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Removing duplicates from an email list automatically

Use simple or complex rules to find and clean duplicates in an email list to ensure that the right people hear your message, and do not hear it twice.

Removing duplicates from an email list automatically

Do you need this flow?

If you work with emails, and large lists of emails, then you know the pain of continuously making sure that you are not double emailing people, or that two reps are not assigned to the same person through a duplicate record. Many times, a duplicate record is not as simple as checking if an email matches, and requires custom definitions of a duplicate.


The importance of removing or merging duplicates from any sort of customer list speaks for itself. The troubles comes when you try to execute that task. Some tools offer simple matching of emails to get rid of duplicates, or merge them, but in reality most situations that require this are not that simple. Gmail allows users to append a plus sign (+) followed by any characters after their email slug before the @ symbol and have the email still go to their inbox. Being able to strip those characters and know that the two entries are really the same person can be extremely valuable.

Sometimes, your data may not have something as uniquely identifying as an email, so using a more complex key, such as first name, last name, and company can allow proper identification of duplicates. Parabola opens the door for custom definitions of what a duplicate is and what to do when you find one. This can be a simple as removing all instances with the same email address, or as complex as fuzzy matching based off of multiple attributes, and then merging records by taking the fields from each that were updated more recently than the others.

How the flow works

This flow showcases three ways to identify and take action on duplicates with Parabola, but ultimately the ways to do this are near infinite. The first branch at the top performs the simplest kind, which is checking for duplicate emails and only keeping 1 of each. You can control which record is kept by using a Sort object before the Dedupe object to put the rows in an order with the one to keep at the top.

The second branch in the middle shows how you can remove the plus sign and subsequent characters to identify and remove aliases of the same email address. The third branch at the bottom groups the records by Full Name, and concats the other fields (company and email), that way we have all unique names followed by all of their known companies and email addresses. Since those fields were concatenated with a comma, we can split on those commas and create separate fields for each of the extra companies and emails.

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