I am updating an email address in a Contact DE and then sending to a target DE that is updated with the new email address via a query. I want the email to be sent to that new email address and not the email address in the all subscribers. I am sending my email through a user initiated send in an automation. Is there a way to do this without exporting the email addresses and importing into the All Subscribers? Is the channel address order respected in Email Studio? Thank you.

1 Answer 1


All sends will automatically use the All Subscribers email address by default. To change this you will need to setup the DE as an Attribute Group in Contact Builder and create a 1:1 relationship back to the Contact record. The DE will need to contain an Email field.

You can then define the Channel Address Order by going to 'Contacts Configuration' > Edit > Add Address > Select new attribute group. Drag the new Channel Address to the top.

Here are some more discussions on this:
Contacts not getting added to all subscriber database
How to use a different email address in journey builder?

Contacts Configuration Documentation

  • Thanks for the information. I already have the Channel Address Order configured with the DE email address set as the first priority in the list however it is still sending to the All Subs email address. Have you seen this channel address order function within a user initiated send? I am able to use the order in journey builder but it does not seem to be respecting the setting in the user initiated send.
    – user44880
    Sep 26, 2017 at 11:38
  • So the Channel Address Order in Contact Builder > Contacts Configuration applies to all sends. The Journey Builder Default Email Address will override those preferences with it's own and only applies to that Journey. Also, if the record doesn't have an email address within the specified DE then it will go to the next email listed in the Channel Address Order. Does this help? Sep 27, 2017 at 0:42
  • Should the Channel Address order be respected in a user initiated send? Right now I have it set up but it is not working.
    – user44880
    Sep 27, 2017 at 20:09
  • The Channel Address order in Contact Builder should apply to all sends not the one in Journey Builder. To test it might be a good idea to work backwards from the DE in the Channel Address Order in Contact Builder. Make sure the email for the contact exists in there or it will default to the email in All Subs. Also make sure it is set up correctly in your Attribute Groups and the Subscriber Key matches the ContactID. Sep 28, 2017 at 0:05

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