Can I add multiple email addresses to one contact & manually merge duplicates?

  • 15 September 2020
  • 29 replies

Is there any roadmap for being able to add multiple email addresses to a contact?

We integrate with Hubspot and we can merge profiles together in the console along with being able to have multiple email addresses for the same contact.


The issue we are facing is that we have someone reach out to us who isn't authenticated and they enter their email address, it's different to the one they authenticate with and it creates a lead profile. Or the send us an email or they reply to an email in a thread from a different email address. It creates them as a lead.

We can have some users with 4 different email addresses, but they're the same person representing different brands. We treat them as 1 user in our platform also.

Intercom counts them as 4 people towards your contacts and also holds it for 90 days since the last contact which means we end up using more contacts than we really are.


It would be handy if you can identify them in the console and hit a merge function, the same way Hubspot does to pull them into 1 contact. And also have the additional email addresses recognised if the user were to contact you via any one of those.


Best answer by Roy 26 September 2020, 08:11

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29 replies


Hello @michael j11​ , It's definitely an interesting case to discuss. 


The main idea why Intercom counts 1 e-mail address, is that to avoid duplicates during outgoing sending; 


Imagine: You sent the reply or outgoing e-mail to the customer if there were 4-5 e-mails - One customer will get this four times and that's not the correct working flow.


On the other side, your point when customers send you an e-mail and it's showed as a lead makes the case a little bit different. What if customers really have 2-3 e-mails and when they sending you an e-mail you want to see them as authorized ones to quickly provide support. 


It's something that Intercom should work on. 


In my opinion, there should be a Main e-mail address and an external option. Outgoing e-mails should be sent to the Main address but Incomgin e-mails need to appear as a customers.


Hope someone from Intercom will see this feedback.


Nice catch!


@eric f11​, It's a really good feedback

@roy s11​ 

We are on the same path in regards to outgoing emails. You should only send to the primary email address and use the supplementary email addresses purely to map to the same primary contact. This is exactly how HubSpot does it.


The current format, we end up with the outgoing emails actually going to every email address, so the customer right now could get it up to 5 times as they're 5 different records amongst User, Lead & Visitor.


Our clients seem to get into this habit of having multiple email addresses for all the different brands and group names they represent, but they also like to change which one is their default sending all the time too when they reach out for support.

Userlevel 1

@roy s11​ - thanks for tagging me in here!


@michael j11​, this is excellent feedback for our product team. As we continue to try and move upmarket with our support solutions, I'd imagine our team will want to look at more and more use cases like this. Just to be clear - your desired goal is to have one contact with multiple email addresses attributed to that one contact, right?

@eric f11​  Thanks for checking this out.

Your 100% with what the goal is.

Essentially 1 contact can have a primary and then supplementary email addresses that are purely used to match the customer. You would only communicate outbound to the customer via their primary.


An example of this is we have a User - who authenticates in our platform and reaches out to us by messenger.

They decide to email us at our help email address which forwards to our Intercom Inbox from their email address as the company has multiple brands and they're now sending from a different domain but it's the same customer.

Rather than them having to go and change their login details (they can do this, but not all users take up our encouragement to change their sign in to the outbound email address so Intercom merges them via API) we could identify this Lead as the User and merge them together within Intercom and add as a supplementary email address.

Userlevel 1

Gotcha - really appreciate you clarifying this for me in such detail. I'll surface your feedback with the relevant product team - while I don't have any control over their roadmapping/scoping for future projects, I can commit to making sure they get eyes on your feedback, at the very least!


Some context for you on email addresses within Intercom (and apologies is this is a bit stream-of-consciousness) - we use them as unique identifiers for any contacts who don't have a value for user_id, so I'd imagine this is the first hurdle our team would need to overcome if this was something we were to introduce in future. I'm not saying that this is a complete blocker to us introducing something like this in future, just that I imagine it would be a bigger lift for our team than one might think!

@eric f11​ 

Really appreciate your help on this one.

