Getting started with segments

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You will learn

Learn how to create and use segments in Klaviyo, which are a powerful tool for understanding your audience and sending targeted messages. 

Ready to build more custom segments? Head to Understanding segment conditions to learn how. 

A video walkthrough of Klaviyo’s segments feature.

About segments

Unlike traditional subscriber lists, segments are groupings of contacts defined by a set of conditions. Lists are static, meaning they grow as people subscribe or are manually added.

Segments, on the other hand, are dynamic, meaning they grow as people meet the segments' conditions and shrink as people no longer meet them. Moreover, segments update in real time.

Highly segmented campaigns return more than 3X the revenue per recipient as unsegmented campaigns. Some examples of how you can use segments to identify different audiences include:

  • Customers who purchase a new product, so you can watch the segment grow after launch
  • Inactive subscribers who have been on your list for at least 6 months but have never opened or clicked an email
  • VIP customers, which includes everyone who has purchased at least X number of times before or have spent over Y amount of money
  • Customers with a high predicted customer lifetime value (CLV) who are likely going to be future VIPs

When you build a segment with a certain set of conditions, it will pull from all of the contacts in your account. This means that segments don't necessarily have opt-in criteria in order for people to be added, which is important to keep in mind when you're planning on emailing a particular segment.

How to create a segment

  1. Navigate to the Lists & Segments tab in your account
  2. Click Create List / Segment in the upper right corner
  3. Click the Segment option
    A cursor clicks the Create List/Segment button in Klaviyo, then selects Segment on the following page
  4. Use the segment builder to add conditions and specify who should be included in your segment
  5. Once you are satisfied with the definition you create, click Create Segment

We will dive deeper into segment conditions in the next section.

Depending on the size of your segment, it may take a while to populate. If you're planning on sending a campaign to a segment, please allow time for your segment to populate before scheduling the email.

Segment conditions

A video walkthrough of definition options when building a Klaviyo segment.

When building a segment, you can use the following conditions:

  • What someone has done (or not done)
    Here, you can choose from any activity tracked by Klaviyo — we call these events or metrics.
  • Properties about someone
    Here, you can choose to segment based on attributes associated with profiles in your account — custom properties can be assigned via an integration, or you can add properties to profiles manually.
  • Where someone is located
    When targeting customers in the US, EU, or Canada, this option allows you to segment based on a certain radius of a specific zip code.

    For UK zip codes, we support filtering by outward code, not inward code or both outward and inward code (usually separated by a space). For example, if a person's full zip code is "SW1W 0NY", only the first piece ("SW1W") will work for these filters.

  • If someone is or is not in the EU (GDPR)
    This option allows you to exclude people from the EU from a particular segment if you haven't collected GDPR compliant consent.
  • If someone is in or not in a list
    This option is great if you want to combine two or more lists or create a segment of a specific list, which is a best practice when sending campaign emails.
  • If someone is or is not suppressed
    If you plan on sending a campaign email to a segment, another best practice is to add this condition and exclude everyone who is suppressed in your account. This will give you a more accurate count of, not only who meets your segment's conditions, but also who you can email.
  • If someone is or is not consented to receive SMS
    If you have SMS enabled or your account, you can filter by who is currently opted-in to receive SMS marketing from your business; it excludes anyone who once signed up for SMS and has since opted-out, leaving only those who still want to hear from you via text. 
  • Predictive analytics about someone
    Predictive analytics allow you to segment based on CLV or predicted gender, which in turn can help you identify customers who are likely to become repeat purchasers, who are not likely to purchase again and more. Please note that you will only see the CLV condition if you meet the criteria outlined in this article.

Filtering a segment condition

When building a new segment around what someone has done (or not done), you have the opportunity to filter this action to refine your segment. To use a filter to add specificity to a segment:

  1. Choose an action (i.e., What someone has done (or not done) > [EVENT])
  2. Click Add FilterThe Klaviyo segment builder contains the definition What someone has done > Opened email > at least once in the last 1 week. The Add Filter option is highlighted.
  3. Click Choose Property
  4. Choose a property from the dropdown menu that appears
    • Only top-level properties are available for segmentation, so nested data (i.e., second- and third-level data) will not appear in the dropdown menu
  5. Next to equals, choose the specific value you'd like to filter on

Note that a value will only pre-populate if it has synced to Klaviyo along with a tracked event (e.g., Klaviyo will only pre-populate values for products that have already been purchased). If you want to build a segment around a property value that does not yet exist in Klaviyo — for example, a new product that nobody has purchased yet — copy and paste the value into the empty value box and click Use "your_value". If the property value you paste is identical to the value that will eventually sync to Klaviyo, the segment will work as expected.

