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Merging contacts
Merging SMS and Email contacts into unified contacts
Merging SMS and Email contacts into unified contacts

If you've been using both SMS and Email with Dotdigital, then your contacts will be separated by channel.

Gareth Burroughes avatar
Written by Gareth Burroughes
Updated over a week ago


Some useful terms to understand:




Ways to communicate with a contact, for example, email or SMS.

Channel identifiers

Contact data that allows communication, for example, email address or mobile number.

Unified contacts

The new contact model in Dotdigital. Instead of separate SMS contacts and email contacts, a single contact record can store both an email address and a mobile number against it.

Broadcast SMS

SMS messages sent manually to an audience you select.

Triggered SMS

SMS messages sent automatically by automated programs or auto-responders.


A Dotdigital account data and channel usage configuration.

Why merge contacts

The new Dotdigital with unified contacts allows you to unify separate contact data into one single contact record, no matter what channels they have.

To take full advantage of the new Dotdigital, you should merge your existing SMS and email contacts into unified contacts.

The merging process

This guide is designed to help you navigate the transition to unified contacts and merge your contacts smoothly. The merging process uses a number of Dotdigital’s features:

  • Contact imports

  • Segments

  • Contact deletions

  • Custom data fields

Merging your data allows you to combine an SMS contact with a corresponding email contact into a single unified contact record.

You have complete control over which data is merged and with which contact.

Merging scenarios

The best way to merge your contact data depends on how you’ve been using Dotdigital up to this point. There are a number of different configurations, which we refer to as scenarios.

If at any point during the merge process you’re not sure how to complete the task you’re doing, then contact your Customer Success Manager for help.

Our goal is to ensure a smooth and successful transition for you.



Account conditions

Merging instructions

1. SMS and Email contacts using Broadcast SMS and Triggered SMS in automations

Your account:

  • had both SMS contacts and email contacts.

  • Sends Broadcast SMS campaigns.

  • Sends Triggered SMS in automations.

2. SMS and email contacts using SMS campaigns but not SMS automations

Your account:

  • had both SMS contacts and email contacts.

  • Sends Broadcast SMS campaigns.

  • Does not send Triggered SMS in automations.

3. Email contacts in Dotdigital, while collecting SMS data outside of Dotdigital

Your account:

  • is only used for email sending

but you:

  • Collect mobile numbers outside of Dotdigital for future use.

5. Using send SMS action node in live programs

Your account:

  • uses the Send SMS action node in any live programs.

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