Bulk contacts update possibility without contact emails

  • 28 May 2023
  • 1 reply

We use phone number and system ID to distinguish contacts in Intercom, most of our users don´t have email address set. It's not possible for us to use CSV import feature to update our contacts, because email is mandatory.

We have 600k records where we need to update attribute name from our system name to empty name as we are planning to start using Intercom Messages and our system name is prefilled in every conversation, which is not desirable behavior.

The only option we see is to use REST API to update each individual order, sending 1 request per contact. But by doing that in single migration we will soon hit API calls limit, also we will disrupt our regular Intercom integration.

Dear community, is there any other ways for us to perform such an update in Intercom?
Maybe someone from devteam could help us updating this internally for us?
Maybe we can use some bulk update API call we can't see for now?
Maybe it is possible to have email field not mandatory for CSV Import for our account?


Thanks in advance,



Best answer by cameron.gumley 2 June 2023, 01:51

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Hi @sinpai! Cam with the Intercom Support Engineering team here 😁


I’ve had a detailed look at what you’re wanting to achieve. At present there is no bulk update API endpoint that can be used to achieve this, nor is it possible for the email field to not be mandatory for CSV Imports.- the only way to action this is to use the REST API Update a Contact endpoint.


As you correctly point out, given you have 600K records to update you certainly will want to be mindful of hitting your Workspace’s API call rate limits (more details on these here) and will want to implement the rate limiting management method you prefer. To that end, I’ll point out this section of our Dev Docs around request reset timing is it may be of particular use when implementing your rate limit method to ensure you maximise performance - it’s well worth the quick read through.


Do let me know if you have any issues or follow-up questions on this 👍