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Householding - email address sharing
Answer ID 2831   |   Last Review Date 11/25/2021

If our organization works with a group of related contacts, how can I associate multiple contact records with a single email?


Email Sharing (householding)
Oracle B2C Service, All supported versions


Email address sharing allows a family or a team to maintain individual contact records while utilizing a single email address.


Flow chart of when a shared email address is detected

When shared contact addresses are in different fields (for example, contacts.email_alt1 and contacts.email_alt2), the system selects the contact whose address is in the field of highest precedence (contacts.email_alt1). However, if the shared addresses are in the same field (for example, both are in contacts.email_alt1), the system attempts to match First Name and Last Name fields values, if available. If no match is found based on field precedence or name values, the system selects the contact record last updated in the database.

The simplistic duplicate criteria includes the login field. A login must be unique for each contact if Email Address Sharing is enabled.  Note: The login field is case sensitive meaning 'user' is different than 'User'.

Contact records that share the same email address must have a unique login, or, for contacts without a login, they must include a unique combination of first name and last name, as duplicate contact records cannot exist in the knowledge base. For example, Bill Short and Bill Short (same name) can share the same email address as long as they have different logins.

If multiple contacts' logins are left blank, their first or last name must be unique. In this case, Bill Short and William Short can share the same email address, since each name is unique.

Email addresses associated with a single contact record must be unique-that is, for a single contact, the values of, contacts.email_alt1, and contacts.email_alt2 cannot contain the same address.

The contact-matching process applies to areas of Oracle B2C Service that associate contacts by email address, including chats, mailings, web forms, site feedback, Techmail transactions, and Ask a Question requests submitted with only an email address.

Because email address sharing impacts several functional areas of Oracle B2C Service, it is important to understand its impact in those areas before you enable it. Refer to Answer ID 5653: Areas affected by email address sharing.

To enable email address sharing:

  1. Click Configuration button on the navigation pane.
  2. Click Database.
  3. Click Email Address Sharing.
  4. Click Enabled.  A message warns you that duplicate email address safeguards will be removed.
  5. Click OK.

Disabling the feature does not automatically delete any contacts. Any contacts that were created while the feature is enabled will be allowed to have a duplicate address unless you edit the address or delete them.

For more information, refer to the 'Email address sharing' section in online documentation for the version your site is currently running.  To access Oracle B2C Service manuals and documentation online, refer to the Documentation for Oracle B2C Service Products.

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