Export Lists from Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Export lists of users or Attributes from Salesforce Marketing Cloud to Airship.

You can turn a Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) audience into an Airship Uploaded (Static) ListA reusable audience list that you create. Uploaded lists are static and updatable. In the API, they are referred to as Static Lists.. You can also send SFMC Text, Number, and Date AttributesMetadata used for audience segmentation and personalization. They extend the concept of Tags by adding comparison operators and values to determine whether or not to target a user, helping you better evaluate your audience. to Airship for personalization and targeting. Even better, you can automate the exports to save time.

This document walks you through creating an SFMC Data Extension, creating keys and configuring SFTP for the file transfer, creating SFMC activities that perform the data extraction and file transfer, and automating the tasks.

Creating the Data Extension

Your SFMC data will be converted to CSV format before transfer to Airship. The structure of your Data Extension table defines the CSV.

Formatting for Static Lists

For Static Lists, your Data Extension must contain a Named UserA customer-provided identifier used for mapping multiple devices and channels to a specific individual. value for each audience member. Configure your Data Extension with these two fields:

Field nameValue
Identifier typenamed_user
Named UserThe ID string that represents the user in Airship

Each row of the CSV will contain an Identifier type, Named User pair. However, the field names you enter in your Data Extension do not matter since they are omitted when the CSV is created. Example conversion to CSV:


Formatting for Attributes

For Attributes, configure your Data Extension with a field named named_user and an additional field for each Attribute to associate with the Named User:

Field nameValue
named_userThe ID string that represents the user in Airship
<attribute_id>The Named User's data in Text, Number, or Date format, depending on the Attribute type

The Data Extension field names are used as the header row in the CSV, so you must enter the them exactly. Subsequent rows list a Named User ID and the value of each Attribute for that user. Example conversion to CSV:


You must define custom Attributes or add predefined Attributes in Airship before associating them with Named Users. Using a custom or predefined Attribute that you haven’t yet set up in the Airship will result in an error.

Setting up file transfer requirements

Airship’s SFTP implementation uses SSH key pairs for authentication. You will must create a pair of keys: a private key for your client and a public key for Airship. Then you can add the keys to Airship and SFMC and create a storage location to transfer your file from.

In Airship:

  1. Generate your key pair. Follow the steps in Generate keys in SFTP upload for CSV files.

  2. Add your public key, making sure to set the Purpose to Static Lists or Attributes, depending on your list type. Follow the steps in Add your public key to Airship in SFTP upload for CSV files. Note the host, port, and username for use in the following SFMC steps.


  1. Create an SSH encryption key. Follow the steps in Salesforce’s Create an Encryption Key for Marketing Cloud. Since it is for file transfer activities, make sure to use the private key of the key pair generated using the Airship steps above.

  2. Create an External SFTP Site File Location. Follow the steps in Salesforce’s Set Up an External FTP, SFTP, or FTPS Site File Location using the stored key from the previous step as well as the host, port, and username provided by Airship. See also Set up your client and transfer CSVs in SFTP upload for CSV files.

Setting up data extraction and transfer

Set up SFMC tasks that extract the data from the Data Extension, format it, and transfer it to your SFTP File Location.

Follow the steps in the following two Salesforce documents:

  1. Data Extension Extract in Automation Studio

    For Static Lists:

    • The file name entered will be the name of the Uploaded/Static list in Airship.
    • Be careful about using wildcard dates. They could result in exceeding the 100 list per project limit.
    • Use a comma as the column delimiter.
    • Leave Has Column Headers unselected.
    • Select Uses Line Feed.

    For Attributes:

    • The file name is not used anywhere in Airship, only in the File Transfer activity.
    • Use a comma as the column delimiter.
    • Select Has Column Headers.
    • Select Uses Line Feed.
  2. Create a File Transfer Activity in Automation Studio

    • Use the same file naming pattern as the Data Extension Extract.
    • Select file action Move a File From Safehouse. This is where the files will be when the previous activity completes.
    • For Destination, select your previously created External SFTP Site File Location.
    • Do not encrypt.

Automating the flow

The final step is using SFMC’s Automation Studio to automate running, in order, the two tasks created in the previous step.

Verifying transfer

After running the automation, verify it was successfully transferred.

  • For Static Lists, select the Audience menu, then Lists. You should see your list in Uploaded Lists with more than zero entries.

  • For Attributes, select the Audience menu, then Attributes, then Upload History. For more information, see Viewing Attributes upload history in Managing Attributes.

Targeting users

You can now use the transferred data for targeting. See: