I have a client who has sensitive data that they will be connecting to Marketing cloud via Marketing cloud connector. I'm investigating whether field level encryption is the way forward once the data is in the Marketing cloud.

The help resource does hint at some losses in terms of functionality in the email application after field level encryption has been turned on. What I am trying to understand is once field level encryption is turned on for an account is the functionality of using for instance Data filters and application import turned off for all data extensions or only the data extension that have encrypted fields?

How does things like dynamic content and personalization in emails work with encryption turned on? I'm concerned that by turning encryption on some of the nice functionality is lost especially with regards to preview, segmenting domain reports etc.

Any other considerations to take into account before suggesting this solution?

1 Answer 1


there are quite a few limitations you need to be aware of with field level encryption. Some of the big ones are:

  • Data Filters are not supported
  • You cant use encrypted values in where clauses
  • Standard email domain reporting is not supported as the email addresses in the contact record are stored as @exct.net
  • The default behaviour of where email addresses are retrieved from is changed when FLE is turned on

You shouldnt have any issues with import activities as these still work correctly. Also send previews all still work correctly

Hope that helps

  • Yes, do you know if you can mix and match encrypted data with non encrypted data in the cloud? For example I have a data extension containing encrypted fields and another one with non encrypted fields to allow for data filters and where clauses? Could you elaborate on the last point regarding where email addresses are retrieved from. I'm not sure I follow. Are the email addresses stored somewhere not in the data extension?
    – Nia
    Jun 23, 2017 at 16:00
  • Yes you only choose what fields you want to encrypt. Although i believe you must encrypt Email address. In regards to my last point. Typically i believe when you send to a subscriber it pulls the email address from the all contacts record. However with Encryption you must have an email address in the sending Data Extension otherwise i believe it will not send.
    – AndrewC
    Jun 26, 2017 at 7:11
  • This makes sense, you do ordinarily need to have email addresses in a sending data extension with or without encryption in order to send using data extensions. So by the sounds of it, the account will work pretty much the same with the exception of the above mentioned. Thanks.
    – Nia
    Jun 26, 2017 at 10:55

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