Market segmentation is the process of classifying your customer base into different groups, based on characteristics they share. Well-defined segments are the key to marketing success, because they enable you to speak to more specific groups of people with relevant messages.
Customer.io’s segmentation engine empowers you to create and use segments to send personalized messages to your customers! But how does it work, and how can you get the best out of it? In this explainer, we’ll dig into what segmentation is, how it works, and why it matters in the context of your campaigns.
What is it?
Segmentation is a scalable way of making sure that your customers get the messages that matter to them. In Customer.io, a single segment is a group of your customers that have shared characteristics or behaviors. For example, one of the default segments that Customer.io comes with is "Have not logged in recently".
This segment identifies all of the users in your app who have not logged in (because they haven't viewed any pages within a month) — you can now send specific messages to incentivise a return visit!
Essentially, a segment is a condition or set of conditions that define a group of people, and segmentation is the process of making these segments.
Why is it important?
Segmenting your users means you can send messages that matter to them. Based on their shared characteristics, you can make your messages more targeted and more personal. That improve metrics across the board! A few simple examples of why segments are awesome:
- If you know exactly who your new customers are, you can make sure they get great onboarding campaigns.
- Similarly, if you segment your power users, you can send them content to supercharge their use of your app.
- Know who's exhibiting signs of churn like inactivity? You can send messages that draw them back to your product or start a conversation about issues they may be experiencing.
The examples could be infinite, but suffice it to say that the better your segments, the more targeted your communication can be. It’s a win-win; your customers get better messages, and you get conversions!
How does it work?
Your segmentation possibilities are limited only by the data you’re able to collect and send to Customer.io. It all comes down to your business goals, and the creativity and hypotheses you have about your customers’ data and behavior.
Earlier, we said that a segment was a condition (or set of conditions). You define these and create a segment in our segment builder:
Your segments can be as simple or as complicated as you want them to be. You can create your segment based on 4 types of data:
- Attributes: a piece of information about a customer (like their plan name)
- Activity: any activity related to your communications with a customer (e.g., if they’ve opened a particular email or not, or been sent a particular push notification)
- Event: anything your customer may have done or not done in your app (like purchasing a particular product, or requesting a password reset)
- Page view: whether or not a customer has viewed a particular page (or any pages at all)
- Device ownership: whether or not they have a mobile device
You can group these conditions together, apply filters, nest them inside each other, and refine them as much as you need to, to make your segments as specific or as broad as you like! You can even use a few operators (
*, | and +) for slightly more advanced, regex-like matching in "contains" and "does not contain" rules, event names, and page view URLs to match group values.
email contains customer.io|customeriomail.com (note the lack of space before and after |) will match customers with email addresses containing customer.io or customeriomail.com
If you want to make the goal of the segment clearer to other members of your team, you can add a description right after the name.
Once you create a segment, we process it (meaning we go through all of the users in your database and check if they match the conditions you’ve set) and let you know exactly how many end users belong to it, and who they are. You can then put the segment to use, and start sending your campaigns!
The segment update dynamically, so that when people stop or start matching a segment's conditions, the segment will reflect those changes automatically.
Hopefully, you now know a little more about how segmentation works in Customer.io. If you’re feeling ready, you can start building your own segments. Or, if you have any questions about how segmentation works, get in touch!