We're looking to make sure two fields in SF CRM HasOptedOutOfEmail and Contact_Does_Not_Want_to_be_Contacted__c align with our subscriber status in marketing cloud. On the SFMC side our subscriber key is Contact/Lead ID. We are the only BU in the enterprise that uses contact/lead ID as subscriber key, the other BUs use email address as the subscriber key.

When we are updating subscriber status in Marketing Cloud to align with SF CRM should we be doing the update at the BU level or at the Admin level or both?

Currently we are updating our email opt out status at the BU level only. Thus we are seeing a different subscriber status in All Subscribers in the BU vs Admin for that subscriber key.

We can't turn on the feature that copies the Admin status to the BUs as we don't want this to apply to all BUs.

Should we have an ETL update process that updates both the BU and Admin subscriber status?

1 Answer 1


I assume that by "Admin BU" you mean the Parent BU.

It all depends on whether you are sending emails to your subscribers just from the Child BU, or also from the Parent BU. If you are also sending emails from the Parent BU, it's possible that an email would be sent out to someone who is "Active" in the Parent BU, but Unsubscribed in the Child BU - this of course is not something you would want to happen.

If your Child BU is the only one that sends emails to your group of contacts/leads, then there is no need to update the status on the Parent BU.

  • Thank you and sorry yes I was referring to the Parent BU, good to know for future reference. We are only sending emails from the child BU and I get your point about there not being a need to update parent BU for email execution purposes. We're diagramming for our team why we have an ETL process that updates certain statuses to Active via the Parent BU and a separate ETL for unsubbing at the parent BU. Included in that is how to query each (_subscribers vs ent._subscribers). All of this effort feels like it would be simplified if child and parent statuses were the same...
    – TimZ
    Aug 20, 2022 at 10:25
  • Different BUs can be used for different business lines, publications, etc, so it makes sense that the same subscriber could have different statuses across BUs
    – zuzannamj
    Aug 20, 2022 at 10:53

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