I have a list of email addresses from our old ESP that I'd like to import into Marketing Cloud via an upload in Subscriber > Suppression List. The problem is that Subscriber Key is a required field in the upload. I only have email address.

Is there a way to create a suppression list with only email addresses that I can use to suppress from certain mailings?

2 Answers 2


that can be done with an exclusion script. First create a data extension with only your email field. This works because data extensions don't require a subscriber key. Then in the send definition of sends, where you want to use the list, you insert the following AMPScript, adapted to your data extension name and field name:


This is explained here: How to Create a User-Initiated Email Interaction

For a syntax explanation of the Rowcount function look in the list of AMPScript functions.

  • Thanks for prettying up! The syntax error is kind of interesting as I copied it straight from the official documentation. Jun 3, 2016 at 13:00

Short answer is "No", not with what you're likely trying to do.

You could work-around the need for SubscriberKey by using an Auto-Suppression list.

However, depending on what your requirements are for the suppression, you could have a bit of a nightmare making sure it's only applied when you need it applied. Creative use of Send Classifications, like a "dummy" one that you assign the Auto-Suppression to when you don't want to apply the suppressions, would work.

  • 1
    Not true. You can certainly use a Data Extension without a a SK as a suppression. May 31, 2016 at 13:39
  • @AdamSpriggs - if you were to use a DE as a suppression which only has an email field I assumed it would only dedupe / suppress on the PK. For example if in the sendable DE it has a PK custid and i was CUSTID 1111 and email [email protected]. If you suppressed against that DE with only email it would contain [email protected] and the system would not match and therefore not suppress them.
    – BDOB83
    Mar 1, 2017 at 22:16
  • @BDOB83 you can only use a sendable DE as an exclusion. Therefore, you wouldn't need an subscriber key because you could relate subscribers on email. However, I'm not sure how well that will behave when you have subscribers in your sending DE that do not yet exist in All Subscribers. Mar 3, 2017 at 1:35

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