Getting Started: Segments
You probably won't want to send every message you create to every Person in your account. This means you'll need a way to sort People into groups that make sense to your organization. In Customer.io, we call these groups Segments.
A Segment can have many People and a Person can belong to many Segments. The way People enter and leave a Segment depends on which type of Segment you build (data-driven or manual). For each new Segment you'll set its name and an optional description. You'll also choose the type and then define which People should belong to the Segment.
As People become members of your Segments, you will start to see numbers next to them in your account. These numbers tell you how many People are in your Segments at any given time. Clicking those numbers will take you to a pre-filtered search. Searching People using a Segment filter allows you to see who those People are. It also gives you an opportunity to export details about everyone in your Segments.
Data-driven Segments allow you to define the conditions a Person must meet in order to belong to it. People enter and leave data-driven Segments automatically based on whether they match the conditions you set or not. You cannot manually add People into a data-driven Segment. They must match the Segment's conditions in order to enter it. Likewise, you cannot manually remove People from a data-driven Segment. They must stop matching the Segment's conditions in order to leave it.
To define a data-driven Segment's conditions, you can use the data you've sent. (Attributes, Events, Page Views and Devices.) You can also use meta-data about messages you have already sent to People via Customer.io as well. A Person will match into a Segment when all the conditions you set are true at the same time.
Use data-driven Segments when you want People to automatically enter Segments and Campaigns based on the data you send us.
Imagine People have a "lifetime_value" Attribute that you increase when they pay you. You could have a Segment that will automatically match People when their "lifetime_value" value is greater than 25000. Triggering a Campaign with that Segment would make those People automatically enter the Campaign as well. This would allow you to send special messages when someone becomes a high value customer.
**Example #2: **
Let's say you send Page View data when your People visit high value offers on your site. Now imagine a Segment that matches People who have seen the same high value offer five times in the last week but haven't bought it yet. The Segment could trigger a Campaign to send a special offer while they are still interested.
Manual Segments allow you to define exactly who belongs to it based on their profile id or email address. People enter and leave manual Segments when you explicitly add or remove them. People can be added to manual Segments by uploading a CSV file from within your account or by using our API. If needed, you'll use our API to remove People from your manual Segments.
When logged into your Customer.io account, you can add People to a manual Segment using their profile
id value. In any case, a Person must already exist in your Workspace before they can be added to your manual Segment.
Use manual Segments when have a list of existing People that you want to explicitly group into their own Segment.
You exported a list of People belonging to several different Segments in Customer.io. You need them all in one Segment but they don't have enough in common to create a data-driven Segment. You can use all their profile
idvalues to create a new manual Segment.
You have a list of email addresses you collected at a recent event. You already added profiles for those People to your Workspace and now you want to group them. You can use all their profile
This has been a brief introduction to Segments in Customer.io. Please check out our more comprehensive Segment documentation as well.