To create a custom attribute.

Background Information ​

You can create your own profile attributes to store data about a contact. These attributes are called custom attributes.

You can select the data type and decide whether the attribute is enumerated. You can also decide whether the attribute is available for all channels on your system or a specific channel.

Custom attributes store contact data that is relevant to your digital marketing needs and strategies. Custom attributes give you almost unlimited flexibility for the information you choose to store for each contact in the system.

Household size, income bracket, and level of education are some common examples. However, there is no limit to the kinds of information you can store in attributes. You can also create custom attributes to store message activity data, conversion data, and more.

For more information, see ​Profile Attributes.


Create a Custom Attribute in the System Interface
  1. In the main navigation, click ​Administration​ > ​Attributes > Profile Attributes.
  2. Click ​Create.
  3. In the ​Name input field, enter the name of the new custom attribute.


    Each profile attribute must have a unique name in the system. These names are not case-sensitive. You cannot create two profile attributes with the same name. Custom attributes must have a name that is different from any existing attributes. If there are two attributes with the same name, the system only offers one of the two possible attributes for segmentation.

    Empty spaces and special characters can create data import problems. Limit the characters of the name to ASCII characters.

    Attribute names are not case-sensitive. The maximum length is 80 characters.

  4. From the ​Data Type​ drop-down list, select the data type of the attribute. The data type depends on the kind of information you want to store in the attribute.

    • ​String:​ Stores data as a series of characters. The system supports all common character sets. The maximum length of a string attribute is 2000 characters. 

    • ​Boolean:​ Stores data as ​true​ or ​false.

    • ​Number:​ Stores data as a positive or negative numeric value. The decimal point must be a period (UK /US standard). You cannot use characters to separate groups of digits.

    • ​Date:​ Stores data as a date. The system uses ISO-8601 to format dates. With this format, you specify time zones as follows: YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss(+/-)GMT difference. For example, the time zone US/Eastern is formatted: 2012-12-25T15:15:15-05:00. ISO-8601 is recommended for formatting date information in import files. Deprecated formats are not fully supported. There is a checkbox Date only. If this checkbox is activated, the Data Type "Date" will be saved as a date format only (YYYY-MM-DD) and will not include the time (hh:mm:ss). 

  5. If desired, enter a name in the ​Display Name input field. The optional display name can provide more information about the attribute and facilitate attribute management. The system displays the attribute name and display name on the ​Attribute Management ​ overview.

  6. In the Channel area, define for which channels the attribute is available:

    • ​All:​ Makes the attribute available for all channels on your system. By default, ​All​ is selected.
    • ​Specific:​ Limits the attribute to specific channels on your system.

    • Available:​ Shows all channels that are enabled on your system currently.
    • Selected:​ Shows the channels for which the attribute is available. Use the arrows to move channels between the fields.
  7. Click ​Save.
    ⇒ The system creates the attribute. You receive a confirmation message when the attribute is created.

Create Custom Attributes with CSV Import​

In the CSV header, the field names for custom attributes have the following format: user.CustomAttribute.X

  • Replace X with the name of the attribute.
  • If a custom attribute with that name exists in the system, it adds the values to the existing attribute.
  • If a custom attribute with that name does not exist in the system, it creates an attribute for the data. The attribute name is defined in the header.

By default, all new custom attributes that you create with a CSV import are enumerated. The system creates an enumeration value for every value in the CSV column for that attribute.

To import or export attributes, you need permission ​236 ​- Data Import and Export: Add new attribute metadata

Sample CSV Structure
"user.Email","user.CustomAttribute.city","user.CustomAttribute.product" "Jane_Miller@email.com","London","shoes" "Joe_Jones@email.com","Paris","coat"

You can import the CSV file manually, or set up a regularly scheduled automation.

Create Custom Attributes with XML Import​

You can create custom attributes when you import an XML file into the system. You can specify the data type, and whether the attribute is enumerated.

You can import new custom attributes in the same file that you use for contact data import. You do not need a separate XML file.

For more information, see Import Contacts.

You can only specify the data type and enumeration of the new custom attributes that do not exist in the system. If the import file specifies the data type for a custom attribute that exists in the system, an error occurs. The system cannot process the import file.

In the XML file, new custom attributes use the namedattr-definition element. The XML attributes define the enumeration, data type, and name.


This example defines three new custom attributes.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <userdata xmlns="http://webservices.ecircle-ag.com/ecm"> <list> <namedattr-definition enum="false" type="date" name="LastPurchase"/> <namedattr-definition enum="true" type="number" name="HouseholdSize"/> <namedattr-definition enum="false" type="string" name="Hobbies"/> </list> </userdata>

XML Attribute


Possible Values


Defines whether the attribute is enumerated.

If this value is not specified, the attribute is not enumerated.

If the attribute is enumerated, all values in the import file become part of the enumeration. An enumerated attribute can have up to 1000 values. If more than 1000 values are present in an imported file, the import fails.

  • true
  • false


Defines the data type.

  • string
  • boolean
  • number
  • date


Defines the name of the attribute.

The name of a custom attribute cannot contain any underscores or special characters.

The name of a custom attribute can contain a period.

You can import the XML file manually, or set up a regularly scheduled automation.