing the email address is an easy win for you, and for your customers.

How to show the contact email address in an ActiveCampaign email

Like this:

Grab your email address to your clipboard now:

And click here to place your order.

Ta Da!

We have a whole course on how to use the email builder faster better and stronger inside the ActiveCampaign Academy – it’s a revelation on how to get more value out of your ActiveCampaign emails.

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Discover how prefills can prevent duplicate contacts in ActiveCampaign

Make someone enter their details again, when they know you already have them, and watch how fast they get irritated…

Especially if you make them enter the email address you literally just used to email them.

They’re short on time, multi-tasking, and now also a bit ticked off.  And now the typos happen and bingo – a mis-typed email is in your system.

The fix here is to pre-fill it fore them – and ActiveCampaign makes it very easy for us to pre-fill to most forms and entry places.

How to prefill an email address so ActiveCampaign contacts don’t have to type it

Prefill really just means “fill it in for them as if by magic”

It’s easy to prefill an email address in an ActiveCampaign email.

Most times it’s as simple as adding this to the end of the url of the link you’re sending them to:


Syntax to Prefill email address using ActiveCampaign

The value of prefilling the email address wtih ActiveCampaign is huge – less hassle for them, no typos, no mismatched data, fewer duplicate contacts.

For more prefill magic, we have a full course inside the ActiveCampaign Academy – prefills are ridiculously useful and solve a lot of problems for everyone.

Prevention is great, but you also need to know how to cure – so next up, let’s look at how to find and remove duplicate contacts in ActiveCampaign…

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How engagement tags in ActiveCampaign find duplicate contacts

It’s not always obvious that a contact is one of a many belonging to the same real-life person – a duplicate ActiveCampaign contact.

Setting up engagement tagging is super-important for your ActiveCampaign deliverability, and a nice side-effect is that it reliably finds, and allows you to delete, duplicate unused contacts in your ActiveCampaign account.

Make sure you’ve got a full set of engagement tagging automations running for all your contacts. And as part of your regular cleanup routine, remove those contacts that are long-term inactive and led nowhere.

If you don’t have engagement tagging up and running yet, please do yourself a kindness and make time to sort it out – once it’s done it’s done, and this sort of thing is much easier to take care of.

For full step by step guidance on setting up automated engagement monitoring, see our flagship training, Better Engagement and Deliverability with ActiveCampaign

And finally, let’s look at how to deal with individual contacts from ActiveCampaign when a duplicate is found…

Remove duplicate ActiveCampaign contacts using merge and delete

When someone says “you’re emailing me twice every time” that’s usually because they have a duplicate contact.

Here’s how to track down those duplicate contacts and remove them from ActiveCampaign safely:

4 steps to merge contacts in ActiveCampaign to remove duplicates

  1. Search for their name, domain, business name in your ActiveCampaign contacts to identify the duplicates.
  2. The Merge Contacts feature can find duplicates sometimes
  3. Use the Merge feature or manually decide which bits of data to keep, and on which contact record
  4. Delete the abandoned duplicate contact once you’ve checked it’s not connected to anything important

Get more help with contact cleanup for ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign Academy training with Kay Peacey

Contact cleanup is a common topic in the ActiveCampaign Academy and we have resources and courses to make it fast, painless, and effective. Everyone gets stuck on what to do about duplicates, or how to bulk delete and cleanup lists – so we’re here to help with the expert answers you need, so you can get better value from your ActiveCampaign account.

Come on in to the ActiveCampaign Academy, and you’ll have Kay Peacey and the Slick Business team, and all your lovely fellow members, to guide you every step of the way to fabulousness with ActiveCampaign.

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