Whenever we run a journey using a sendable data extension with an alternate email address as the entry event, the corresponding EmailAddress in the all subscribers list gets updated with the alternate email address.

However, we only want to send to the alternate email address once.

Is there a way for the all subscribers list to not get updated?

2 Answers 2


Is there a way for the all subscribers list to not get updated?

No. All Subscribers acts as the master list of all subscriber data, and a subscriber must be on the All Subscribers list in order for that sub to receive email. If a particular SubscriberKey has more than one email address field in a DE, the All Subscribers EmailAddress value will be updated with whatever email address is selected for the particular send.

we only want to send to the alternate email address once.

This is quite simple - just send to the same subscriber again, but make sure to designate the primary email address as the email address you're sending to. Yes, this will update the All Subs email address again with the primary email address, but it will accomplish what you're trying to do: send to alternate email once, and then continue sending to the primary email.

A way around this could be to create a new subscriber for the alternate email address. For example, you could have SubscriberKey_PrimaryEmail and SubscriberKey_AlternateEmail. This unfortunately introduces a potential data management issue, having to account for 2 subscribers for 1 real-life identity. But from a system perspective, it could allow you to bypass the All Subs update.

  • Hi, Can you explain how to accomplish "just send to the same subscriber again". It means another "Send Email" activity in the journey builder which means they receive email twice.
    – sdondeti
    Dec 20, 2017 at 15:26
  • @sdondeti You don't have to take any action to update All Subs after sending to the secondary email address if you have other sends going to that subscriber's primary email address. Subsequent sends will update All Subs for you.If you are only sending to this subscriber through this 1 journey, then you may need to make a new version of the journey and designate which email address you want to send to in order to update All Subs.
    – sfmcpro
    Dec 21, 2017 at 16:51
  • There is actually a way for the all subscribers not to get updated, is explained here: salesforce.stackexchange.com/questions/261592/… Sep 13, 2022 at 14:56

I've given some thought to this question and come to the conclusion that this cannot be achieved. The issue is that Send Email Activities in Journey Builder used Triggered Emails.

The Triggered Email updates Subscribers at send time (refer to screenshot below).

If you pause the Triggered Send, it won't let you uncheck 'Update Subscribers' option, or modify Subscriber Management in any way.

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