The Klaviyo segment builder with the definition What someone has done > Placed Order > at least once over all time. The Where menu is open, showing a list of property options.

While Klaviyo may sync many details about a given metric, not all synced properties are available for segmentation. For data management purposes, only the primary details of an event are synced as "top-level" properties, and only these top-level properties are segmentable.

If you view the raw data Klaviyo syncs for an event, you will see key data points for the event. For a Placed Order event, for example, you may see the following top-level properties:

  • Value
  • Collections / Categories
  • Item Count
  • Items
  • Source Name

You will see an array labeled Extra or Details. While the data in this array is available to insert within an email template, properties nested within this array will not be segmentable.

Using AND vs. OR to join conditions

An explanation of when to use AND versus OR when building segments in Klaviyo.

Using the AND connector between conditions will make a segment more exclusive. We will check each condition separately and individually, and every condition must be true in order for someone to be included. Someone must meet all of the segment's conditions in order to be added.

In the following example, only profiles in your newsletter list AND who have placed an order at least once before will be included. If someone is in your newsletter list but hasn't placed an order, they will not be included.

A Klaviyo segment with the definition If someone is or is not in list > Is in Newsletter AND What someone has done or not done > Ordered Product > at least once over all time.

Using the OR connector between a sequence of segment conditions will make the segment more inclusive. We will check each condition in the sequence individually, meaning someone only has to meet one of the segment's conditions in order to be added.

In the following example, anyone who is in your newsletter list OR who has placed an order at least once will be included. So, this segment will capture everyone who is in our newsletter list as well as anyone who has ever placed an order, even if there is no overlap between them. Someone could place an order and not be on our newsletter list, and vice versa, and still be included in the segment.

A Klaviyo segment with the definition If someone is or is not in list > Is in Newsletter OR What someone has done or not done > Ordered Product > at least once over all time.

Using AND vs. OR with negative conditions

When using OR connectors, it's especially important to keep an eye on segments with negative conditions, e.g., someone has done X zero times over all time. Let's say, for example, that we'd like to create a segment of people who don't live in the US or Canada.

If we use an OR connector, contacts only have to meet one of the conditions in order to be added, not both. Someone who is in Canada, or Mexico, or Italy, and so on, is not in the US. So, people from Canada will fulfill this first condition, and therefore be added to the segment even though they don’t meet the second condition. Likewise, for the second condition, someone in the US is not in Canada, since no one can be in two places at once. So, people from the US, Canada, and every other country in the world will also be added to this segment.

In this case, we would need to use an AND connector in order to build a segment that excludes people from the US and Canada. This is often true with any segment containing negative conditions, so be sure to double check your ANDs and ORs.

If you’re not sure which connector to use when building a segment, take a look at the number of people who are added to the segment and assess if this number seems correct — if you use OR when you should instead use AND, this number will likely be much larger than you expect. Additionally, you can spot-check the members of the segment and make sure they meet the conditions you’re looking for. If they don’t, there may be an error in the way the segment was set up.

How to segment your audience

A guide on strategies to use when building segments

When to use a segment vs. a flow

Segments are great tools to identify cross-sections of your audience to send one-time campaigns to. While it is possible to build a flow that is triggered by being added to a segment, the same filtering and targeting options that you have in the segment builder are also available within the flow builder.

For example, if you would like to trigger an email when someone buys a specific product, you can accomplish this by creating a flow that is triggered by the Placed Order metric, and then add a trigger filter to the flow to only include people who purchased the specific item.

Any segment that leverages the metrics from the What someone has/has not done dropdown can also be built using a metric-triggered flow. Likewise, Properties about someone targeting options are available as flow filters.

Segment ideas

Not sure which segments to start with?

Additional resources

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