Create a segment of your contacts

Learn how to create a segment from your contacts.

Overview

A lot of 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.

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Address books

Address books 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 by using signup forms and preference centres.

Check out Creating an address book, Create a signup form, and Set up a preference centre.

Segments

Segments are lists of contacts that meet certain criteria that is defined by you. A simple segment logic might look like this:

  • All contacts under the age of 25
  • All contacts living in London
  • All contacts that have never opened an email campaign

Or segments can be more complicated. For example:

  • All contacts between the ages of 16 and 25, living in London, who have received at least one campaign in the last six months, haven't opened any email campaigns in the last six months, aren't in the address book named Gap year, and haven't received any re‑engagement campaigns.

The 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.

Create a new segment

To create a new segment:

Step 1: Create and name your segment

  1. Go to Contacts > Segments > My segments, and select New segment.
  2. Choose to either create a blank template and build your segment from scratch, or one of our pre-built templates which have been designed for a whole range of purposes.S_segment_templates.png
  3. For Segment name, enter a name.
  4. Expand the Segment location drop-down menu and select a folder location.S_give_this_segment_a_name.png
  5. Select Continue.

Step 2: Set the rules for your segment

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

To start defining your rule, drag rules from the left-side into the Include or Exclude boxes.

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Step 3: Configure each rule

  1. After selecting a rule, you must set up the configuration. To do this, select the rule – in this case, we select [click to select a data field].S_click_to_select_a_datafield.png
  2. From the rule options, select the relevant contact data field (or campaign, or address book, depending on the rule type).S_options_for_datafields.png
  3. Based on the type of rule and/or contact data field selected, you get additional options at the bottom of the form.

    In this example, because we selected the GENDER contact data field, we want the option to make it equal to something. For example, the word Female. Other options to achieve the same goal could be that GENDER starts with F, or did not contain Male.

  4. When complete, select OK.
  5. Select Save & continue. To move the rule select the toolbar and drag it to another position.
See the articles listed below for different rule types to find out more about the options for each rule and data type.

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Step 4: Group rules together (AND/OR)

As you add rules to your segment, they build up. So, when you add these rules:

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

Only contacts that satisfy both conditions are found in the segment. Female contacts that have opened campaigns are not in the segment, as well as 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 select OR. You can also select the heading of the group to toggle this.

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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 also find additional contacts whose state is Georgia or Alabama with data indicating that they are prepared to travel out of state. That segment looks like this:

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If you want your segment to contain both And or Or rules, try overlapping multiple groups.

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Step 5: Add specific exclusions

At the bottom of the segments tool, there is a second drop zone to define contacts that should be specifically excluded from the query.

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Step 6: Test your segment

Once you build your segment, you can preview the number of contacts it contains by selecting Generate count above the rule building area.

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The segment count is then displayed.

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If the number of contacts looks correct, 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 they are right.

Working with segments

There are many things you can do with segments once you create them, besides sending to them. 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.

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

To learn more, check out Working with segments.

Types of segmentation rules

Segmentation rules can be based on different criteria:

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, if you want to segment your contacts by a map view, then check out Building a geographical query.

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