We are in the process of deploying SFMC for our company and need to refer to minor data for our email sends (emailing parents of minors), but do not plan to actually email these minor contacts. To avoid being billed for these minor contacts, can they be loaded into a non-sendable DE? This way we can refer to the data in that table, but never use for sending? If not, what is the best way to manage this data structure?

As a side note, these minors are part of our CRM instance with a subscriber ID but we do not necessarily need to bring that ID into SFMC if that will help matters.

1 Answer 1


Reference: Contact Definition and Count Determination in Contact Builder

Dataextensions (sendable or non-sendable) are not used in this calculation unless that dataextension happens to be added as a population

The quick and dirty is contacts must exist in a channel (email/mobile) or be added to all contacts (sync objects / population) to be counted as a billable contact

  • Thank you! I just want to make sure I'm understanding - if there is no email address OR phone # of these records, they will not be included in All Contacts as they do not have a channel?
    – Maria
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 14:08
  • It would depend on what "these minors are part of our CRM instance " means. If the Minors are stored in your CRM instance as Contacts, Leads or Users, they'll be in your Synchronized Data Extensions (if configured). These are the "sync objects" @EazyE's referring to and they're billable, whether they have an email/mobile populated, or not. You can maybe manipulate the CRM permissions for the integration user Marketing Cloud's connecting to CRM with to disallow SFMC from seeing these records and create a separate process to load this data into a DE that you're not billed for.
    – Macca
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 15:05
  • @EazyE is this still accurate? SFMC has told us that the moment that the relationship is established to the contact key that it becomes billable. In particular All Sendable Data Extensions are billable.
    – user80446
    Commented Aug 4, 2022 at 10:49
  • @Jordan this is still accurate and has not changed, records in sendable DE do not count twd contact counts
    – EazyE
    Commented Aug 4, 2022 at 18:06
  • @EazyE thanks for the response.
    – user80446
    Commented Aug 8, 2022 at 9:29

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