Segmenting your contacts - Getting started

Contents

Creating a new segment
Working with segments
Types of segmentation rules
Geographical queries

Summary

Good email marketing relies on sending relevant content to your contacts. To simplify the process of finding the right contacts for a campaign, we have two types of lists for managing contacts: address books and segments.

segment.jpgAddress books

These are lists of contacts that have been grouped by you. Contacts are added or removed from address books based on actions by you, or by the contacts themselves (address books can be exposed to your contacts, should you wish, using signup forms and preference centres). See also Creating an address book

Segments

Segments are lists of contacts that meet certain criteria defined by you. They could be simple, such as:

  • All female contacts under the age of 25; or
  • All contacts living in Seattle; or
  • All contacts that have never opened an email campaign

Or more complicated, such as:

  • All female contacts between the ages of 16 and 25, living in Seattle, who have been sent at least one email campaign in the last six months, have not opened any email campaigns in the last six months, are not in the address book 'gap year', and have not been sent any of three 're‑engagement' campaigns.

You'll find that our segment builder is extremely flexible. This means the better the data is that you capture and hold on your contacts, the more detailed and targeted your segment criteria can be.  

Creating a new segment

1. Create and name your segment

Navigate to Contacts > Segments. Click on New segment. You'll be asked to give your segment a name, select a folder location and to click Continue.

give_this_segment_a_name.png

2. Drag and drop new rules

Segments consist of one or more 'rules'. Your segment starts, by default, by including all contacts in all of your address books.

Drag new rules into the drop area from the left-hand side panel to start building your segment.

new_segment.png

In this example, we'll drag in a Data fields rule to find female contacts.

3. Configure each rule

Having dragged in a rule, you'll be prompted to set up the configuration (in this example [click to select a data field]).

click_to_select_a_datafield.png

This will open a list of options for your rule. Select the relevant contact data field (or campaign, or address book, depending on the rule type).

options_for_datafields.png

Based on the type of rule and/or contact data field selected, you'll get additional options at the bottom of the form. In this case, having selected the GENDER contact data field, we want the option to make it equal to something - and in this case we'll type in 'Female'. Other options to achieve the same goal could have been that GENDER started with 'F', or did not contain 'Male', for instance.

See the articles listed below for different rule types to find out more about the options for each rule and data type.

As you build the rule, the subheading at the top of the form will update with a summary of the rule. When happy, click OK. This will take you back to the main segment building page.  

Click Save & continue to save the rule, or rollover the rule to highlight it and access the rule's toolbar.

rule_tools.png

You can move the rule elsewhere by clicking on the toolbar and dragging it around, plus you can duplicate the rule or delete it by using the icons available to the far right.

4. Group rules together (AND/OR)

As you add rules to your segment, they'll build up. So, when you've added these rules -

  • Data field 'GENDER' must be equal to 'Female'; and
  • Have not opened any campaign

- then only contacts that satisfy both conditions will be found in the segment. Female contacts that have opened campaigns will not be in the segment, and nor will male contacts that haven't opened any campaign.

If you want your segment to include contacts that match any (and not necessarily all) of the rules, then click the toggle to OR (you can also click the heading of the group to toggle this).

toggle_and_or.png

toggle_or_and.png

By dragging in new AND or OR groups from the left-hand menu, you can mix them to form complex segments. For example, by mixing rules and groups you could build a segment that finds all contacts whose state is Florida, but will also find additional contacts whose state is Georgia or Alabama with data indicating that they will travel out of state. That segment would look like this.

complex_rule.png

5. Add specific exclusions

At the bottom of the segments tool, you'll see a second drop zone to define contacts that should be specifically excluded from the query.

exclude_contacts.png

6. Test your segment

Once you've built your segment, you can preview the number of contacts it will contain by clicking the Generate count button above the rule building area. 

generate_count.png

The segment count is then displayed.

segment_count.png

If the number of contacts looks correct, click through and view the contacts in the segment. Otherwise, if the count doesn't look correct to you, you might want to review your segment rules to make sure you've got them right.

Working with segments

There are of course many things you can do with segments once you've created them, besides sending to them. 

For a start, all segments need to be refreshed before they show up-to-the-minute information for the segment. This can be done manually when working with them, or you can set them to refresh automatically before a scheduled send.

Furthermore, segments can be edited, copied, deleted, moved to other folders, renamed, checked against the GSL, contacts can be bulk updated within them, a random sample can be taken from them, they can be removed - along with their contacts - from your account, and they can be converted or copied into an address book.

All of this is covered in Working with segments.

Types of segmentation rules

Segmentation rules can be based on the following:

See the separate article on Types of segmentation rules for more information.

Geographical queries

You can create powerful location-based segments using this tool on contact data fields such as town, state, country and postcode. However, should you wish to segment your contacts via a map view, then see our separate article on Building a geographical query

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar

    Hi - I thought would mention that I sometimes us an i-pad or more recently Galaxy Note II on Android to send email and with those mobile devices the drag and drop feature just won't work. I though it might with the new S-pen hover but that won't either. This is similar issue I have if I want to edit a campaign on mobile device as the easy editor functionality again can't be dragged over. If it could then this would really help! Thanks - Ollie Cole MD www.wantthelook.com

  • Avatar

    Have raised request to also have remove from address book(s)  in more actions (not just convert to & copy to address book)

  • Avatar

    Is it possible to remove/amend a segment that has been converted to an address book?  I have just excluded some contacts from my main address book but would like to reintroduce them next month.

  • Avatar

    Hello,

    It would be useful to be able to pick up tagged campaigns when segmenting the non opens over a period of time. As currently I have to tick each and every individual email campaign manually. Are you going to implement tagged campaigns in the segmentation feature in the near future?

Powered by Zendesk