FileMaker Newbie - Need some advice making my first database
I am a FM newbie - just finished Lynda training this morning and ready to start working on my first database. I'm having some trouble thinking about the tables/relationships that I should be using and I'd appreciate any advice that would get me on the right path.
I work at a marketing company and I'm making a database that tracks interactions that we have with each individual fan/customer. We regularly have contests on facebook/twitter and we gather a ton of useful information about each user. Usually, each marketing campaign collects name/address/email info as well as answers to questions that we ask about our products. Many of our customers participate in multiple contests, and the questions asked in each contest are different (aside from the basic info). I'd like to be able to make a database that shows records for each fan, all of the promotions that they've participated in, and a way to view the answers that they provided for each of the individual promotions.
I can't seem to figure out how to prevent duplicate records from being created during import from Excel spreadsheets. I'm thinking that the only way to identify unique customers is by the email address that they provide us. I formatted the "Email" field to require a unique entry. This effectively prohibits a new record from being made manually with an email address that has already been used, but when I import from Excel, FileMaker creates a new record even if it has the same email as a different record.
I'd appreciate advice on what tables I should have and the relationships between the tables. I'd also appreciate any imput about how I would go about preventing duplicate records. I tried to explain everything as best as I could, but if I need to clarify anything let me know. Thanks for your help!