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Does anyone have a way of handling multiple subscribers with the same email address in Marketing Cloud, so that the same email address does not receive a send or get injected in to a journey more than once?

We are integrated with Sales Cloud, so we are using subscriber key (SF record ID) as the unique identifier, but could potentially have multiple leads/contacts with the same email.

We are working on cleaning these up in SF, however wanted to see if there was a way to do this on the Marketing Cloud side, perhaps with a creative entry criteria in a journey, without setting email as the subscriber key.

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There's no way to prevent this in the entry event itself. So it depends a bit on how your design for entry is set up. Some solution ideas:

  • Handle this in SQL, i.e. some group by email element in there
  • Create a data relationship from "Contacts" to a "Log" - Many to 1, this would allow you to potentially create a filter or handle it in SQL again, combined with an update data activity as step one in the journey
  • Handle it via exclusion scripts and a custom send log (worst case via AMPscript and RaiseError)

Depending on your exact use-case, I can maybe elaborate a bit more on potential solutions.

Scripting Example

  • Write a row into a "Log" DE when email is sent
  • Use LookupRows (ideally in Exclusion Scripts, alternatively as exclusion and in email) to determine if RowCount > 0, if yes, RaiseError. Make sure to do the evaluation before you write the row. Lookup based on email.
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  • Can you explain bit more about AMPScript and RaiseError? Aug 12, 2018 at 9:01
  • Sure, depending on your framework, i would combine Exclusion Script with RaiseError. I've added this to my answer. Aug 12, 2018 at 9:16
  • Nice one... Good to have MC expert on SFSE. Aug 12, 2018 at 9:25

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