We are using Salesforce contact id as subscriber key in Marketing cloud. Recently we found out that we have duplicate contacts in our subscriber list (contacts with different subscriber key but same email ).

We can de duplicate based on email e:g when sending as guided send etc.

Is there anyway we can dedupe in journey builder?

Best Regards

  • What do you mean by "subscriber list"? Do you mean All Subscribers? – Eliot Harper Jan 24 '17 at 9:42
  • Yes "All Subscribers". Let say we have "Tom". When we import from service cloud Tom have three contact Ids and same email (import ultimately added to all subscribers list). As we using Salesforce Contact Id as subscriber key so we have three Toms but all the three Toms have same email. When we send email e:g guided send we can de duplicate by email so Tom will receive one email. But problem is how we can avoid Tom to receive multiple emails when we add Tom to journey builder. ... continue.... – F.Dell Jan 24 '17 at 10:12
  • Because Journey Builder looks for subscriber key not for email so Tom will receive three emails. Best thing would be to do de duplicate in Service cloud and then import but unfortunately all subscribers imported and there are many duplicates. – F.Dell Jan 24 '17 at 10:12
  • The bigger concern I see is unsubscribes. What if Tom unsubscribes with his email, and you are now sending him emails based on his Contact ID? That opens the door for legal issues. I would definitely advise cleaning up your list to at least make sure unsubscribes are being respected across platforms, and ideally go the full step forward and remove all duplicates – AnonWonderer Jan 24 '17 at 19:54
  • You should be able to de-duplicate by adding an Exclusion Script to the Send Email Activity in Journey Builder. I will need to write and test before I can provide an example. I will keep you posted. – Eliot Harper Jan 24 '17 at 20:44

I have tested this, if you have the following entry Data Extension for your journey


Id Email
01 johnsmith@email.com
02 anafitzgerald@email.com

The settings of the journey will evaluate new contacts only and no re-entry.

When you activate the journey 2 subscribers are injected and email is sent out.

if you add a new subscriber like this

Id Email
01 johnsmith@email.com
02 anafitzgerald@email.com
03 anafitzgerald@email.com

the email won't be sent out again to anafitzgerald@email.com, the history of the journey will show


  • This didn't work for me. I get both emails. But perhaps it's because i'm using the Salesforce Data entry event – willard Feb 28 at 16:23
  • @JRR This doesn't look like an ideal solution because it will fail if we have a DE with an email address already existing multiple times(what is asked in the question here). In that case email will be sent multiple times on the same email address. – Krati Garg May 22 at 9:17
  • It could be, then they will have to do it via SQL using rank to deduplicate in the entry DE of Journey Builder. – JRR May 22 at 10:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.