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Missing associations cause problems throughout your entire organization. Your sales and marketing teams rely on accurately related records for context in sales conversations and account-based marketing applications. Customer support and success teams also miss important information, and analysis and reporting are skewed. Missing relationships can impact your customers across the entire customer journey.

With Insycle's Associate app, you can automatically detect relationships and link contacts, companies, deals, custom objects, and other object types in bulk. You can create hierarchical associations such as child and parent relationships, and you can copy data between the linked records. This will maintain order in your CRM and give your teams a complete picture of every account.

Key Use Cases

How It Works

The Associate app makes it easy to match different record types, or identify parent-child relationships and associate them in bulk. 

Powerful filtering options let you segment records based on attributes like existing relationship identifiers, company names, domains, or any other field. Records that meet these criteria can automatically be linked to other records based on matching rules.

These configurations can be saved and automated, set to run automatically at regular intervals, putting your association process on autopilot.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Filter Records Down to Those You Want to Associate

In the Associate app, select the database and the record type in the top menu. Then explore the templates for an existing solution that may be close to what you need.

Each row in Step 1 is for a field you want to look at to determine whether to include or exclude a record from this task. With this filter, you're telling Insycle what records you would like to update. 

In the below example, contacts that do not have an Associated Company ID but do have a Company Name, will be included in the results.

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When you click Search, Insycle will list records in the Record Viewer at the bottom of the page. If you make changes to the filter, you need to click the Search button again to refresh the viewer.

Step 2: Configure Rules That Will Create the Relationship

Under Step 2, you'll define the rules for bulk matching the two record types during the association process.

There are four ways to associate or modify related records:

Simple Tab

On the Simple tab, you can set up rules to create the relationships between two record types.

Specify the action to take and the type of record to be associated. HubSpot users can also label the relationship. You can filter the target records to those that would be a good fit for this relationship then, select the fields to use for matching and rules for comparing the values. Optionally, create new records if no match is found, and flag unmatched records as "Failed."

For details on configuring these fields, see the Link and Associate People to Companies article.

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Advanced Tab

The Advanced tab follows the same format as the Simple tab, providing the additional Related Match Fields option, letting you specify more than one matching field. Insycle will consider the combined pool of values between the main Match Field and the Related Match Field.

In this example, if matching contacts to companies, you could use the Email Domain from the contact, and look at both the Company Domain Name plus Additional Domains values for a correlation.

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Related Tab (HubSpot Only)

If working with HubSpot, the Related tab lets you leverage existing associations to fill in missing ones. For example, you have contacts that are associated to companies and contacts associated to deals. Insycle can use these relationships to fill in the missing associations between deals and companies.

See the Using Existing HubSpot Associations to Fill in Missing Relationships article for more details.

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Existing Tab (HubSpot Only)

The Existing tab lets you add or remove labels from HubSpot records that are already associated. Use existing labels as a filter and control which records will be updated from the Filter Labels, then select the labels to add or remove under Action Labels. To completely remove an association, not just the label, check the Unlabeled box too.

For more details, see the Multiple Associations and Labels in HubSpot article.

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Step 3: Optionally, Copy a Value between the Associated Records

If your team is capturing valuable detail in the CRM you can automatically copy info into related records, avoiding errors and saving time.

After setting the association rules in Step 2, you can create rules to copy values between the records. If one record type consistently has values that would be helpful in the associated record, you can execute that copy in bulk.

Under Step 3, select the field from the source record type (in this example, Contact), and the relevant field on the target records (Companies). You can choose to copy values from the source record to the target, or target record to the source.

The Copy Rule gives you three options:

  • Only when Target Field is empty
  • Only when Source Field is not empty
  • Always copy

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The preview CSV will include these fields, and specify if the value was copied for each record.

Preview and Update

Preview Changes in the CSV Report

Now with the filters and association/linking actions in place, you can preview the changes you are making to your data. That way, you can check to ensure the relationships are being created as expected before those changes are made in your live database.

Under Step 4, click the Review button, then select Preview in the popup.

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On the Notify tab, add any additional recipients who should receive the CSV (and make sure to hit Enter after each address). You can also provide additional context in the message subject or body.

On the When tab, click Run Now and select which records to apply the change to (you could do All, but if you have a large number of records, you may just want to do a chunk for your preview), then click the Run Now button.

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Open the CSV file from your email in a spreadsheet application and review the columns. Each row in the CSV includes the record types, IDs, names, deeplinks to both records in the native CRM, relevant values (Before) and (After) the operation, and results info.

The below example highlights the last few columns of the CSV, showing:

  1. Source record info (contacts)
  2. Target record info (companies)
  3. Source field value before it is changed
  4. Target field value
  5. Result of the copy operation (if set up in Step 3)
  6. Result of the association. This example shows, "Added" which means an association was made.

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If the results don't look the way you expected, go back to your filters and associate functions and try making some adjustments, then preview again.

Apply Changes to the CRM

If everything in your CSV preview looks correct, return to Insycle and move forward with applying the changes to the live CRM data.

