Is the email in All Subscribers preferred to the one in the sendable Data Extension?

I noticed that in my last send, even though the contact with the same Subscriber Key had changed her email address, the Marketing Cloud has communicated with her using the email on her All Subscriber list. In other words, the email field in the Data Extension was ignored and the corresponding email with that Subscriber Key was used.

Is there a setting where we can change this or do we have to update the All Subscribers list with every import into the Contact Model?


Thank you for visiting the Q&A section on Magenaut. Please note that all the answers may not help you solve the issue immediately. So please treat them as advisements. If you found the post helpful (or not), leave a comment & I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Method 1

This is the expected behaviour and you cannot change it. Once you set a Send Relationship in a data extension, for example, Subscriber Key relates to subscribers on Subscriber Key, it will look up the email address from All Subscribers list at send time.

Depending on where your data is coming from, you can set up an automation that will look for differences between your data and All Subs and update All Subs accordingly. Here is an example of how you can set it up if you’re integrated with Sales/Service Cloud:

  1. SQL Query Activity that checks for changed email addresses in your synchronized data extensions and writes them to a temporary data extension.
  2. Data Extract Activity that extracts the data from your temporary data extension and writes it to a CSV-file
  3. File Transfer Activity that moves the CSV-file from activity 2 to the Import-folder of your Enhanced FTP
  4. Import File Activity imports the data from the CSV-file to the All Subscribers list.

Take a look at Markus’ blog for more details:


I just found the following article, Profile Center and Marketing Cloud Connect, that says:

Every Marketing Cloud email to a Salesforce contact, lead, report, or
campaign includes a link to the Profile Center where customers manage
their attributes and subscription preferences. These changes update
Salesforce contact and lead data.

If this works as expected, then you wouldn’t have to worry about prioritizing Profile Center updates, as they would be reflected in Sales/Service Cloud anyway.

Method 2

I understand that you have Sales/Service Cloud connected to Marketing Cloud. If you would use a data extension located in a Salesforce Data Extensions folder to send an email, the email address from the data extension should be used instead of the email address from All Subscribers. All Subscribers should also be updated with the new email address. If the data extension is located in a regular Data Extensions folder, the email address from All Subscribers will be used.

Method 3

The answer provided by zuzannamj is correct however I would note that, although this is functioning as designed in the Email Application, this is something that is configurable within the Journey Builder Channel.

More specifically this is an option within “Journey Settings”:

If you do this it still won’t update a disparity at the All Subscribers list, however, would allow a straight forward way of managing this that doesn’t require synchronization of the All Subscribers list.

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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