Multiple Email Address and Telephone Number Support

Slate provides support for the capture and retention of multiple email addresses and telephone numbers. These multiple contact points are stored on the [device] table and are flattened and synced with other tables, such as the [person] table, through real-time updates. This is a complex process, and to help our partners fully understand this functionality and its implementation, we have enumerated several key points and scenarios below.

Device Table Key Columns

Key Description
Record the person ID (or another record ID)
Type email, phone, mobile, and business (these types are customizable)
Value the email address or telephone number

1 (high)

0 (normal)

-1 (low)

-2 (inactive)

Rank the highest-priority, most-recently updated device for a record+type

Importing Emails and Phone Numbers

When setting the [email], [phone], [mobile], or [business] columns on the [person] table, as can happen through an online application, an Upload Dataset import, or a form, we will push that contact address into the [device] table, if it does not already exist, with a normal priority.

  • If the device already exists and a change is made to the device type or device value, we will set its Device Updated Date to the current date/time to push it to the top. If no change is made to the type or value for the device, the Device Updated Date will not change.
  • If the device already exists for the former value on the [person] table and the value is set to NULL on the [person] table, we will set the device to inactive.  (Including a NULL value in an Upload Dataset import will not be affected by this, as NULL values are automatically excluded from imports.)
  • If the device already exists for the former value on the [person] table and the new value is different, we will add a new device and will retain the former device.

Managing Devices Administratively

  • Devices appear on the Profile tab > Contact/Address.
  • Through this interface, you can delete, modify, and insert any number of additional devices.
  • When there are changes to the devices table, the ranks are recalculated and the [person] table is updated to match.  This ensures that all existing data feeds, filters, and exports continue to function as originally designed.

Multiple Devices Through Merges

When two records are merged, their devices list are merged following the same protocols as mailing addresses, where the high-priority, recently-updated addresses take precedence over normal or low-priority addresses.

Use of Multiple Devices

The "Messages" section on the "Interactions" tab looks at the messages associated with all active and inactive email addresses, providing a comprehensive history of the email communications to that recipient.

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