Under Step 4, click the Review button again, and this time select Update mode.

On the When tab, you should use Run Now the first time you apply these changes to the CRM. If you have a large number of records, you may want to do a smaller batch to review the results in your CRM.

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Save Templates and Set Up Automation

After you've seen the results in the CRM and you are satisfied with how the operation runs, you can save all of the configurations as a template and set up automation so this association operation runs on a set schedule.

Return to the Template menu at the top of the page and click Copy to save your configurations as a new version of whatever template you started with. Then click the pencil to edit your new template name.

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Under Step 4, click the Review button, and select Update mode.

On the Notify tab, select the send option appropriate for your automation: Always send, Send when errors, or Do not email.

Add any additional recipients who should receive the CSV each time the automation runs. You can also provide additional context in the message subject or body.

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On the When tab, select Automate, and configure the frequency you'd like the template to run. When finished, click Schedule.

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If you have several templates you'd like to automatically run together, you can create a Recipe. Additionally, HubSpot users can integrate Insycle Recipes into HubSpot Workflows.

By automating with a template, you'll save time and ensure that your records are associated in a consistent way on an ongoing basis. 

Audit Trail and History

With the Activity Tracker, you have a complete audit trail and history of changes made through Insycle, including processes run in Preview mode or data syncs. At any time you can download a CSV report that lets you see all of the changes that were made in a given run of the operation.

Navigate to Operations > Activity Tracker, search by module, app, or template name, then click the Run ID for the operation.

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Tips for Creating Associations between Records

  • To create associations between records, you need a field with a similar value in both records. For example, "Email Domain" on the contact, and "Website Domain" on the company. Then, you can pick those fields to match the records and establish the association.
  • You can make associations in both directions: contacts to companies, or companies to contacts.
  • Though making associations will work in both directions, consider that contacts to companies is the standard direction, and some features (such as the "If Company is Not Found Create New Company" feature) are only designed to work when contacts are being associated to companies.
  • For straightforward relationships with obvious matching fields, the direction of the relationship doesn't matter. But in some cases, such as creating associations with custom objects or child and parent companies, the direction may be important. If you are having trouble, try changing the direction of the association.

Advanced How-Tos

Establish Relationships Between Parent and Child Companies or Create Account Hierarchy

You can create hierarchical associations such as child and parent relationships

Your sales and marketing teams rely on properly associated data for context in communications and sales conversations. Without proper child-parent company associations in place, you lack vital context and may miss opportunities in account-based marketing and sales.

With Insycle, you can automatically detect and create relationships between child companies and parent companies in bulk.

If the parent and child records you want to associate are already in your CRM, use the Associate app. To associate new records from a CSV while importing, use the Magical Import module.

Learn more Associate or Link Parent-Child Companies, Create Accounts Hierarchy and Relationships

Flag Unmatched Records in Your Inbox

When using the Associate app, you have the option to be alerted when records aren’t matched. This may be helpful if you want to investigate and address any records where a relationship has not been created.

Under Step 2 check the Count unmatched records as Failed box.

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Then in the Step 4 popup on the Notify tab, you can select the email delivery option “Always send,” or “Send when errors.”

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When checked, any record where there is no match to create the association will be counted as “Failed.” This will be reflected by a “with Failures” suffix on the report email subject line…

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…and a, "Failed, no matching record found (use 'Grid Edit' to troubleshoot)" message in the Result column of the CSV report.

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When you save this associate configuration as a template and set up automation, the report emails will let you know when a relationship has not been created for a record so you can address it as needed.

Match from Fields Containing Multiple Values

If you need to create relationships between records based on one of several values in a field, you can use the "Semicolon Separated" Match Parts parameter. 

For example, you need to link contacts to companies based on specific locations using Postal Code. You have a custom field, “Allowed Post Codes,” that contains several codes that cover a region. Since the values are separated by semicolons, Insycle can look at each value in the field for a match.

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You can also use the Semicolon Separated parameter to search for matching values in a Related Match Field.

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Using Exact Match vs. Similar Match Comparison Rules

The Comparison Rule defines what kind of likeness to look for when deciding if field values should be considered a match for association.

It's a good idea to start with Exact Match for the straightforward matches, then use Similar Match to look for edge cases.

Exact Match looks for values that match exactly, with no differences from one record to the next. Any unique identifying fields should use Exact Match. This is usually your best bet when looking for associations.

Similar Match looks for values that may be close but with a one-character difference (like a typo, extra character, or missing character) and broadens the search. This search behaves like when Google shows results for a slightly different term or says “Did you mean...”

For example, if a Company Name of, “Acme” is found, it could include records with the Company Name values, “Akme," "acm," or "Acma,” as matches.

Similar Match uses looser criteria that cast a wider net for what can be considered matches. Make sure to carefully review the results to ensure the relationships being created are what you're expecting.

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*Note that ID fields can only be Exact Match, never Similar Match.

