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Salesforce Marketing Cloud: Beginner's Guide to Data Extensions [eBook]

When it comes to using Data Extensions, once you get the hang of them you’ll realise they are a very useful tool within the Marketing Cloud platform - so it’s important to get familiar with how they work.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud: Beginner’s Guide to Data Extensions [eBook]

We’ll happily be the first to admit that Data Extensions are not the easiest function in Salesforce Marketing Cloud to wrap your head around, especially if you have very limited experience with the platform.

Despite the confusion, when it comes to using Data Extensions, once you get the hang of them you’ll realise they are a very useful tool within the Marketing Cloud platform - so it’s important to get familiar with how they work.

Data Extensions eBook cover

To help you along the way, we’ve created an eBook with everything you need to know. And whether you’re new to Salesforce Marketing Cloud, or you’re keen to refresh your Data Extensions understanding, we’ve got you covered!

What is a Data Extension?

In the simplest of explanations, Date Extensions are tables used to store information about your contacts. However, they’re different to Subscriber lists.

This is a fundamental difference that affects what you can and can’t do in the Marketing Cloud platform when it comes to storing customer data and information, as there are important differences between the two functionalities.

For example, if you ran an ecommerce website how would you go about storing your customer contact details, and their order information, then using this for an automated journey? Would you use a list or a Data Extension? This eBook provides the answer!

Why are Data Extensions important?

If you’ve typically only ever used Email Studio, then you might have only relied on lists.

However, it might surprise some people to know that lists can’t be used for all modules in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. For example, to use Journey Builder, Data Extensions are your only option.

Data Extensions are also important if you’re looking to grow your contact list, store subscriber relational information, manage data in Marketing Cloud using an API, or connect Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud.

Types of Data Extensions and how to manage them

There are actually three different types of Data Extensions available to use in Salesforce Marketing Cloud: Standard Data Extensions, Filtered Data Extensions, and Random Data Extensions. We’ll guide you through the difference between all three and how to create each one.

We’ve also compiled a few extra tips and tricks including a look into data relationships (what they are and why they’re important), how to import data into a Data Extension, and why you should use naming conventions.

What to expect from the eBook

We’ve broken down all the most important information you need to know to feel confident about using Data Extensions in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

In the eBook, we explain:

  • What a Data Extension is in Salesforce Marketing Cloud?
  • Subscriber lists vs. Data Extensions
  • Whether or not you have to use Data Extensions
  • Where to manage Data Extensions in SFMC
  • How to create a Data Extension
  • Data relationships
  • Importing data to a Data Extension
  • Tips for working with Data Extensions

Ready to get started? Download your free copy of the eBook here.

For any issues or questions along the way, don’t hesitate to email us at and we’ll gladly help you out.

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Anton Minnion

A data scientist and engineer, Anton has extensive experience in successfully delivering martech and salestech solutions for a variety of clients, both big and small, and across 25 countries. With a scary amount of knowledge in the development space, his focus at MarCloud is on innovating technical solutions for clients but also creating brand new apps and products for Salesforce platforms, to solve common business challenges.

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eBook cover with text Beginner's Guide to Data Extensions

Beginner’s Guide to Data Extensions

We know from experience that Data Extensions are not always the friendliest Marketing Cloud tool – they can confuse both experts and beginners alike! Our ‘Beginner’s Guide to Data Extensions’ eBook will demystify any confusion around Data Extensions and how to use them.

Download Marketing Cloud Data Extensions eBook

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