Salesforce Merge Duplicates Overview


Duplicate data in Salesforce poses serious problems for companies of any size.

Duplicate records inhibit your marketing team from effectively segmenting and personalizing your communications. Sales teams step on each other's toes and lack vital context in conversations. Support teams miss important information, and analysis and reporting are skewed.

Insycle helps you to merge duplicate leads, contacts, accounts, opportunities, and custom objects—flexibly and powerfully with the Merge Duplicates module.

Insycle uses the underlying Salesforce APEX merge API, which will need Insycle's Salesforce AppExchange app to be installed.

Use Cases

Sample Use Case: Bulk Merge Duplicate People, Companies

Salesforce Record Types Supported

Insycle supports the following Salesforce record types:

  • Contacts
  • Accounts
  • Leads
  • Opportunities
  • Custom Record Types

You can select the record type you would like to import at the top of the module screen.

How It Works

Insycle analyzes your database and identifies duplicates with flexible matching rules, using any field in your database, to help you identify and merge more duplicates.

Once Insycle identifies the duplicate records, you set rules for determining the master record that other duplicates will be merged into—such as the first record created, the record with the most email opens, or any other attribute that would be relevant. You can also set merging logic on a field-by-field basis.

You can merge duplicates in bulk, and Insycle provides a complete report of what was identified as a duplicate, what was merged, and what the outcome was in your master record.

Deduplicate Across Leads and Contacts

With the Merge Duplicates module, you can deduplicate across both leads and contacts in Salesforce.

Open the Merge Duplicates module, and pick the "Contacts" record type.


Then, in Step 1, check the "Include Leads" checkbox.


Deduplicate Opportunities and Other Standard or Custom Objects

When merging objects that do not have a native merge API, Insycle performs a synthetic merge. Synthetic merge is supported for opportunities, and any other standard or custom object.

  • Fields (for example, phone number): Data from the master record is kept. When a field value is empty in the master it picks a non-empty value from the most recently updated duplicate automatically. When in doubt about conflicting field values, include those fields in the CSV report by adding them to the Master Selection section. Their values will also show on the audit trail.
  • Relationships: Insycle inspects the schema metadata for relationships to the duplicate records, and reparent those relationships to point to the master record instead of the duplicate. For example, that's how it would re-link/re-parent "Notes" in the duplicate records into the master record.

Deduplicate Salesforce Accounts and HubSpot Companies

Fixing duplicate HubSpot companies and Salesforce accounts while syncing has several nuanced issues that need to be accounted for. There are specific data issues that can break the sync and require you to merge records manually. You also need to determine the appropriate “master record” to use across both HubSpot and Salesforce.

Then you have to consider the merging process. If two records are merged on Salesforce, are they merged on HubSpot as well?

Insycle allows you to merge duplicate Hubspot companies and Salesforce accounts while keeping your sync intact, simply.

To learn more, see Deduplicate HubSpot Companies and Salesforce Accounts

Salesforce Merge Logic

Insycle uses the underlying Salesforce APEX merge API, for more information about this please see Salesforce's Apex Developer Guide.

In addition to the default merge logic, you have two ways of controlling how your records are merged:

  1. Master record selection – Create a series of rules to automatically select the master record for each of the duplicate groups in the Record tab. The first record that is the only one matching a rule will be selected as the master. For example, if only one record in the group has an "Account Owner" that could be selected as the master. Or, the only record where the, "Is Email Bounced" value is "False."
  2. Data retention – Values from different records in the duplicate group can be saved to the master record based on rules that you set in the Fields tab. For example, you could choose to keep your "First Name" and "Last Name" fields from the earliest created record in the duplicate group, while keeping the "Owner" from the most recently updated record.

In the event that you don't specify merge logic for a specific field—when a field value is empty in the master record, Insycle picks a non-empty value from the most recently updated duplicate automatically. When in doubt about conflicting field values, include those fields in the CSV report by adding them to the Record tab.

Merging Contacts Related to Multiple Accounts

When you have enabled Salesforce's setting for relating a contact to multiple accounts, Insycle will automatically reassign the relationships to the master record and remove any redundant ones. This applies to both direct (primary) and indirect (non-primary) relationships.

Customized Merge Logic

For situations where you need more granular customization for picking duplicate records to include - or exclude - from the deduplication process, or for picking the master record, and there are no common rules you can apply for all or some of the records, you can customize bulk deduplication using exclusions and pre-defined masters via a CSV file.


You can schedule your Salesforce deduplication templates to run on an automated, set schedule.

You can automatically schedule your template directly in the Merge Duplicates module. You do this by clicking the Review button at the bottom of the module page:

Then, you go through a three-step process to run the operation. In the third step, you can choose the "Automate" tab, and schedule your template to run on a set schedule.

merge duplicates salesforce automation

You can also schedule Salesforce deduplication automation using Recipes. You can view all scheduled automations on the “Automations” page on your dashboard.

Learn More:

Preview Changes Before They Go Live

You can preview the changes that you are making to your data before those changes are pushed to your live database. That way, you can check to ensure your deduplication operation is working as expected.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find duplicates when one field is empty?

When using two or more fields to identify duplicates, records can still be considered matches even if one of the field values is blank. You just need to specify which field(s) allow a blank value.

Under Step 1, configure your matching rules in the Simple tab, then click the Conditions tab.


All the matching fields you included will automatically appear with the Value Required in All Records condition selected. Change the condition to Empty Allowed in Any Record to allow empty values for certain fields. You can also use the At Least One Record with Non-Empty condition to help you determine which is the master record. Make sure at least one field remains required and is a reliable unique identifier to ensure the records are really duplicates.