Troubleshooting

There's a "Failed, multiple sources/target matches," Result in CSV

A "Failed, multiple target matches (x)" or "Multiple sources matched" result occurs when multiple records meet your matching specifications. For example, if you were associating contacts to companies, and Insycle found ten company records with the name "Microsoft," it wouldn't know which Microsoft to establish the relationship with.

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There are a few options for resolving this issue:

  1. If there shouldn't be multiples of these records you should first go through the process of merging duplicates before trying to create these relationships.
  2. If there are supposed to be multiple similar, but distinct records, you can add another matching field in Step 2 to make the criteria more specific. A record would have to match both field values to be considered appropriate for making the relationship. associate-hubspot-contacts-to-companies-step-2-domain-and-country.png
  3. Or, use the filter in Step 2 to narrow the records to be associated.
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    In the filter popup you could, for example, add the "Company name," field and set the Condition, "contains" "HQ." This tells Insycle to only consider companies for association if the Company Name value includes the term "HQ."
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There's an "Unmodified, no matching record found…," Result in CSV

An "Unmodified, no matching record found (use 'Grid Edit' to troubleshoot)" result occurs when there aren’t any records that meet your matching specifications.

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You can examine the data in the unmatched records and troubleshoot using the Grid Edit module. Look at different fields and values to identify why your associate setup didn’t work for the record. Then decide what match options could work or if some cleanup is needed.

Learn more about reviewing your data using the Grid Edit module.

There's a "Failed, no matching record found…," Result in CSV

When using the Associate app, you have the option under Step 2 to Count unmatched records as Failed. When checked, any record where there is no match to create the association will be counted as “Failed.” This will be reflected by a, "Failed, no matching record found (use 'Grid Edit' to troubleshoot)" message in the Result column of the CSV report.

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You can examine the data in the unmatched records and troubleshoot using the Grid Edit module. Look at different fields and values to identify why your associate setup didn’t work for the record. Then decide what match options could work or if some cleanup is needed.

Learn more about reviewing your data using the Grid Edit module.

No Obvious Field to Use for Matching Between the Two Record Types

Bulk associations require that you have a field that you can use to match the two records. For instance, you might select "Company" for contact records, and "Company Name" for company records. You then use these two fields to associate the two records.

But what do you do if you have no obvious matching field between the two record types that you would like to associate?

This is a fairly common scenario. For example, maybe you would like to associate contacts not only with the company that they work for but with the parent company as well. In this scenario, it is not very likely that you capture the parent company on the contact record, which means that you may have no field to use to match the association. As a result, you'll need to create a custom field for contacts and companies, such as "Custom Parent Company." Ideally, if child companies are already associated with parent companies, you'll be able to pull this data from your company records and populate both custom fields using your CRM's automation features.

Then, you'll be able to use the Custom Parent Company field for both contacts and companies to make the match.

The key is finding a data point that would allow you to match the associations, even if it is only available for one record type. Then you can create the custom matching fields that allow you to make the associations.

It's Taking a Long Time for Insycle to Find Related Records

It can take a while for Insycle to find and match records if the fields being used to identify the relationship have very long values. The longer the values the longer it takes Insycle to process the data and generate the results. This might come up when using links with long ID numbers, LinkedIn bios, or other URLs with long strings (e.g., https://www.linkedin.com/in/svadin%C3%ADr-n%C4%9Bmec-1234b31a3/).

If the end of the values are all unique you can try and speed this up by using the Match Parts parameter under Step 2, which will limit the comparison to the last several characters.

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Or use the Ignored > Text (Substrings) parameter, and click the Terms button.

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On the Ignored Text tab of the popup, add the common portion of the URL or text string.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What fields can I use to create associations?

You can use any field in your database to create relationships between records, you just need to figure out which field in each record type will have the same value. For instance, you might select "Company" for contact records, and "Company Name" for company records. Or you could use "Email Domain" on the contact, and "Website Domain" on the company.

Commonly used fields for linking include company names, company domains, and company URLs.

Can I associate companies to contacts instead of contacts to companies?

Yes. You can associate in either direction.

Though making relationships will work in both directions, consider that contacts to companies is the standard direction, and some features (such as the "If Company is Not Found Create New Company" feature) are only designed to work when contacts are being associated to companies.

Or in some cases, such as creating relationships with custom objects or child and parent companies, the direction may be important.

Can Insycle manage parent-child associations and links?

Yes, Insycle can help manage parent-child associations. For more information, see the Associate or Link Parent-Child Companies article.

Can Insycle create and associate a new company record if there isn't one found?

Yes. If no matching record is found, you can choose to automatically create a new company record based on what is in the contact record. Under Step 2, check the Create new Companies when no matching is found box to enable, then select the field to use for naming the new company.

In HubSpot, how can I identify companies created using Insycle's "Create new Company..." checkbox?

When Insycle creates a company record during the association process, the Original Source Data 2 property value will be "Insycle Data Management." 

Can Insycle associate activities with a company or other record?

No, Insycle does not currently allow you to access, update, or associate activities.

Additional Resources

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