Copy contacts to new group, delete original group contacts?

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I am cleaning up my audience list, deleting groups and moving members into one group, to be evaluated later. So before deleting the original group, I click "copy to group" and select the new group I want them moved into. Once this is done, do I just delete the old group? Or do I delete the contacts in the old group as well?

I guess essentially my question is, are the contacts from the old group duplicated into the new group? Or are they simply moved into the new group, so deleting them in the old group is not necessary?
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ETSU Online Programs

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Posted 3 years ago

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Sam Collis, Customer Support Specialist

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Official Response
Hi there!

Thanks for a great question. I'd be happy to clarify how copying contacts to a new group works.

A contact can exist in multiple groups or segments but will only ever be the one contact.  In other words, when you copy a contact (or bunch of contacts) to a new group the original contact just gains another group membership -- duplicates aren't created of that contact.  When you delete a group, you're just deleting the shell that contains those contacts.

It sounds like you're migrating contacts from one group to another.  If this is the case then you can delete the previous group once you've copied those contacts to the new group.  IF the event arises where you need to undelete a group - don't worry - you can retrieve that group from your "deleted items" section (from the menu) which, when reinstated will contain those previous contacts.  We have an article on our Resource Center here that you might find to be useful on group membership.

Given that you're cleaning up your groups, I thought it might also be worth mentioning what it means for a contact to be in "limbo".  This is when a contact exists in your account but has no membership to any groups.  This is something that may potentially happen during a clean out, so I thought it might be useful to let you know how you can find these guys and copy them to a group.  You would want to create a segment based on Audience Groups -> Limbo.  Feel free to use this article as a guide if you need.

I hope that clarifies any confusion you may have had in regards to group membership, please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any further questions on this :)
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ETSU Online Programs

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So it sounds like there is no need to delete the contacts from the old group, just delete the group itself, right? I wanted to make sure I didn't delete the old group and leave people in limbo.
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Sam Collis, Customer Support Specialist

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Hi!

That's right, as long as those contacts have membership to another group, deleting the initial group won't move them into limbo :)
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Jacque Rice

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Just in addition to this, if my contacts are in limbo and I then reimport the same contacts and create and add them to a new group they don't appear. I am assuming that is because the system recognizes them as being in Limbo right ?
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Grey Stepp, Support Team Manager

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Hey there!  I wanted to step in for Sam here.  

The system would not work like that.  Contacts are only in Limbo until they are assigned to a group, which can be done via a spreadsheet import.  
Are you saying that you've attempted that and it doesn't work?  If so, can you let me know the name of your account so we can take a look?  

- Grey