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How MailChimp and Constant Contact Handle Duplicate Email Addresses
How MailChimp and Constant Contact Handle Duplicate Email Addresses

What to do if more than one user is using the same email address as another user and not showing up in MailChimp or Constant Contact.

Melisa Smith avatar
Written by Melisa Smith
Updated over a week ago

Email addresses can only be used once per list

Email marketing platforms that integrate with Novi, MailChimp and Constant Contact, will not allow the same email address into the same list for more than one record. 

Therefore, MailChimp and Constant Contact will only accept one of the records in a Novi group.

Only one record will appear in the email marketing platform's contacts listing during the sync so that the record names do not merge in the email marketing platform.

If an individual shares an email with a company, the individual will always win in this situation. Novi groups are centered around the idea that you're never emailing a company (imagine a building trying to check its email, ha!) but that you're emailing a contact at a company.

If two or more people share the same email address, Novi will sync based on priority of the person, until their subscription status changes (they unsubscribe, are removed from the Novi group, etc.). Learn how Novi assigns priority of which email address "wins."


Notice in the MailChimp screenshot above that the company last name is blank. First/Last name are both sent in all cases, but last name is simply blank if it is a company.

Constant Contact:

Notice in the Constant Contact screenshot above that the people records have a First Name, Last Name, AND Company (separate from their name). The company record down at the bottom only has its name, and will have a First Name of the company name, Last Name of an underscore.

NOTE: If groups were synced prior to 2019, people and company names may be mixed (EX: Novi AMS Smith). Prior to a 2019 update, duplicate email addresses shared between records merged the record names in MailChimp and Constant Contact to prevent duplicate issues.

Why are duplicate emails an issue?

In the association world, it is not uncommon for a company record and a person record to share the same email address, and even in some trade associations multiple people share the same email address.

In those cases, Novi will send records based on their priority order, and the winning record will be the name associated with that email address. Read more about how Novi handles priority with duplicate email addresses.

This prioritizing is done so the same email isn't sent the same campaign two or more times, which protects your reputation across your members' email servers as a valid, non-spam email sender.

What could happen if these platforms allowed duplicates: Sally, John, and Steve are all using their company's email - You send a campaign to a group that includes all 3 co-workers. in Outlook now gets 3 of the same emails, signaling the email provider's spam alert. The first time you send your campaign, Outlook might send you to spam. The next time and any time after, your emails probably won't go through at all.

Note: Duplicate contact emails will not affect your ability to operate in Novi. Just keep in mind that user login account emails must be different. Learn more here.

How can I prevent duplicate emails from being used?

As an admin, you will want to clean up the underlying data and actively encourage members to use their own individual email address upon signup. 

How can I tell if my Novi groups have duplicates?

A simple way to check if your group has duplicates is to sort your Novi group members by email address. This will alphabetize the list by email, revealing any records with the same email addresses. You could also download the list and use the Excel function to highlight duplicates in the email column.

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