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Matching list of contacts to email addresses you already have in Hubspot

A partner of ours recently approached us a with a simple task:

We have a list of attendees for an upcoming tradeshow; it has first name, last name, company, and address. Can you please run it against Hubspot to determine who’s email we already have so we can market to them about our presence at the show?

In this particular partner’s case, we were somewhat in luck: their Hubspot instance was small and clean enough that we could download their entire contact base and perform a VLOOKUP in Excel against the list and essentially do a fuzzy lookup by exactly matching first and last name and closely matching location.

=VLOOKUP([FirstName]&[LastName],[RangeWithFirstColumnBeingFirstAndLastName],1,FALSE)

However, even this simplified task was monotonous and (of course) had a level of error. How many John Smiths are there on this planet?

After lots of digging and a little sketching, we determined that there’s not really a readily accessible solution to this age-old issue despite the fact that there seems to be lots of comparable solutions on the Salesforce.com side of things.

In our agencies free time, we’re going to see if we can leverage Hubspot’s APIs to solve this and create an interface for marketers to choose the level of acceptable risk they’re willing to take on getting a successful match rate. This post will become a living breathing documentation of the project and if we stand-up a product worth using, we’ll drop it in our Solutions tabs.