Here are a few ideas that are designed to help you make the most of your segments, and to reduce the chance that they return results you are not expecting.
- Use the right field type for your data
- Include at least one criterion
- Know what the system fields mean
- Segmenting for all contacts
- Segmenting for only relevant contacts
Use the right field type for your data
Segments work by referencing data fields according to the type of data they hold. It is therefore critical to pick the right field type.
Do this based on how you want to search for the values, not what the values are.
For example, you might have numerical customer IDs, but unless you actually want to treat them as numbers (e.g. using conditions such as greater than or less than), you should use a text field for them. This will prevent any problems that might stem from the fact that leading zeros are ignored by numeric fields.
Include at least one criterion
You always need to include at least one criterion for a segment to work.
Even if the segment is based on all contacts or on a specific contact list, it still needs at least one valid criterion to return any contacts.
Due to the flexibility of this feature, if you are experimenting with different criteria it can happen that the Save button becomes available without any valid criteria being present.
If you find your segment is not returning any contacts, this is the first thing that you should check.
Know what the system fields mean
Make sure you know exactly what each field means. You can find out about them here: The Emarsys system fields.
Common misunderstandings include:
This applies to bounces only. This field is set to
YESfor all new contacts, and this field is only set to
NOafter a hard bounce or a number of soft bounces.
This field has nothing to do with email syntax. All contacts with unusable email addresses, or even with no email addresses, will still have email valid =
YESfield value because they cannot be bounced.
This is a short text field for a contact phone number and has nothing to do with mobile marketing. If you want to use Mobile Engage or SMS then you must create another field called Mobile which will contain the mobile phone numbers that you will use for your campaigns.
Segmenting for all contacts
If you want to create a segment containing all the contacts in your database, you need to create a pair of mutually exclusive criteria that cover all possibilities. For example:
- Email is not empty OR Email is empty
This will ensure that every single contact entry in your database is in the segment.
Segmenting for only relevant contacts
What are you using the segment for?
If you are going to use it as the basis for a campaign launch list, why not make sure that it only contains relevant contacts by starting with the most important criteria. For example:
For email launch lists:
- Email is not empty
- Email valid equals yes
For Mobile Engage or SMS launch lists
- Mobile is not empty
Anyone who fails to qualify for any of these cannot receive a campaign anyway, so now you can keep your launch lists more focused.
Including Email valid equals yes is good practice for all your email launch lists, since it can sometimes be hard to verify all email addresses before launch, which can lead to anomalies in the total numbers of emails sent and not sent.