We are in the process of architecting our SFMC. Our SubscriberKey will be our POS vendor's CustomerID. The only problem is that there are potentially hundreds of duplicates created in our database due to improper searches in store on the register. A store employee will improperly search for a customer, fail to locate, and create a new profile. A few questions need answering before we move forward:

Does email click/open behavior get tied to SubscriberKey or email address?

Is there a way to make associations between multiple subscriber keys? I.e. CustomerID 111 and 222 are really the same person with the same email address, so when looking at browse behavior OR sales data (sales tied to both 111 and 222 profiles) can we reference both SubscriberKeys and look for sales data in another DE and output both profile's history?

I know I'm probably not providing enough detail, but if you think you can help please ask me to refine my question to your needs!

1 Answer 1


Status and activity is maintained in SFMC by Subscriber Key, not email address. So if a email address is in All Subscribers with two different Subscriber Keys then it's two distinct subscribers and two sets of activity records (opens, clicks, etc.).

To prevent subscribers from getting duplicate emails you'll need to explicitly ensure they don't by using the de-duplicate by email address setting in the User-Initiated Send definition or before the send with a Query Activity.

I know it sounds like a pain. We have to deal with it all the time. If you don't, it's could bad for deliverability and effectively honoring opt-outs.

  • 1
    Okay... So we're going down the path of assigning an internally generated "Salesforce ID" in addition to our POS ID to help maintain relationships between duplicate accounts. We will map all of our duo accounts in our local SQL database to clean it as much as possible before loading into SF. Bad timing happens and I end up having two emails in two Salesforce ID's, but I'm the same person. Can I load an ID mapping table into SF, and write a query that will map the two Subscriber Key ID's together? This way I can say "send to only the most recently engaged Mitch"...
    – MitchA.
    Aug 2, 2016 at 0:16
  • I suppose you could write a set of queries to identify them that way. I typically generate a file with EmailAddress, SK and status = 'unsubscribed' and import it into All Subscribers for any SKs that are duplicates. Aug 2, 2016 at 11:14

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