We have scenario where a contact in salesforce with different emails (gmail, hotmail) and we have another field which represent contact prefered email to receive emails.

We imported the contact to Marketing Cloud, now when we are going to send email to contact we want to send email which ever contact selected as preferred email not to email in All Subscriber/Contacts.

Is it possible or we are daydreaming?

Kind Regards


While both Andrew & Axel is correct in their solutions, it is important to note that marketing cloud has two different send architectures seen below. The important thing to understand is that guided sends / content builder send operate from lists, groups or sendable data extensions. Triggered sends typically have the email passed in the invocation of the send (though something the email is retrieved from a DE or all subscribers), while Journey Builder can send to the email found in a data extension or in the channel address order

What this means from a solution perspective is that:

  • When creating sendable data extensions with email address fields, you need to ensure that take the value from "Preferred Email" and fill that value in the email field in the sendable DEs
  • The preferred email should be the top priority in the Channel Address Order, to ensure that journey builder always sends to this one when you are not sending to the email from the Journey Builder Entry DE
  • Triggered Sends, through which an email could change, should be allowed to update the All Subscriber List (a setting on the triggered send) (e.g. a confirmation email from changing your profile)
  • Journey Builder Sends will automatically update the email in all subscribers (if memory serves, it used to be a setting though)
  • Depending on your setup, process around it and frequency of email changes, I would recommend one of the following three solutions:
    • 1) Any change in email address, should trigger a confirmation email for the new address (and ideally this is double opt-in to confirm new address), this would overcome any challenge you might have (but depends on masterdata model, as to whether it is viable or not
    • 2) Alternatively, you can have an API call towards the all subscriber list and BU, to update the email there
    • 3) If neither is possible, create an automation where you create a file (data export), export the file to ftp, move it to import folder and import it to all subscribers (a delta file of all who updated profile or email since last run, should be sufficient)

The key thing to observe here:
If you do not plan out a way to update all subscribers, when you are doing guided sends, this will not update the all subscriber list and you therefore risk sending to the "last" email stored in All Subscribers.

I cannot remember if content builder sends allow for the update of email addresses - there is no specific field that says whether it does it or not, so it would have to be tested.

  • What do you mean Andrew? – Kenneth Wagner Jun 28 '17 at 11:14
  • Get what you are saying - suppose i should have asked elaborative questions then, given that the question doesn't specify the send method. For instance, if the question had been framed "Can guided sends support multiple email addresses?" - the answers would be no. – Kenneth Wagner Jun 28 '17 at 11:35
  • The difference between triggered sends and JB sends is subtle, given that they operate on similar infrastructure, but triggered sends invoked via the API can pass an email and opt to not update all subscribers, where as journey builder sends will always update it to my knowledge - and it will update it with.... I'm actually not sure... i would assume that it would update it with the email from the DE, but the email it sends to, is the first match in the channel address order, unless you choose the email from the data extension... so not sure here actually :) – Kenneth Wagner Jun 28 '17 at 11:37
  • Fixed the two top bullets - get what you mean :) – Kenneth Wagner Jun 28 '17 at 11:39

If you use journey builder for your sends, you can choose default channel address in journey settings.

Just click the Primary Email roll-down list and choose the preferred email address column from the entry audience.

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