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My marketing users have an existing data extension that they want to continue using when creating emails. We are implementing a new integration that will provide 15 new data points. It's my feeling that these new data points should be in a new data extension. But the problem with email studio, is I think you can only choose one data extension when setting dynamic content rules. If I have data from multiple data extensions that I want to use in setting dynamic content rules, what are my options?

Should I append the new data points to the existing data extension? Is that even possible?

Is there some way to pick the attributes I want from each data extension to make them useable in dynamic content? Besides picking a single data extension, you can choose an Audience or Profile Attributes. Will either of those work?

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You should just ditch the dynamic content modules and script your blocks with AMPscript.

I'd suggest an init placeholder in your template or a simple code block at the top of your email. Assuming you can relate to your new data extensions via the sendable field, you can supplement the send context by doing a lookup and setting a new set of AMPscript variables:

%%[

/* the mapped sendable field in the send context */
/* https://ampscript.guide/system-strings/ */
set @subscriberKey = AttributeValue("_subscriberKey") 

/* https://ampscript.guide/lookuprows/ */
set @rows = LookupRows("NewMasterDataExtension","SubscriberKey", @subscriberKey)
set @rowCount = rowcount(@rows)

set @NewMasterField1 = ""
set @NewMasterField2 = ""

if @rowCount > 0 then
  
  /* https://ampscript.guide/row/ */
  set @row = row(@rows,1) /* get the first row in the rowset */

  /* https://ampscript.guide/field/ */
  set @NewMasterField1 = field(@row,"NewMasterField1")
  set @NewMasterField2 = field(@row,"NewMasterField2")

endif 

]%%

Ultimately, as you work toward more and better personalization, I think you'll find the stock content modules too limiting. There's a whole new set of possibilities available with AMPscript. And if coded well, they don't have to be too complicated for marketers to use and update.

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  • I agree that AMPScript will ultimately take you further than the stock content blocks. However, it's not a small jump for the average business user to implement what you suggest above, which can make the transition hard for many. The OOTB dynamic content block works perfectly for our needs, but it forces us to duplicate data across many DEs to take advantage of, which adds unnecessary overhead. Given tools like journey builder can so easily reference other DEs in the data model, it's a wonder dynamic content cannot. trailblazer.salesforce.com/ideaView?id=0874V0000003mO6QAI
    – Ben
    Apr 22 at 0:50
  • The "average business user" is a matter of perspective, I suppose. I'll always encourage folks to drive the platform instead of letting the platform drive your business. Most companies I work with use Paste HTML or a combination of HTML and Reference Blocks with a template -- and a heavy dose of defensively-coded AMPscript. Apr 22 at 1:27

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