How could i proceed in order to delete all Contacts with Contact Deletion (about 17 million contacts)? Using random data extensions I would have limits related to the number of data extensions. Do you have any brilliant ideas to solve this issue?

Thank you very much!

  • 1
    Erm... Where does "random data extensions" come in? Deleting contacts is something that needs done with caution. You need to plan for how to honour unsubscribes and spam complaints going forward because you're nuking SFMC's ability to save you from yourself. If you have 17m contacts, I guess you know what you're doing? I'd expect you'd also know how to delete 17m contacts, so I'll shut up. – Macca May 6 '20 at 11:46
  • It is a required requirement. As for the contact deletion I would like clarifications on this issue. The required steps are: pause the synch data sources - contact deletion - resume the synch data sources. Can a contact be resynced from Sales Cloud to Marketing Cloud after deletion from MC? – Nap May 6 '20 at 12:54
  • I understand that required requirements are required and some required requirements aren't required, they're just desired (for whatever reason). It's up to you to explain what you're doing, so that we can help you. Could you take a step back and explain why you're deleting your contacts, other than it's a required requirement? I don't care too much either way and don't feel like writing a treatise for your benefit. – Macca May 6 '20 at 13:06
  • The reason is linked to the fact that many contacts are no longer used and the customer has decided to only consider contacts synchronized from salesforce for budgetary reasons. – Nap May 6 '20 at 13:13
  • OK. So what happens when you mail contacts that have previously unsubscribed or reported your client as a spammer? Could you get your client on the line or do we just need to deal with the required requirement? In short, what you're doing isn't a straight technical question, but has legal implications that I'm not confident you're capable of answering for. Nothing personal. – Macca May 6 '20 at 13:22
  • If you have all the contacts in a data extension then you can go to All contacts > use the delete icon to select the data extensions to delete it.

Note - You would need to enable contact deletion before you delete. Also, you can only delete only one million records at a time. So, you can use the below SQL query to segment it by rows. Just change the the row number every time.

select x.* from (Select D.Subscriber_Key, D.email_address ,ROW_NUMBER() OVER ( ORDER BY D.Subscriber_Key) as row 
from [Name of the data extension] as D)x
where x.row > 0 AND x.row <= 1000000

Reference - https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=mc_cab_delete_contact.htm&type=5

  • If you don't have contacts in the data extension then you can raise a case to salesforce and they can get you the records in csv file. Post that you can import into data extensions from SFTP and delete the contact using the data extension
  • You can also use the REST API to do the delete.

Reference - https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.mc-apis.meta/mc-apis/DeleteByContactKeys.htm

Let me know if this helps.

  • 2
    With power comes responsibility. @Nap's a nube by the looks of things. Deleting 17m contacts is something that involves answering questions beyond "how do I mess up my account?"... "easy, press the 'mess up my account button'". – Macca May 6 '20 at 11:56
  • @Macca I am aware and this is the reason why I would like to have clarifications. Deleted contacts will be re-synchronized from salesforce, later. – Nap May 6 '20 at 13:06
  • @Nap - do keep in mind, that deletion of so many contacts (17 million) will take many weeks! Definitely much longer than you want your sync to be paused. Reason for this is the deletion is a low prio process, running in the background. – Lukas Lunow May 6 '20 at 13:35
  • @LukasLunow Assuming we do delete the Contacts, will it be possible for them to resync at a later time? Could there be issues with the Contact data, e.g. because the SC Contact ID would be the same for the deleted and the newly resynchronized Contact in MC? – Nap May 6 '20 at 14:36
  • @Nap - yes, deleted contacts will be able to re-enter. But their tracking history will be gone, as they will be assigned a new Subscriber ID (still with the same SC Contact ID) – Lukas Lunow May 6 '20 at 15:27

Get the Contact Deletion enabled first. Reduce the Deletion window to Zero days

Once done, go to Mobile Connect >> Manage Contacts >> Lists

Create a List with any random filter that you like and then set it for deletion.

I'd suggest doing it in manageable chunks (e.g. 1 million at a time)

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