The difference between category and segment is that a category is a static list of email addresses, whereas a segment is dynamic and will adjust based on demographic field(s) data, behavior, and more. Segments and categories are created in the Contacts dashboard.
Create a segment
A segment distinguishes the recipients by some sort of demographic that recipients have in common like a certain state or city. To create a new segment, follow these steps:
- Go to your Contacts dashboard.
- Click "Segments" from the left menu.
- Click the "Create Segment" button.
- In the pop-up, choose "Regular Segment".
- Enter a name and description for the segment.
- Click open the "Select field" drop-down menu.
- Choose a clause type from the menu.
- To use contact data fields, like City, scroll to the "Contact Fields" section of the menu.
- A pop-up will display to complete building the clause. Choose the operator to use for the evaluation and then enter the data value to evaluate.
Create a category
Permanent categories: do not use any sort of demographic. This is just a group of email addresses that you want to keep together all on the same recipient list. To create a category that you plan to reuse, follow these steps:
- Go to the Contacts dashboard.
- Select "Categories" from the left menu.
- Click the "Create Category" button.
- Enter a name and description.
- Click "Save".
Once you've done this, import your CSV and on the last page of the import, place a check mark next to the category you want to import the contacts into.
Temporary categories: are good for 30 days from the last time a campaign was sent to the specific category. If the category has not been sent to after 30 days have passed, it's deleted from the system. This works well for one time sends. Temporary categories can only be created through the CSV import process. In the last step, select the "Create New Category" checkbox, type in a name, and then select yes in the "Category Expires" drop-down.
Your Automation workflows may also impact which contacts reside in a Segment or Category. Using "Update Contact Field" or "Update Category" steps in an automation workflow can add/remove contacts in categories or update data in contact fields that may be used in segments.
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