Frequently Asked Questions: Non Email Key (NEK) Databases

Q: Does OptOutRecipient opt out all recipients with email address or just recipients that match the NEK?
A: You can use the OptOutRecipient method on an NEK list by including all unique key columns with their corresponding name/value pairs or by specifying the email address. If you do specify a unique key, Watson Campaign Automation only opts out the recipient who matches the unique key, not other recipients with the same email address. If you only specify the email address, the system opts out all recipients with the specified email address.

Q: Can you add unique keys to an existing list?
A: No, the unique keys must already exist in the list unless you are creating a new list using the ImportList method. (In this case, the keys are specified in the mapping file. See the ImportList section of this document for more information.)

Q: Can you change the unique key in an existing list?
A: No, once the list is defined, you can only add unique keys.

Q: How do you specify the field type and make it a Type 9 for unique key?
A: Type 9 is reserved for the EMAIL field only. You cannot specify the type for this field since it is considered to be of type SYSTEM.

Q: Do you have to use email address along with the unique key when calling SelectRecipientData?
A: No, you can leave out the email address and just provide the unique key.

Q: If you have multiple unique keys and want to call SelectRecipientData, do you have to specify all of them or just one of the unique keys?
A: SelectRecipient calls must provide all keys in the list but email is not required if it is not listed as a unique key.

Q: If you have multiple unique keys and call AddRecipient, do you have to provide email address and all unique keys?
A: Yes. You must provide all unique keys and the email address when calling the AddRecipient method.

Q: What happens if you add a unique identifier to the master suppression list and how does it affect other lists with different unique keys?
A: It doesn’t add the opted out record to the suppression list. Rule: don’t set a list with a unique key other than email address as the master suppression list. Add to Master Suppression List uses email address for opting out (without a unique key other than the email specified in the master suppression list.)

Q: Does the RemoveRecipient method require that you specify all unique keys and the email address to remove a recipient?
A: Yes. If you have more than one instance of the same email address in the list, specifying all unique keys prevents removal of records with the same email address.

Q: When creating a list using ImportList, do you have to specify the unique keys in the parameters?
A: Yes. It won’t automatically use the default unique key set for the Org.

Q: Are unique keys always required even if you set <IS_REQUIRED> to False?
A: Yes. For unique keys, Watson Campaign Automation ignores a false value for the <IS_REQUIRED> element.

Q: When using UpdateRecipient method, can you update the email address for a recipient when email is not the primary key?
A: Yes. If there are two recipients with the same email address with different unique keys, you can update the email address using the UpdateRecipient method and the unique key and it will change the email address just for the recipient who matches the unique key.

6 comments on"Frequently Asked Questions: Non Email Key (NEK) Databases"

  1. Is there API to delete all the records in the contactList? XML interface or SOAP or REST?

    • Hello Naveen,
      I am looking into whether we have an API that will delete all the records in a contact list or no. But I do caution you. Once records are deleted, there is no way for us to recover them.

      I’ll post here when I have an update.

      Thank you,

      • Thanks a Lot for Your Reply also i am looking for API which can replace the whole contact LIST
        Does REPLACE works fine for this? in IMPORTLIST api?


        • Hello Naveen,
          You would have to use the ImportList API and import your contact list again. This API along with SFTP, allows importing a batch file that contains new, modified, or opted out contacts. Contacts can also be added to an existing Contact List.

          Thank you,

          • I think You missed my question, I want to insert fresh Data into contact list, I don’t want old data in Contact List, the old Data in Contact list must be deleted, this will be very much useful for Email campaign. Hope You got my point.

            So i was asking Replace for Contact list exists or not.


          • No, a replace for contact list does not exist. You would have to import a list that has your contacts already in it. For deletion of Data, you may want to look at the Purge Data feature, this feature, deletes all records from a database, suppression, seed, test or contact list (target) based on the contacts that exist in a specific database, contact list, or query (source). you can find more information on Purge Data here:

            Thank you

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