It’s time for the third and final post about keeping your Marketing Cloud data extensions organized. In our first post we introduced foldering, in the second we talked about naming conventions, and in this post we’ll go through best practices for applying data retention policies.
What are data retention policies?
Data retention policies are a way to automatically delete records and data extensions in Marketing Cloud. Every time you create a new data extension in Email Studio, you’ll be prompted to decide if you’d like to set a data retention policy.
When a data retention policy is turned on, you’ll have the following options:
Your first option is to select what data should be deleted:
Individual Records – With this setting, only specific records will be deleted. When each record reaches the end of the data retention period, it will be deleted. Records that have not yet reached the data retention period will remain.
All records and data extensions – With this setting, the entire data extension and all of its records will be deleted.
All records – With this setting, all the records inside a data extension will be deleted at the same time. The data extension itself with its fields and settings will remain.
Why delete records and data extensions?
Deleting Individual records is helpful for scenarios like creating time-based suppression lists or for controlling journey entries when using a data extension that’s set to evaluate new records only. Deleting individual records only is a good alternative to an overwrite that allows you to keep records for the time that you need without fully overwriting data.
Deleting all records and data extensions can be helpful for data extensions that were built for a specific email send, for a test, or for a reporting purpose that will not be reused. Deleting the entire data extension helps reduce clutter of old data within Marketing Cloud.
Deleting all records can be helpful if you need to remove data on a specific date.