Hello wonderful MC developers,

Two questions:

  1. If I'm not passing an email address via the url, do I still need to hash it?

When I don't md5 the email address in theme.liquid, Marketing Cloud is able to track the sessions fine:

  _etmc.push(["setOrgId", ""]);
  _etmc.push(["setUserInfo", {"email": "{{ customer.email }}"}]);

But when I do hash it, MC is no longer able to track the sessions, presumably because it can't magically unhash the email:

  _etmc.push(["setOrgId", ""]);
  _etmc.push(["setUserInfo", {"email": "{{ customer.email | md5 }}"}]);

So if the email address of a logged in account is passed to MC in the source code, instead of the url, does it still need to be hashed to protect their PII?

  1. If I do still need to protect their PII, but still want to use email address (instead of a unique customerID etc.), how do I output the md5 email in a way that Marketing Cloud can understand it?

Thanks in advance for you answers - it's greatly appreciated! -Ed

1 Answer 1


That parameter is named incorrectly, it doesn't have to be customer email address. It can be any unique ID that you can assign on your website and is available in SFMC if you want to use email recommendations. You are free to use MD5 of any value but you need to keep in mind that you'll have to use it to output the recommendations as well.

To display correct products in email, you'll need to amend urls in HTML from:

<a href="https://MID.recs.igodigital.com/rr/v2/5a132e30d647601f19cd6660/l/1/%%emailaddr%%">
<img src="https://MID.recs.igodigital.com/rr/v2/5a132e30d647601f19cd6660/i/1/%%emailaddr%%">


<a href="https://MID.recs.igodigital.com/rr/v2/5a132e30d647601f19cd6660/l/1/%%=MD5(emailaddr)=%%">
<img src="https://MID.recs.igodigital.com/rr/v2/5a132e30d647601f19cd6660/i/1/%%=MD5(emailaddr)=%%">

If you plan to use other SFMC recommendation functionalities like API/website, you also need to pass that hashed value to tie customer data correctly.

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