Handling Duplicates



  • The count displayed in the New Message Tool is based on the number of selected records. 
  • The count displayed in the New Message Tool is updated and adjusted when "Send to Parent" or "Include Bulk Email Opt-Out" is selected.
  • There may be a variance between the count in the New Message Tool and the Message Recipient total.  Discrepancies between the displayed Count and the actual Message Recipients are due to duplicate removal and invalid email addresses.  
  • Merge fields can be used to prohibit duplicate emails from being removed (if desired). 

Handling Duplicate Emails

Depending on how recipients are selected, there may be a variance in the Count of an email before it is sent and the Message Recipients.  This variance can occur when multiple Recipients have the same email address, or if a Recipient is included more than once in a selection. Whether or not multiple copies of a Message are sent to the same email address is dependent on the Message content.  If Contact Fields or Data Fields are included and merge in unique information, each unique Message will be sent.  Churches can use this to their advantage, depending on whether they would like duplicate emails to be removed or conversely, they would like multiple emails to be sent.  


Consider the following scenarios:

  1. George has been added to the Men's Leadership Group twice. A Message is composed which uses Data Fields to merge in the [Group_Name]. Since both potential copies merge in the same name - making neither copy unique - one of the duplicates will be filtered out. George will receive 1 Message. 
  2. George is in both the Men's Leadership and Sunday Volunteer Groups. A Message is composed to the Participants of both Groups and a Data Field is used to merge in the Group Name. When merged, the Group Name varies which makes each copy unique. George will receive 2 Messages. 
  3. George and his wife Susie both have the same email address listed on their respective Contact records. A general volunteer email is sent which contains no Contact Fields or Data Fields. George and Susie will receive 1 Message. 
  4. George and his wife Susie are sent a second email which uses Contact Fields to personalize the Message and greet them by name. When merged, their First Name varies which makes each copy unique. George and Susie will receive 2 Messages. 
Handling Duplicates Utilizing Filters Within the New Message Tool

Let's continue with the examples above.  Consider George and his wife Susie have two children: Olivia, 4th Grade, and Jonathan, 5th Grade.  The children's ministry sends an update about summer camp to all parents of current participants in those two grades groups.  The following scenarios can occur:

Send to Parents and Remove Bulk Email Opt-Out 

The church wants each parent to get an email per child about summer camp

Approach: Utilize Send to Parents feature along with a contact or data merge field but does not remove bulk email opt-out since children have already registered.  

The email is personalized by giving it a friendly greeting: "Dear parent of [Nickname]." Assuming George and Susie both have unique email addresses in the database, they will each receive the email twice, one for each child for a total of 4 emails between the two of them.  

Parents who share emails

If George and Susie share the same email address and the email is unique per child, they will get a total of 2 emails: one for each child to their shared email address. 

The church wants each parent to get one email for all children:

Approach: Utilize Send to Parents feature Who Share an Email and Merge Fields are Not Used

If George and Susie share the same email address and the Children's ministry decides to do a broad Summer Camp update to all parents of 4th and 5th graders where no Contact Fields or Data Fields are used, making it non-unique to each child, George and Susie will receive just 1 email. The number of children will be displayed in the "To" field, but the number of messages that will be sent will be displayed in a badge on the send button.

One Parent is Bulk Email Opt-Out

When utilizing both the Send to Parents and Bulk Email Opt Out features in the New Message tool, only parents who have opted out of receiving Bulk Email will not be emailed unless you opt them back in.