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Understanding Contacts in the Marketing Cloud

Knowledge Article Number 000232653
Contacts differ from Email Application Subscribers because they can exist as Email Channel Subscribers, MobileConnect Subscribers, MobilePush Subscribers, or any combination of these. Learn more about Contacts below. 

What are Contacts?

A Contact is comprised of a Contact Key and a Contact ID.  A Contact Key is a unique identifier for a Contact within
its various channels.  For example, in the email channel, a Contact Key is a subscriber's Subscriber Key.  A Contact ID is a system defined number assigned to a contact upon its creation.

A Contact has the following fields:

  • Contact Key
  • Contact ID
  • Email Address
  • Mobile Address 
  • Push Device
  • Push Application
  • LINE

Linking Channel Subscribers

The Contact Builder application allows you to link various Channel Subscribers together.
For example, John has multiple pieces of contact information from multiple channels. He's an Email Subscriber with the email address,, and a Mobile Subscriber with the mobile number of 1-234-567-8910. If linked, they can exist as the Contact named John that has an email address of and mobile number of 1-234-567-8910.

With this connection, John can then be injected into multi-channel interactions that target both his email and mobile subscriptions within the same interaction.

Want more information on configuring your contact model and tying together your channels? Contact your Account Manager to discuss scoping a service or training engagement.  

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