Segments are groups of contacts generated based on filter criteria and contact lists. Segments can filter contacts based on criteria like whether or not they receive a newspaper, whether or not they registered for a conference, or whether or not they visited a landing page.
Segments are used to feed email distribution in campaigns. They allow you to specify which contacts are included, and then to customize the subsequent actions for those contacts:
Segments can be very general, like "Email Opened," or very specific, like "Arborists who live in Minnesota." Create segments that are appropriate for your company's needs.
In most cases, it is more efficient to create small, targeted segments that you can combine together to reach the entire audience. Creating large, complex segments that are only appropriate for a single campaign is more time-consuming, and prevents you from being able to reuse common segments in future campaigns. As always, your business needs should determine how you create your segments.
Take the academy courses on segmentation to learn beginner to advanced segmentation skills.
Consider the following examples of segments:
In this example, you want to create a segment that includes only executives that you consider to be decision-makers among your contacts. Based on your product knowledge, you know that the primary purchase decision-makers are the CEO, the CTO, the CIO, and the CMO, along with SVPs, EVPs, and VPs for these functions. When you create your segment, you can then filter based on those job titles. The following example includes all C-level executive:
It is relatively easy to create a segment by sales territory if every one of your territories corresponds to a single field value, such as a specific state, city, county, or zip code. For sales territories that are harder to define, such as territories that cover multiple states, or portions of different states, you can use multiple selection criteria to capture the whole area.
For example, suppose your filter needs to cover an entire city as well as a few zip codes outside the city. Your filter would then need to include both the city and the extra zip codes.
Specifically, consider the example of Kansas City. There are two cities called Kansas City: one is in Missouri, and the other is in Kansas. If you created your segment based only on city name, you would include contacts from both cities. To select only one, you would need to include the state. In the following figure, the sales territory includes Kansas City, KS, and a few postal codes just outside the city. The contacts meeting this criteria are placed in a segment called "Kansas City KS Sales Territory."
In a special case, you can choose to universally exclude some contacts from all segments. Your Customer Administrator must set up these "System-Wide Exclusions" for you. You can set up System-Wide Exclusions based on a wide variety of criteria, but System-Wide Exclusions are most frequently used to exclude all email addresses that belong to a competitor's domains, or a competitor's partner's domains.
Download the Segments User Guide.