In Marketing Cloud, creating a Data Extension is an important aspect that you need to learn. 

Well, it may be tricky to learn this topic, but let you know that there are various ways to create a Data Extension. However, you can get confused when adding contacts to it. 

In this post, we will put forward an easy way to set up a Data Extension through Email Studio. However, you can create a Data Extension using Contact Builder also. 

Know about Data Extension

The Data Extensions application in Marketing Cloud Email Studio is a table within the database that contains your customer data. Data extensions can be standalone and also related to other data extensions. You can import data extensions manually, or you can automate the import functionality through Automation Studio or the Marketing Cloud API. With the SOAP API, You can update, create and delete rows in a data extension.

Data Extension

Data extensions from Contact Creator and Email Studio can be used, but the data extensions permissions, sharing, and other functionality are contained in Email Studio. The data extension consists of information either entered manually or imported through a file.

Note: You can also create a data extension from the contact creator.

Types of Data Extensions

There are three types of data extensions in the Marketing Cloud which we will discuss below:-

Standard – A standard data extension allows the user to create various fields that allow you to store your customer’s data.

Filtered – The filtered data extension is essentially a filtered view over another data extension. It is refreshed to update its data based on any changes to the original extension.

Random – Random data extension enables the segmentation of clients contained in a data extension into several other data extensions. This is especially useful for creating A/B tests.

create data extension

Steps to Create a Data Extension

  1. In Marketing Cloud, Email Studio on the top left menu and click Email.
 Marketing Cloud, Email Studio
  1. Hover over Subscribers and click on Data Extensions.
Data Extension
  1. Navigate to the top right of your screen and click on the Create button.
Navigate to the top right
  1. You will get a popup and here, you can select the standard data extension.
create data extension

After clicking on the OK button, you will form to fill.

  • Create Method – Choose whether you want to create a new data extension, copy from an existing data extension, and create a data extension based on the template.
  • Name – Give your data extension a name from the Name field.
  • External Key – It is used to uniquely identify the data extension using API calls.
  • Description – This field is used to give details about the data extension.
  • Type – This is the data extension type that you have selected.
  • Sendable/Testable – Selecting these fields means whether you want to send the data extension as a direct communication or not. The testable field is for whether to send test message with a data extension or not.
create new data extension

Retention setting – This option is used to set how long you want to keep your data in the data extension.

create new data extensions

Fields Tab – Here, you can create your own data fields with their data types as per your requirement.

Fields Tab


At last, we can say the data extension is handy and essential for creating. It permits access to details about contacts and uses that information to filter segments and target contacts with related sends. Also, this information is best to target contacts across various channels, like social, email, and mobile messaging. 

We hope this guide appears to be helpful for you and may allow you to quickly learn essential tips to create Data Extension in Email Studio. For any other professional Salesforce development service please get in touch with us.

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With a decade of experience in eCommerce technologies and CRM solutions, Virendra has been assisting businesses across the globe to harness the capabilities of information technology by developing, maintaining, and improving clients’ IT infrastructure and applications. A leader in his own rights his teammates see him as an avid researcher and a tech evangelist. To know how the team Virendra can assist your business to adopt modern technologies to simplify business processes and enhance productivity. Let’s Talk.