For MobileConnect, we have SMS opt ins coming from 3 sources:

  1. Users text a keyword to shortcode and we know nothing else about them yet - Contact Key is mobile number
  2. Users opt in on an online form and we know nothing else about them yet - Contact Key is mobile number
  3. Current SF contacts who have the contact id as the Subscriber Key for Email - Contact Key is Subscriber Key in Mobile Connect after import

When we have a current customer that already exist as a contact in Marketing Cloud with a Subscriber Key that opts into SMS and we import this customer into MobileConnect, we have the scenario where we now have the same contact that was previously opted in with their mobile number as the Contact Key (from option 1 or 2 above) AND opted in with the Subscriber Key as the Contact Key. The mobile number is the same for both Contact Keys.

Is there a way upon import to Mobile Connect of opt ins with Subscriber Key as the Contact Key to overwrite the existing record that has the mobile number as the Contact Key so that we don’t have this customer listed twice in Mobile Connect? Or is there another way that we should be relating the email Subscriber Key with the mobile number Contact Key?

1 Answer 1


You can Import a MobileConnect Contact from Email Contacts 2 ways; explained here.

By Importing all known SubscriberKey contacts with mobile numbers into Mobile Contacts, Mobile Connect will match them (using Mobile Number) as they interact/subscribe, rather than creating a new contact record.

Note: If you already have a SMS subscription method (eg: Text 'START' to 'number'), then you should not import new contacts into that keyword, as it subscribes contacts on import. Instead, import them into a stage or holding keyword that you have no intention of using for outbound messages - for example "IMPORT".

  • Thanks, Cameron. The problem is that the SMS opt in comes first, and the mobile number is the Contact Key bc that's all we know of them. Later, this same person becomes a customer and opts into email and sms. When we import this customer into MobileConnect using a Contact Builder import definition, MobileConnect does not match them using mobile number. Instead, we then have two mobile contacts for the same person with the same mobile number: 1) mobile number as Contact Key, and 2) SubscriberKey as Contact Key. Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 4:32
  • Thanks for the additional context Jason - Unfortunately I haven't found a way to merge contacts. The only solution I can think of is to query the Mobile Contacts View and use the Import method to update any contacts where (Count(Mobile_Number) > 2 AND ContactKey = Mobile_Number) to "Status = Inactive". This way you can filter on "active" accounts for any SMS messages. Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 5:05
  • In a cross cloud environment, we would want the SubKey to be equal to a ContactId - but if i interpret your discussion here, there's no easy way to achieve this? (exept by deactivating those with Mobile number as subkey?) Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 9:11
  • Currently in the scenario where users are opting in on an online form, we're using the API to send a confirmation text, which leads to the mobile number becoming the Contact Key. Do you know if there's a way to intervene here and pass this opt in to SF to first create a contact then import to MobileConnect with that SF contact ID as the Contact Key? @KennethWagner Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 17:16
  • Hi Jason - i missed this. You should be able to do a retrieve / create call towards Salesforce first, to set the right ID ? It adds some complexity to the integration but should be doable? Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 17:06

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