For example, on the Simple tab, you may have the matching fields: First Name, Last Name, and Phone Number. But on some of your records, the Phone Number field may be empty. Using the Empty Allowed in Any Record or At Least One Record with Non-Empty, all records with the same name, same phone number, and no phone number will be considered duplicates.


Can I match duplicates using two different fields?

Yes. This can be done, for example, if you want to look at both the Phone Number field values and Mobile Phone Number field values as a single pool of values to compare between records and identify duplicates.

Using the Related Fields feature, you can use two different fields (that contain similar data) as matching fields to catch more duplicates. You can set up Related Fields in the Advanced tab.


How do I ensure that I am not merging non-duplicate records together?

Currently, there are two ways to make sure that the records that you are merging are indeed duplicate records.

First, always run your deduplication templates in Preview Mode before running them in Update Mode. This produces a CSV that shows you how your records would have been merged. Then you can ensure that your Merge Duplicates template is working as expected and not merging non-duplicate records together.

Additionally, you can reduce the risk when merging duplicates by narrowing your duplicate matching settings in Step 1. Try the Exact Match Comparison Rule instead of Similar Match. Then make sure that you are using actual uniquely identifying fields—first name, last name, email, and phone number are popular choices. The more tightly defined your filter is, the less likely you are to merge non-duplicate records.

Insycle is having trouble determining a master record. What could be causing this issue?

If the Result column of the CSV report displays this error:

Cannot determine master record because multiple records (#) satisfy the master selection rules. In ‘Master Selection’, change/add/reorder the rules such that only one record satisfies them (if cannot determine master based on field values, use ‘ID is lowest’ as the last rule).

This error means that based on the master rules you set, Insycle could not figure out which would be the master.

Check Step 4 to ensure that you have Priority Match selected and not Absolute Match.


With Priority Match, the rules configured in the Records tab of Step 4 are processed in order and your master record only has to match one rule. Using Absolute Match, your master record would have to meet all of the rule criteria. The majority of the time it is best to select Priority Match.

If Priority Match was used, then none of the records meet any of the criteria on the list more than the others. In this case, you'll need to experiment with Step 4, reordering or adding additional rules for fields likely to have unique values.

I already have a list of duplicates, can Insycle bulk merge them?

Yes. You can use a customized list of duplicates and use the Magical Import module to tag duplicates in your Salesforce CRM, then use the Merge Duplicates module to deduplicate in bulk. Include ID numbers from Salesforce in your CSV.

Can I select which data is retained in my master record on a field-by-field basis?

Yes, Insycle allows you to control data retention in the master record using the Fields tab under Step 4. See the Bulk Merge Duplicate People, Companies article for more detail.

I need to exclude some records from deduplication. Can I do that?

Yes. You can exclude records from deduplication by including a "Deduplication Exclude" field in your CSV, as detailed in the Customize Bulk Deduplication Using Exclusions and Pre-Defined Masters article.

My team needs to review and approve the master, can I accommodate that with Insycle?

Yes, there are several ways to share details and get approval before merging duplicates.

You can manually approve master records and mark them in a CSV, then use Insycle to bulk deduplicate down to those master records. Consult with this Customize Bulk Deduplication Using Exclusions and Pre-Defined Masters article to learn more.

Or, you can run the Merge Duplicates module in Preview Mode, then deliver the preview CSV that Insycle generates. The CSV report that Insycle generates includes your entire merge operation down to individual duplicate groups but does not update your live data. Then your team can approve the merge based on this report, before running Merge Duplicates in Update Mode.

Additionally, team members can review duplicates and manually select the master for each record under Step 4. Review the Manually Merge Duplicates article for more detail.


Do my matching fields have to match each other exactly?

No. The Similar Match Comparison Rule found in Step 1 looks for values that may be close but with a one-character difference (maybe a typo) 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 an Email of, “” is found, it could include records with the values “," or ",” as a match.


Do pay close attention when using Similar Match as the looser criteria can incorrectly identify non-duplicates as duplicates. 

Review the Understanding Similar Matching best practices for more detail.

Can I deduplicate across leads and contacts in Salesforce?

Yes, Insycle can analyze leads and contacts together and deduplicate across those record types. See the Deduplicate Across Salesforce Leads and Contacts article to learn more.

Can Insycle help me deduplicate while syncing with HubSpot?

Yes, Insycle solves numerous deduplication relates issues when Salesforce and HubSpot are syncing. See the Deduplicate Salesforce and HubSpot While Keeping the Sync Active article to learn more.

Why can I only process 50 duplicate groups at a time?

Insycle shows 50 records on the module screen as a preview, this isn't the entire list of records. Include All records when you view the Preview CSV report to see everything.

Insycle can process thousands of duplicate groups in one operation. Potentially, you could deduplicate your entire database in one operation. 

How many duplicates can I merge into one master record?

You can merge up to 100 duplicate records into a single master record. 

If you have duplicate groups that contain more than five records, you may want to change the value in Skip duplicate groups with more than 5 records per group under Step 3 to make sure you can get them all.


This is a precaution to ensure that if you use a duplicate matching filter that is too broad in Step 1, you do not accidentally merge many non-duplicate records together. If you are going to set this number at a high level, it is a good idea to run Preview Mode first to make sure your deduplication template is operating as you intend.

Are there any limits on the number of records that can be identified and merged with my paid subscription?

All plans include unlimited usage, unlimited users, and unlimited operations. See the pricing page for more details. During the free trial, there is a cap of 500 records updated, cleansed, or merged.

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