Deleting contacts

Maintaining a healthy contact database is an important part of your marketing success. Some candidates for deletion might include:

  • Contacts with hard bouncebacks
  • Contacts that have unsubscribed from receiving any email from you
  • Contacts deleted from your CRM system
  • Contacts with a low lead score who are not prospects

After you delete a contact record from the database, some information is retained from the contact record indefinitely. However, contacts you have deleted will be skipped when you send an email. If the contact re-engages your organization, Oracle Eloqua will then restore that information to the new contact record. Find out more about what is retained and restored.

Note: If the contact you're deleting also exists in your CRM, you must ensure your CRM is up to date. Otherwise, the contact will be recreated in Oracle Eloqua when there is an autosynch. Any custom objects populated by autosynchs will also be recreated. Find out more about what is retained and restored.

You can delete a single contact record or delete a batch of contacts.

Identifying contacts to delete

A good way to identify the contacts you want to delete is by using a segment. You can build the segment to target those contacts you want to delete (based on implicit or explicit contact information). You then export that segment and use it to delete the contacts from your database.

Tip: Consider how you can use filters to track and measure user inactivity. For example, you can use Not Opened Any Emails, Globally Unsubscribed, and Not Visited Any Landing Pages filters. These are only some of your options. Determine to what extent of inactivity justifies deleting a contact, and then set your filter criteria accordingly.

Alternatively, you can use the export tool to export contacts using a contact list or segment. This tool has some additional features, like scheduling and support for exporting to a SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) server. See Exporting contacts or accounts for more information.

Deleting a single contact record

To delete a single contact:

  1. Navigate to Audience An image of the Audience icon., then click Contacts.
  2. Search for the contact you want to delete.
  3. Select a contact from the search results and click Delete.

Deleting multiple contacts

Before you begin:

  • Create your upload file (.txt, .csv, .xls, .xlsx). The upload file should only contain the contacts that you want to delete. You can create this file by using the methods mentioned in Identifying contacts to delete.
  • If you are using a ,txt file, you can separate contact fields using a tab, comma (,), pipe (|), or semi-colon (;).
  • Make sure that contacts in your upload file have a unique identifier (such as an email address).

Tip: You can also delete contacts using the data import tool. Learn more about importing using the data import tool.

To delete multiple contacts:

  1. Navigate to Audience An image of the Audience icon., then click Contacts.
  2. Click Upload.

    An image of the Contact Upload Wizard

  3. Click Delete contacts from the Import Purpose drop-down list.
  4. Click An image of the upload icon. and browse to the upload file.

    The wizard continues to step 2.

    An image of the second step of the contact upload wizard

  5. Verify the contents of the file on the Review tab and click Next Step.

    An image of the third step of the contact upload wizard

  6. Select the fields to use to match contacts in your upload file with the contacts in your database.
  7. Click Next Step.

    An image of the final step of the contact upload wizard

  8. Complete the final step of the wizard.
  9. Click Finish.

Learn more

Understanding what contact data Oracle Eloqua retains and restores

Contacts

Segments