What are the differences between the different triggered campaigns?

1. Message sending frequency

People move through segment triggered campaigns once, the first time they match your conditions. Event triggered campaigns are received every time the person performs that specific event, unless there is a filter segment preventing this. The messages for API triggered broadcasts are received every time the API trigger is sent (or manually triggered), to people meet your target conditions.


It is possible to change a segment triggered campaign so that it sends more than once if the users re-match (exit and re-enter the trigger segment). Contact our support team for more details.

2. Including or excluding unsubscribed users

By default, event triggered campaigns include unsubscribed users while segment triggered campaigns and newsletters don’t.

To make an event triggered campaign exclude unsubscribed users, you can:

  1. Add a filter segment with the rule “unsubscribed is not equal to true”.
  2. Change the sending behavior for each email inside the campaign to send even if unsubscribed.

To include unsubscribed users inside segment triggered campaigns and API triggered broadcasts, change the sending behavior for each email inside the campaign.

3. Filter evaluation

Inside a segment triggered campaign, filters are only evaluated after delays pass. For example, if you have a 5 day delay before the first message in your campaign, the filter will only be checked after 5 days— when it’s time to receive that message.

Event triggered campaigns’ filters need to match a maximum of 30 minutes after the event takes place regardless of any delay. This means that even if you have a 5 day delay at the beginning of your campaign, your filters need to match 30 minutes after the event takes place AND after the delay passes.

4. Forward-looking behavior

Segment triggered campaigns can be made retroactive (allow users to be included even if they matched the trigger segments more than 24 hours before the campaign was created). Event triggered campaigns are completely forward-looking.

In other words, if you started a segment triggered campaign today, but want to include all the users who matched your trigger and filter conditions before the campaign was created, you can choose to do so on the Review page when you start the campaign:

Include existing and future matches

We can’t force an event triggered campaign to send to users who performed the event in the past. You can create a segment triggered campaign based on your specific event, but you won’t be able to include any event attributes in your content.

5. Event attributes

Customer attributes can be used in event triggered campaigns, segment triggered campaigns and newsletters.

Event attributes, however, can only be used in event triggered campaigns and your choice is limited to the attributes from the event that triggers your campaign. Attributes from any other events are not accessible via liquid. There are some important things to know about event attributes in event triggered campaigns:

  1. They can be used in action content
  2. They can be used to refine campaign recipients
  3. They can override certain email headers
  4. They can include attachments

Want to know more about event attributes? Read more here.

6. Trigger vs. recipient

For segment and event triggered campaigns, it is a user’s membership in a segment or performance of an event which starts their journey in the campaign. Meanwhile, for API triggered broadcasts, you define your recipients, but the campaign is triggered by the API call that you send to Customer.io.

7. Delays and time windows

Unlike segment and event triggered campaigns, API Triggered Broadcasts do not include delays and time windows in the workflow item options. This is because an API Triggered Broadcast is designed to be triggered and sent immediately to lots of people via an API call, not when a user enters a segment or performs an event.