Introduction to Campaigns, Broadcasts, and Transactional Messages
We support a range of campaigns, broadcasts, and transactional messages to help you automate interactions with your audience at the right time.
Campaigns can have two different subjects: people and data.
A People campaign is a traditional messaging campaign: you trigger the campaign when a person meets certain criteria; they receive messages, attribute updates, etc.
A Data campaign is based on data from an external source, letting you transform that data, associate it with people—like Zapier or Segment but entirely within Customer.io. Because data, not people, is the subject of your campaign, data campaigns don’t typically send messages directly. Rather, they let you associate data with people—which can trigger subsequent campaigns. For more information, see data campaigns.
Condition triggered campaigns are triggered the first time a user matches a set of conditions. You can set up a series of messages to send, define the timing of the send, and track which users convert after sending.
Use if… you want people to receive a message series the first time someone matches a set of conditions. Great for things like onboarding emails and tutorials, and re-engaging inactive users.
Date triggered campaigns are triggered when a particular date for a customer occurs. You can use any customer attributes that are properly formatted dates as triggers.
Use if… you want people to receive a messages series on a particular date. Great for recurring cases like birthdays, anniversaries, subscription renewals, and payment reminders.
Event triggered campaigns are similar to segment triggered campaigns, but they’re triggered when a user performs a specific event. If you want to send a transactional email or message, you would use an event triggered campaign.
Use if… you want to respond to or act on a specific action a user took within your system. These are great for receipts or confirmations— messages (or series of messages) that users can receive multiple times.
This campaign type is set up to be triggered via an API call, though you can send it manually as well. You can set up a single message (or multiple message types with action conditions), and set it up to send one big message out to many users, such as a breaking news alert.
Use API triggered broadcasts if… you want to regularly trigger a specific message to many people and take advantage of Customer.io’s different message types. A little more technical, but great for sending things like breaking news alerts in multi-message formats (some email, some SMS), or a push notification alerting people to take action by a certain date.
Broadcasts vs Transactional Messages
Broadcasts are designed to go to a wide audience. If you want to send one-to-one, personalized messages in response to your audience’s actions in your app (password reset requests, receipts, shipping confirmations, etc), you should use the Transactional API.
Newsletters in Customer.io are a form of broadcast; a one-time send of a single-message, but with a twist. You can import a CSV of existing customers to send to, but you can also build a dynamic segment of your users and send your email to them.
Use newsletters if… you want to send a single email to a particular subset of customers, something like a special feature announcement for your power users, or a simple Terms of Service update!
Transactional messages are one-to-one interactions with your audience, where the “trigger” represents an individual audience action in your app—password reset requests, receipts, shipping notifications, etc. Because your audience does something to trigger a transactional response, transactional emails can be set to send to unsubscribed customers.
Use transactional messages if… you need to respond directly to customer interactions with your app or service, like password reset notifications, shipping notifications, etc.