Journey Builder Sends updates All Subscribers List

Whenever we run a journey using a sendable data extension with an alternate email address as the entry event, the corresponding EmailAddress in the all subscribers list gets updated with the alternate email address.

However, we only want to send to the alternate email address once.

Is there a way for the all subscribers list to not get updated?


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

Is there a way for the all subscribers list to not get updated?

No. All Subscribers acts as the master list of all subscriber data, and a subscriber must be on the All Subscribers list in order for that sub to receive email. If a particular SubscriberKey has more than one email address field in a DE, the All Subscribers EmailAddress value will be updated with whatever email address is selected for the particular send.

we only want to send to the alternate email address once.

This is quite simple – just send to the same subscriber again, but make sure to designate the primary email address as the email address you’re sending to. Yes, this will update the All Subs email address again with the primary email address, but it will accomplish what you’re trying to do: send to alternate email once, and then continue sending to the primary email.

A way around this could be to create a new subscriber for the alternate email address. For example, you could have SubscriberKey_PrimaryEmail and SubscriberKey_AlternateEmail. This unfortunately introduces a potential data management issue, having to account for 2 subscribers for 1 real-life identity. But from a system perspective, it could allow you to bypass the All Subs update.

Method 2

I’ve given some thought to this question and come to the conclusion that this cannot be achieved. The issue is that Send Email Activities in Journey Builder used Triggered Emails.

The Triggered Email updates Subscribers at send time (refer to screenshot below).

If you pause the Triggered Send, it won’t let you uncheck ‘Update Subscribers’ option, or modify Subscriber Management in any way.


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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