Enforcing unique email addresses, Mailchimp and identity matching

2 minute read time.
To ensure that a Person, Company or Lead record being added to the system has a unique email address, system administrators can use a new Detect duplicate emails option.
And this is a simple checkbox.
We have been listening to our community of global customers & partners about how we can improve the experience of the integration with Mailchimp especially around how we can easily prevent and fix duplicate email addresses in groups sent to Mailchimp​.
If we attempt to enter a duplicate email address then the commit into the database is blocked and a message is displayed.
But this feature is more than about improving the experience around Mailchimp.  The Mailchimp integration is fantastic; from within Sage CRM we can export contacts, create a segment within an audience and create a new campaign that is delivered through email and through social media.  The success of the call to action contained within the email or social post can be traced all the way through the orders placed on a website back into the underlying accounting system.
And I expect us to be developing the behaviour of the 'unique email' feature over the next release.
So why are we emphasising unique emails?
If we consider any of our customers then we know they habitually use several different channels to connect with businesses.  Nowadays contact management has to take much more of an "Omni-channel" approach. In my experience, it is not unusual for customers to use at least three different mediums (e.g. social media, chat, email) to contact an organization.  And it is probably the case that most businesses think they could do a better job of responding to contacts over these various channels.

But whether customers are interacting with a business using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn they will nevertheless have an active email account behind that.  And Email remains the most common way to contact a business.  This is important whether we are dealing with B2B or B2C type businesses. Within a B2C context, people often keep their email for a very long time, unlike postal addresses or mobile IDs. People move, change jobs, buy new phones — all while keeping their email addresses for years.
If customers are interacting with a business on multiple channels and if we want to enable a unified view of these different types of communication within CRM then using an email address as the common denominator provides the best way of achieving this.
We have the ability to enforce uniqueness for the main 'business' email address for the Lead, Company and Person entities.  This feature can be used for "Identity Matching" across multiple apps and contact points.  And email is better than other mechanisms such as 'cookies' as cookies don't get shared between devices, browsers and are very easily blocked.
Email is the most reliable central identifier because customers use email to log into their apps, browsers and websites across channels and devices. By enforcing a unique email address this gives the ability to connect each identifier and create a single, unified picture of your customer. The disparate data points or data sources, such as postal addresses, mobile IDs, social media 'handles' can all be stitched together.​