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Act-On Software

Setting up a Master List to Sync With Your CRM

Learn how to make a CRM Master List that stays reliably up to date on its own.

Creating a Master List is a best practice that can vastly improve your experience with Act-On by centralizing your contacts in a single location. By default, a Master List will need to be updated manually when you have new records to add. This process will show you how to use an integrated CRM to keep your list updated automatically.


This process uses CRM lists, an temporary Master List for editing, and a truly complete Master List.


  • A Master List
  • An integrated CRM
  • Your CRM Leads and Contacts imported and added to your Master List
  • 5-10 minutes to complete these steps

Follow these steps carefully. There are severe possible ramifications including deleting your entire Master List if this is done incorrectly. Please check your work several times over when setting up an auto-delete function.


  1. Copy your Master List
    1. Click the dropdown next to the list > Copy > Choose Copy the structure and all the records 
    2. This will be your interim Master List, so give it a name like "Temp Master List"
  2. On each of your CRM lists, create a segment that excludes records without emails
  3. Create 3 separate List Maintenance Programs on your interim Master List (they must be 3 distinct programs, not a 3-step program, or you will end up with this error and the program will not run):
    1. Program 1: Copy from Contacts with a Delete option - this is copying from the “no email” Contacts segment
    2. Program 2: Copy from Leads with a Delete option - this is copying from the “no email” Leads segment
    3. Program 3: Copy from Contacts with NO Delete option - this is copying from the “no email” Contacts segment
  4. Schedule all three new programs to run daily, 10-15 minutes apart, in the order they were created above
  5. Your result will be:
    1. Your interim list becomes a true copy of your CRM Contacts list
    2. Leads are copied into the list, overwriting any existing information (duplicates in both Leads and Contacts) and deleting records that aren’t Leads
    3. Finally, Contacts are copied into the interim list, appended to the bottom
  6. Final Step: On your true Master List (not the interim list), create a List Maintenance Program
    1. Set it to copy from the interim Master List with a delete option
    2. Schedule it to run at least 30 minutes after the 3rd Program on the Interim list

You will now have a Master List that updates dynamically based on your CRM lists. 

By setting up your CRM lists to sync and auto-remove records not found, your Master List will contain only the records that actually exist within your CRM.


More Information

This process uses a series of List Maintenance Programs that essentially delete the list they copy to, then overwrite with their data.

One of the benefits of a Master List is that you can use segments from it to drive your Automated Programs. However, when a record is removed from the source list of a program, they are deleted from that program.

This process avoids this issue by using an interim list. By copying to/deleting from the interim list and then only copying/deleting that list to your Master List, you do not need to wipe your Master List completely to keep it current.

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