Use Data Extensions

What is a Data Extension?

A standard data extension is a customizable table that contains your data.

In most cases, the data you keep in a data extension relates to a subscriber. 

Example: I want to send to everyone in my data extension that has a zipcode of 47405

Using a data extension with a data filter to filter your subscribers and their zipcode data as part of their attributes you can accomplish this. 

Data extensions within the Marketing Cloud Email Studio can also satisfy the need for flexible data storage. 

Example: I want to store the name and department ID of every department in my school in a data extension.

 *If you get to the data extension folder and you see a banner that says: "Get access to enhanced segmentation!" Just contact and ask them to do this.  All new business units are set up this way but we do find an occasional unit that needs this upgrade.


What is the difference between a Data Extension and a Subscriber List?

Use a List When...

  • your lists will contain 500,000 subscribers or less long-term
  • you prefer simplicity over performance
  • you do not require fast import speed
  • you plan to use a limited number of subscriber attributes, (the options are first name, last name and email address.)

Use a Data Extension When...

  • your lists are going to be greater than 500,000 subscribers
  • you support multiple subscriber data sets (with separate definitions)
  • you send global messages
  • you require fast import speeds
  • you implement triggered sends
  • you prefer a flexible subscription model