I have a conceptual question:

When sending to a Data Extension, the contacts sent to are automatically added to All Subscribers by their Subscriber Key.

As far as I understood, no other fields from the DE are mapped to the All Subscribers list.

I noticed that, in my case, there are several fields from the DE appearing in All Subscribers after sending the email.

So my question is: how/why does Marketing Cloud map these other fields to All Subscribers?

Is there a way to remove any of these fields?

I'd be glad to provide any additional details if required.


2 Answers 2


The following setting would be responsible for updating Lists in conjunction with Data Extensions that are used for Triggered sends:

Create a Triggered Email Message Interaction

Here is the page that this is contained in within the documentation:


From a holistic perspective, maintaining Data in such a way is not ideal. In a perfect world, you would want to use a single source of truth for attribute data (Data Extension/List Fields). Specifically meaning that all things that referenced said attribute data were all aligned to use List Data or conversely all aligned to use Data Extension data.

Attempting to have data be 100% in sync with two objects (Lists/Data Extensions) that are mutually exclusive inevitably presents problems. Specifically, as there is no auto-sync between Lists and Data Extensions, there will eventually be a case where at some point where data between the two objects is not in sync for some period of time. This period of time can be minimized with processes set to match the data up but will still exist. It is also a possibility that data can come from an unexpected place/misunderstood process that updates one set of data but not the other within more complex accounts that have more moving parts.

In most situations where this comes up there is a desire for tracking data which is easily discoverable/available for Lists but less so for Data Extensions. This can still be obtained for Data Extensions however would just require marrying said Data upon the "Sendable Relationship" or "Primary Key" of record with tracking data.


Are you're talking about triggered sends that are updating these "other fields" (Journey Builder sends are triggered sends)?

If so there's a configuration setting for the account (a "Business Rule") that allows this behaviour. It uses a "soft mapping" based on the field name of the field in your DE to the attribute. If the field in your DE matches the name of the Profile Attribute, the triggered send updates the profile attribute as it sends.

This behaviour isn't possible with Guided Sends or User Initiated Sends (shakes head angrily).

  • Do you happen to know the name of the Business Rule you mentioned here? We have a case open requesting enablement, and unfortuately SFMC says there is no such rule they are aware of. They've asked if the specific name of the rule could be provided. Thanks for any light you can help shed on this!
    – WR Roush
    Mar 13, 2020 at 15:11
  • 3
    Yes. It's "EMAIL_DATA_SOURCE" and needs setting to 1/true with no "quality".
    – Macca
    Mar 15, 2020 at 3:50
  • What @Macca is speaking of changes makes it so that the Email Address data type within the Data Extension is used rather than the value for the _Subscriber record/Subscriber Key contained in the Email Channel. It does not modify interaction with other profile attributes. Other than the Field value that is mapped to SubscriberKey/SubscriberID within a Data Extension. Mar 16, 2020 at 15:36
  • Additionally what @macca mentioned is generally available in Journey Builder. Under settings there is an option to specify where to obtain the Email Address from for the relevant Journey. Mar 17, 2020 at 0:22

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