What are Lists in Salesforce Marketing Cloud?

By Alina Makarova

If you’re a regular Marketing Cloud user, you may have considered whether there are better ways to store your data in Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Studio. You may want to know what types of Marketing Cloud lists there are, when to use them, and how they are different from data extensions. This article aims to give you a good understanding of Marketing Cloud lists.

What is a Marketing Cloud List?

Okay, let’s start with defining lists. Lists are a default method of storing data in Marketing Cloud Email Studio. You can set different attributes to your subscribers using lists, which represent a collection of subscribers and provide a simple method for audience segmentation. These attributes are used to store a subscriber’s status within a given list.

You can only use lists if your Subscriber count is below 500,000. Lists work best to manage a relatively simple subscriber model that doesn’t contain other commercial or transactional information. You can also manage personal data in lists.

Types of Email Studio Lists

In Marketing Cloud, there are two types of lists worth understanding, these are suppression and publication lists.

Publication Lists

Publication lists control which emails your subscribers receive. Publication lists allow subscribers to control what types of communications they receive, such as opting out of future sends from a particular list (it helps to imagine an email preference center here).

If no Publication List is selected at send time, the All Subscribers list is used by default. You can find an All Subscribers list as well as Publication lists in Marketing Cloud’s Email Studio.

Suppression Lists

Suppression lists are subsets of subscribers that you choose not to send certain communications to. These lists filter out email addresses to prevent them from receiving your communications. They act as a “do not contact” list for your email campaigns.

Selecting suppressions for guided sends, user-initiated, and triggered emails in Email Studio is simple. Whichever method you opt for, choose the suppression list from the audience menu before you hit send.

You can create suppression lists in Marketing Cloud by importing subscribers to your suppression list or export them to a file.

In case you’re wondering how to exclude certain contacts from a certain campaign, read this guide: “How to exclude customers who have been targeted recently in Salesforce Marketing Cloud”.



The Author

Alina Makarova

Alina is a Digital Marketing Consultant at Capgemini.

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