How to Set Up a Relational Data Model in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

By Chester Bullock, Mark Pollard

If you choose to dive right into a relational data model in Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you have more work to get things started. Much of what you need to do — before you begin any of the following procedures — involves planning the design of the database. When you’re ready to implement your design, start in the Email app by choosing Email from the Email Studio category on the app switcher.

Setting up a data extension

Use the following steps to create a data extension to contain data in your relational data model. These steps set up the data extension but do not populate it with data.

  1. In the Email app, pause your mouse pointer over the Subscribers menu in the toolbar, and choose Data Extensions from the menu that appears.
  2. Click the Create button, on the right side of the toolbar.
  3. In the Create Data Extension window that appears, select Standard Data Extension and then click OK.
  4. Complete the fields in the Properties tab of the Create New Data Extension window, and then click Next.
  5. Complete the fields in the Data Retention Policy tab, and then click Next.

    Using these settings, you can cause Marketing Cloud to automatically delete content from your data extensions after a period of time. This feature can keep you from using all your storage space and incurring fees.

  6. In the Fields tab, define each field in the data extension and click the Create button.

Setting up a sendable data extensions

When you use the relational data model, you create sendable data extensions instead of lists of subscribers. The procedure for creating a sendable data extension is the same as the one for creating any other kind of data extension. Just make sure to select the Is Sendable? check box on the Properties tab of the Create New Data Extension window when you get to Step 4.

sendable data extension Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Select the Is Sendable? check box to set up a sendable data extension.