My question comes from the fact that when sending an email with a Data Extension as the source, Email Studio pulls up the related existing Subscriber Key in the All Subscribers list to get the email address that's actually going to be used (as expected).

However, since our SubKey identifies the customer, he/she can have multiple email addresses pointing to, say, specific products—which in turn have their own attributes—owned by that customer.

If we were to do product-specific sendouts by making a Filtered DE for example from the mother DE, how do we force Email Studio to use the different emails (and by extension, the different attributes)? Could this be done without creating a separate SubKey for each product and/or creating an AdHoc SubKey for that sendout?

So it's not so much that I'm looking for changes in a customer's email address, capturing them, and updating the All Subscribers list, but rather having multiple valid unique email addresses for a single, customer-level SubKey.

Here are some links that might be related:

  1. Override email address in marketing cloud (has no answer, but OP's comment-reply mentioned something of note: "To all: There is another solution more straightforward: theres a business rule that just needs to be activated to achieve this behavior.")
  2. Is the email in All Subscribers preferred to the one in the sendable Data Extension? (talks more about a subscriber changing his/her email address)

Any insight is very much appreciated!


1 Answer 1


Below will help you understand the email address behaviour in Marketing Cloud.

It's a screenshot from Eliot Harper's video which I highly recommend you watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puQ-cOQQu9U&feature=emb_logo

enter image description here Source: https://mc.chat/subscriber-email-address-update-behavior/

As you can see from above, it's not possible to achieve this directly in Email Studio.

If you have access to Journey Builder, you could start sending emails from JB using a Data Extension as the Entry Event. This would enable you to send emails directly to the email address included in the Data Extension.

The business rule mentioned in one of the links you provided can be turned off by Salesforce support. Turning off this rule, however, can lead to tracking problems down the road along with a few other downstream issues.

Source: https://powerofus.force.com/s/article/SFDO-BP-Multiple-Email-Addresses-Marketing-Cloud

  • Thanks for the links. I am rather sure this is one of the drivers behind Journey Builder being pushed hard by SF, to get rid of legacy debt like this. Commented Aug 3, 2020 at 11:37
  • You can read more about the different behaviour, in the context of the said Business Rule, in my reply here: salesforce.stackexchange.com/questions/261592/… Commented Aug 3, 2020 at 12:06
  • I will be honest, whenever I dig into this 'tracking problems down the road' issue on the business rule, I basically get just the response of 'aliens' and no real answers. Even if I ask about, without the Rule and using their solution of an automation to update the email before the send...wouldn't that present pretty much the same issue if the email is constantly changed? I get no response. I feel like if you have ANY email addresses that change, you would need your own reporting anyway...so what is the real risk of this BR? Commented Aug 3, 2020 at 13:06
  • Thank you very much for the helpful response! On that unfortunate note, would you recommend JB for single adhoc sends moving forward, and (this might be a bit off-topic) would we be able to use the associated attributes for the different emails? @LukasLunow, very insightful link as well, thanks! Commented Aug 3, 2020 at 13:27
  • Yes, I'd go ahead with Single Send Journeys. Re. attributes - that all depends on your data model, not really possible to answer without seeing the setup.
    – zuzannamj
    Commented Aug 3, 2020 at 13:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .