Create Data Extension

In Salesforce Marketing Cloud, how do I create a data extension?

  1. To open the list of data extensions, navigate to Subscribers > Data Extensions.
  2. Click Create. The "Create Data Extension" dialog box will open. You can specify how you will build your data extension:
    • Standard Data Extension: Creates a brand new data extension with custom fields
    • Filtered Data Extension: Uses a source data extension and filters data for use in a new data extension
    • Random Data Extension: Lets you randomly select subscribers from a source data extension
  3. Name the data extension and add a description if desired. Do not enter an external key; Marketing Cloud will generate one upon creation.
  4. Select where you want to save your data extension. Check Sendable and Testable as applicable.

    Salesforce Marketing Cloud: Saving data extensions

  5. If your data extension is associated with a campaign, in the "Campaign Association" section, search and select the campaign.

    Salesforce Marketing Cloud: Campaign Association

  6. For "Retention Setting", select Off or On as desired:
    • Off: Data extension data will be kept indefinitely, but will be deleted in six (6) months if the extension has not been used
    • On: Lets you choose when the data will be deleted
  7. Under "Fields", add fields to the data extension. Complete the information for each field you need:
    • Name: The name of the column
    • Data Type: The data type of the contents of the field. Values are the following:
      • Text: Letters, numbers, and spaces
      • Number: An integer, no decimals
      • Date: A date value
      • Boolean: A 0 or 1 value
      • Email Address: An email address; a field of this type must exist before you can send email to a data extension
      • Phone: A phone number; this data type accepts any string with 10 or 11 digits and strips out non-digit characters
      • Decimal: A number with a decimal point
    • Length: Maximum number of characters (including spaces) you can import into this column
    • Primary Key: If selected, the system requires that the value in this field be unique so it can use this field to uniquely identify a row.
    • Nullable: Determines whether this column can be empty. If you do not select this and you try to import a NULL value for this column, the system will respond as you specify in the "Skip Rows with Bad Data" field on the import definition.

      Salesforce Marketing Cloud: Data extension fields

  8. Complete the "Send Relationship" field. This determines the field in the data extension that relates to the "Subscriber" table, typically the subscriber key.
  9. Click Create.