How can I remove a large number of contacts from an even larger list?

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Looking to update a membership group list and remove hundreds (possibly thousands) of expired members. Individually searching and deleting is not realistic. Is there a way to remove those contacts through Add & Update? 
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The Houston Zoo

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Posted 4 years ago

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Benton Cummings, Senior Manager, Customer Support

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Official Response
Hi!

If you have the list of contacts you're wanting to delete in a spreadsheet outside of Emma, you'll definitely be able to reimport those contacts into a new group, which would isolate them into their own list and make deleting en masse much easier!

When you import that list, make sure you create a new group for them to be imported into, and ensure you use Add and Update. Once you've got them into that new group, you can delete all of the contacts in that group from your account in one shot. To do that:
1. Head to the Audience page and click on the name of the group.
2. Use the drop-down menu just above the list of email addresses/contacts to read "Take all contacts and..." then click "delete them". Here's how that will look:

3. Use the next menu to confirm that you'd like to delete those contacts from that group and your audience, and click the "Delete" button:


After confirming that's what you'd like to do, you'll have successfully removed those contacts from your audience!

I hope that helps, and definitely let me know if that's the info you were looking for!
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George F. Papini

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I am doing something similar. It seems you can only delete 500 addresses per group at a time. Am I missing something?
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Benton Cummings, Senior Manager, Customer Support

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Hi George,

You'll only be able to view a maximum of 500 contacts per page when viewing the group, but you can choose to delete all contacts from a group as well (as described above). If you're not wanting to delete all of the contacts from a particular group, then you'd need to make selections from that group, and you'll only be able to select up to 500 at a time as that's the limit to how many can be viewed per page.
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Sing to Live

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I would like to do something similar - but instead of deleting the contacts altogether, I just want to move them to a different group. Then, I want to delete the old group that they were in once it's empty. I'd like to do this for all the contacts at once instead of having to do it one contact at a time.
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Benton Cummings, Senior Manager, Customer Support

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Hi there,

You'll definitely be able to move the contacts to a new/different group- the process is very similar to deleting as described above.

Here are the steps:
  1. Head into the group you'd like to move the members from, and use the menu at the top of the list of email addresses. If you're moving all of the members from that group into a new group, make sure it reads as follows, and then click the "Copy them" button:

  2. In the next window, click "Copy to groups".
  3. On the following page you'll be able to select from the list of groups you already have in your account, or you can use the text box at the top of that modal to create a brand new group to copy those members to. Once you've selected the appropriate group you'd like to move those contacts over to, click "Copy".
  4. Now that you've moved the contacts into a new group, you can delete the members from the original group (once you've checked to verify that they're in the new group), or just delete the original group altogether if it's no longer needed. 
  5. If you're deleting the group, just head back to the main audience page and use the down-facing arrow to the right of the group to delete. If you want to keep the group, but get rid of the members in it, head back into the original group and use the menu at the top to "Take [all contacts] and [delete them]". On the next option, ensure you select to delete the members from "this group":
     

Don't hesitate to let us know if you have any further questions on that. I hope this helps!
Hi this was helpful to know how to delete contacts. I have an additional question: if I delete these contacts, will that affect my analytics on the old emails? Like if a mass of contacts are deleted, will my open rate and click rate on the emails they received be affected?
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Benton Cummings, Senior Manager, Customer Support

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Hi again!

Sorry about the delayed reply here. Deleting contacts won't affect the response details for mailings that were sent to those deleted contacts previously, so you'll be in good shape there. It will simply remove them from your current audience list.

Thanks so much- I hope this helps!
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Mobile Growth Fellowship

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Please note, this information is no longer accurate. The system changed, and this feature is no longer available. I go to the Audience page, and do not see what that screenshot shows. I see only a large list of emails. The actions are...




There is no ability to "click on the name of the group." So, I click "Groups" in the left-hand column...There is no drop-down there, so I follow the previous instructions and "click on the name of the Group..."

However, unfortunately, once again the drop down doesn't give me the option your previous drop down did, and I have no way of wholesale removing or moving a group...




I was told something different from support, and here this post is wrong. Basically, there have been numerous instructions on how to do what should be simple things.

Why not have a simple "Undo Import" like MailChimp (and many others) have? Why not allow someone to select a group and "add to another group?"

I mistakingly uploaded a list of US names to the European Group, and I just really need to UNDO that, so I can re-import them into the correct group, but it looks like that's just not possible. Which is extremely disappointing.
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Grey Stepp, Support Team Manager

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There are currently two versions of the platform available, and old and a newer interface. 

I see from the screenshots on your post that you're on the newer version. Not to worry. Everything is going to be ok! The vernacular has just changed a bit. 

Per the screenshot you included here, the options you're seeing there in the Actions drop-down include: 

"Add all to groups" - which will allow you to copy everyone from the current group into an existing or new group 
"Remove all from group" - just like i says, removes them from that group 
"Change Status of all" - again just like it says, it allows you to change the status of all of them 
"Archive All" - this will archive all of the contacts. In the old version of the app this was called "Delete". The actions are the same. The contacts are moved to the Archive folder. 

Some folks do still have that old version of Emma, which is why we've kept those resources around. 

I have submitted a feature request on your behalf to our developers to add the ability to "undo" and import. I'm not sure how likely it would be that we could implement something like that, as imports can have billing, segmenting and automation implications as well, but I will certainly have someone take a look to see what that could look like for the future. 

Let me know if we can help any further! 

- Grey 

(p.s. I've also emailed you this info per our previous conversation) 
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Black Rose For You

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Grey, I have the same issue. Mistake importing 3500 names into the wrong group. I archived the group but can't even see where or access the archive folder. If I could find the archived group, how do I delete the group and the names?
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Grey Stepp, Support Team Manager

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Hi there Black Rose, 

You access the Archived folder by clicking in the top-right of the window (either the Gear Icon or your name, depending on version) and clicking "Archived Items".  

If you just need to find the contacts that were in that group, you can run a segment looking for the contacts that are not assigned to any group.  These contacts are considered in "Limbo".  You can find them by following the instructions here:  https://support.e2ma.net/Resource_Center/Account_how-to/Using_the_segment_builder#What_does_.22Limbo...

Once you have the contacts in a group or segment, you can open up that group or segment and use the Actions button at the top of the list to "Archive All" .  

FYI, there is currently a bug in Firefox and Internet Explorer that is not allowing the Actions button to work.  You'll need to use Chrome or Safari. 

Let me know if you have any additional questions! 

-Grey
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JHU CTY

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I was able to archive a number of contacts.  When contacts are archived, do they get counted in the total number of contacts for the month? Our contract is based on number of contacts. Ideally I would prefer that they are not counted because I don't want to have to pay for obsolete names. Thank you in advance for clarifying for me.
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Grey Stepp, Support Team Manager

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Hi there!   

Your billing per month is based on the number of active contacts in your account AND the number of active contacts that were archived during that month.

So they will get counted that first month, but then after that they are no longer counted.  

Let me know if you have any additional questions!

- G
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Black Rose For You

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Do opt-outs get removed from lists automatically?
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Grey Stepp, Support Team Manager

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Hi Black Rose!  Yes, they do!