Contactplan: How to Create a Segment



In this tutorial, you will learn what a segment is, and how to create one using the Contactplan UI.

What is a segment?

A segment is a dynamic group of contacts in your database, who are selected by applying segmentation rules to the available demographic and behavioral information. Segments are in turn, the foundations that are used to create plans.

A segment is dynamic because it is only current at the point in time that its segmentation rules are applied to the database. This means that the contacts included in a segment may change each time it is used. For example, a contact who has moved to a different town since the segment was last generated, may no longer be included, but they might be added to a different one.

Segmentation rules and conditions

You apply one or more demographic and/or behavior-based rules to define a segment. Each segmentation rule is made up of one or more conditions, which are the individual selection criteria that are used to identify the appropriate contacts in your database.

Click the Segments tab in the Contactplan UI to manage existing segments, or create new ones.

How to create a new segment

1) Click the Segments tab, then click Create new segment.

2) On the New segment page, give the segment a recognizable name, then take a look at the available segmentation rule types, which are displayed in boxes beneath the name.

  • A Demographic Rule is applied to the contact demographic data that is stored in your database, such as their age, gender, location and similar.
  • A Digital messages Rule is applied to contact behavior towards campaigns that they have received previously, such as opening an email, clicking a link and similar.
  • A Purchases Rule is applied to the previous purchase behavior of your contacts, if available. For example, they bought a green hat from your store at Rome airport.

Note: The Purchases Rule box is only displayed, if purchase behavior information is made available to Contactplan.

3) Click one of the segmentation rule types to start creating a segment. For now, we’ll create a new Demographic Rule.

On the next screen, you have three choices:

  • Create Custom Rule: Rules that you define and customize to your needs.
  • Preset Rules: A library of pre-configured rules. The library is empty until an authorized user creates a preset.
  • My favorite Rules: Preset rules that you have selected as your favorites.

4) Click Create custom Rule.

5) The new custom rule page displays, and you can now define the conditions that you want to apply to this Demographic rule.

6) Give the new segmentation rule a recognizable name, then in the Match field, select whether the contacts that the rule will identify must satisfy all the conditions (click AND) or any of them (click OR). You can always change this selection later.

7) Select the appropriate conditions together with their values, to create your rule. As you define the rule, you’ll always be shown the number of contacts that are currently identified by your conditions.

In the example given in the picture above, we are creating a rule including male US users coming from the ecommerce site. We choose the the field ‘country code’, the condition “equal to” and finally the value ‘US’. We repeat the same with fields ‘Source’ (equal to ‘ecommerce’) and ‘Gender’ (equal to ‘male’). On top of the page, we choose the “match all” operators. This means the system will pick up all users who match all the conditions below. If we selected “any”, that means matching even only one of the conditions makes a user included in the selection (for example, all people from the US, also female or from sources other than ecommerce, etc…).

When you are finished, click Add at the bottom of the page.

The rule is added to the panel to the right of the New segment page.

Note: The Equal to operator is displayed throughout in the previous screenshot. However, other operators may be available, depending upon the type of condition input field. For a complete list with descriptions, please see the guide.

8) Now you can add another rule to continue defining your segment, such as a new Digital messages Rule. For this example, we’ll select all contacts who opened any campaign with a word similar to ‘bags’ in the subject line.

So conditions are:

Action = have opened
and Subject ‘like’ bags

When you are finished, click Add.

The second rule is added to the panel to the right of the New segment page.

You will notice the AND, OR and EXCEPT operators that display between the rules. These define how the two rules are combined.

  • AND: Only the contacts that conform with both rules are included in the total contacts for segment.
  • OR: The contacts that conform with either rule are included in the total contacts for segment.
  • EXCEPT: The contacts that are defined by the second rule are removed from those identified by the first rule. The number of contacts that are currently selected by both segmentation rules are shown in the Total contacts panel.

Try changing the operator between the rules to see how it affects the number of contacts.

9) Now you can continue to create a Purchases Rule as the last one for your segment. For this example, we’ll select all contacts who purchase any kind of bag.

So, condition is: Product classification 2 = ‘bags’

10) When you are finished, click Add once more. The third rule is added to the panel to the right of the New segment page.

11) Don’t forget to set the AND, OR or EXCEPT operator between the second and third rules.

When more than two rules are used to define a segment, the system applies the operator between rules one and two first, then the operator between rules two and three, and so on.

12) Click Save to store the segment for later use. You also have the option to immediately start creating a plan using the segment you have defined, by clicking Start new plan.

Note: If you don’t click Save or Start new plan and you navigate away from the New segment page, the segment that you have created will be lost.

When you save your segment, it is included in the list on the My segments page.