Merge lead and user profiles

How to manually and automatically merge lead and user profiles, so a user's information is tied to a single profile.

Bobby Stapleton avatar
Written by Bobby Stapleton
Updated over a week ago

If an existing user chats to you in the Messenger anonymously, via incognito browser mode for example, a new lead profile will be created for them in Intercom. This means you’ll have both a lead and user profile for the same person. 

When this happens, you can merge the lead profile with the user profile, so all of their information is tracked and stored in one place.

Merging lead and user profiles

A lead can be merged into an existing user’s account either manually, automatically or via the REST API. Merging a lead into a user means that any information associated with the lead will be transferred over to the user profile. 

There are certain types of profiles you can (and can’t) merge:

  • A lead can be merged into a user profile.

  • 2 leads cannot be merged.

  • 2 users cannot be merged. 

  • A user profile cannot be merged back into a lead profile.

Here’s how to merge two profiles:

Manually merge profiles

There are two ways to trigger a manual merge. ✌️

First, by changing the email address of a lead, to match the email address of an existing user. This can be done from the lead's profile:

Then, the next time the user visits your website (or refreshes the page, if they're already online) they will be merged with the newly updated lead.

If there are two or more users with that email, the user who was most recently active will be merged with the lead.

Secondly, by importing the lead with a CSV import. 

The lead will need to have the same email address as that of an existing user in order for a merge to happen. Also, if a lead already exists in Intercom, importing a CSV will not merge the existing lead into a user. A lead imported from a CSV will only merge into a user if it is a brand new lead.

Manually merge potential duplicates from the Help Desk

The potential duplicates feature will warn you via the Help Desk if there are any duplicate leads or users for the person you’re currently speaking with. If the conversation is with a lead and the detected duplicate is a user, you can click Merge Lead into User. This will refresh the conversation in the inbox with the details of the newly merged user, so you can see previous conversations etc. Check out how this works here.

Automatically merge profiles based on cookie

Automatic merges require no action on your part. When a person visits your website in a logged-out state, they’re given an Intercom cookie to uniquely identify them. Once they start a conversation or reply to a message, they become a lead. 

If they log in or sign up to your product while the Intercom cookie is present, their lead profile will be automatically merged with their user profile. 

Automatically merge profiles based on email address only

You can enable "Merging of unverified Leads into Users" in your Security Settings. This will change lead-user merging logic to merge leads into users based on email address alone. Leads and users won't be required to share the same device, cookie or session for a merge to go ahead.

Important: If you wish to enable this, you must enable Identity Verification beforehand as this ensures your user requests come from the users they claim to be.

Merge profiles using the API

You can also use the REST API to convert a lead to user.

Common questions about merging profiles

What data is included in the merge?

  1. Attributes from the lead profile (only if the existing user profile contains no value for those attributes)

  2. Conversations (all conversations associated with the lead and user profile will be included)

  3. Events (the first/last occurred and the event count; no metadata is included)

Why didn’t a lead merge?

Most of the time, lead and user profiles merge immediately. But since it's an asynchronous process, small delays can occur. For example, when a user logs in and there are one or more leads marked as requiring merging (based on cookie and email), the automatic merging process will begin on that user's next ping (page refresh). 

For leads created via our REST API:

  • If you create a lead via the API, and then a user with the same email address who didn't previously exist sends in a ping (by logging into your app), the lead and user profiles will not be merged automatically. We only do asynchronous merging when the Lead and User have the same anonymous_id which is taken from the session cookie. Leads created via the API do not have cookies. Instead you can manually merge via the API.

  • If you create a lead via the API and a user with the same email address already exists, then when that existing user sends in a ping (by logging into your app), the lead and user records will not merge automatically.

  • If you create a lead via the API, then create a user via the API, the lead profile won’t be merged automatically into the user profile when this user sends in a ping (by logging into your app).


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