It would really save us a lot of issues with multiple profiles for the same user in our system. I've recently identified up to 6 profiles for the same user. And when a lead or user counts towards your count for up to 90 days you can quickly be paying for users that really we shouldn't especially when you tick over into the next pricing bracket.

Completely understand these things take time within the dev team....I have the exact same conversations daily with our clients with feedback.

Thanks again.

Userlevel 1

@michael j11​ no worries at all, happy to do what I can to surface feedback from the community. With those 6 profiles, do they all have different email addresses, or do some of them have the same address?

I think we had 1 the same, but usually they're different email addresses.

I just had a look. And 1 example of got, is the same person is 3 profiles. 2x Users (different email addresses) and then 1x Lead (same email as one of the users, but not the address they authenticate with in our platform).

Userlevel 1

I know this doesn't solve your problem in its entirety, but are you familiar with our API endpoint that lets you merge a lead with a user manually?>


@eric f11​ , After merging a lead to the user, once the customer sends a new email, it's still will be displayed as a lead.

Userlevel 5
Badge +4

+1 to this request!

This is quite common for us as well, at least two email addresses for several people and Facebook contacts as well that don't seem to merge.

Would love to be able to identify and merge right in the interface.


Userlevel 1

Thanks for adding your voice to this @nathan s11​! I'm no product engineer, but I reckon manual merging / approved merging would be the way to go here. For context, the risk identified with merging users and leads based on email address is a security one - theoretically, a visitor can respond to Operator's qualification request for any email address with any email address, and an automatic merge could potentially expose a user's information to an unrelated person.

Oh, yes, this is an area we're going to be very interested in as well as I know we have many addresses per subscriber. I need to look to see what options we have to at least map a primary user email to others that same user has used as a "lead."

Yes, I've raised this with the Intercom team in tickets before. It's becoming my number 1 bugbear with Intercom. As we're growing fast it'll only happen more as we scale quickly. It's a little surprising how many customers use multiple email addresses. So they raise a ticket with a different email from the one they used to create an account on our app, and we struggle to find them at all!


There has to be a solution somehow? As we now have users and leads who are the same person, receiving duplicate emails from us. Amongst other things, I worry for our spam threshold score.

For what it's worth, @user254​, and as guidance to the Intercom product managers, I have to say that the way Hubspot does it is kind of nice. Their CRM allows for the merging of people into one account and designates one email address as primary. As an operator you can change which one is primary. We're paying a lot of attention to this as we are implementing it in our own software and can guarantee users will use multiple email addresses.


Great, members are requesting this feature. Maybe Intercom will develop it much faster?


@user667​ ​ , HubSpot practice is the best way to develop this, which also allows some companies to fallback e-mail notifications. 

If delivery in Primary e-mail doesn't go well, Intercom can send it to the secondary address.

Most saas, fintech companies now allow users to add additional e-mails to account.

Exactly right, @roy s11​. I think your insight about other companies is correct, however it's also important to keep in mind the subtle distinctions in how different sectors would use it. If I were a SaaS targeting the enterprise, then I might need to know all kinds of things like domain-based tracking. We are a SaaS targetting consumers so our needs are, I think, simpler.


At least initially, it would be a big boon to be able to group multiple email addresses to one subscriber with one of the addresses designated as the primary email. We'll be doing that with our own software and could probably find a way to map it to Intercom.

@eric f11​ Was this ever completed? We too could really use this feature. We have customers that use both their personal and business email addresses and we'd like to unify them into one profile (so we can message correctly). As it currently works, secondary email addresses are counted as Leads and get emails we wouldn't want customers to get.

Userlevel 1

Hey @user849​, this isn't a feature that we've shipped yet. I'm keeping an eye on our product changes and any news of future updates - as soon as I hear of anything which would solve questions previously raised in the forum, I make sure to go back and update those threads 👍

+1 to this. Hope it gets implemented soon.

Hey MJ! If you are still around, you can check us out!!! We have the feature that you've been looking for and that should help you merge your duplicates + manage your queue efficiently - Here's the app >>> Support Ninja

We have the same problem, we need different email addresses in the same contact to avoid erroneous leads.

Hello ! Is there anything new on this subject since this conversation? :)