Is it possible to have a data extension field in SFMC which holds more then 4000 characters?

I want to build a dynamic email on the fly with HTML-code passed over via the soap api, but I'm having trouble as text fields can only hold a maximum of 4000 characters. (At the moment I split the HTML in several containers to get this to work.)

1 Answer 1


The limitation is just a limitation for the input of the length field, but you can circumvent this by leaving the length-field empty. If you do so Marketing Cloud uses VARCHAR(MAX) for the field in the database. (EDIT: This solution only works when creating a data extension in Email Studio. Unfortunately Contact Builder doesn't allow this workaround.)

Important: Please note, that this is a workaround and should used with extreme caution and only if really necessary, as there is no way of knowing if this workaround will function in the future. So if possible in, try to use smaller columns.

  • Hi Markus, that link doesn't work
    – Peter Ho
    Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 17:10
  • Solution is in my post as well, but I also fixed the link, so it should work now ;) Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 17:14
  • so what is the VARCHAR(MAX) of a text field?
    – sfdcFanBoy
    Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 4:07
  • As far as I know, Marketing Cloud uses Microsoft SQL in the background. Depending on the version this should hold up to 2GB of data. See the Microsoft documentation for more information: char and varchar (Transact-SQL) Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 10:30

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