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.
Create a Segment
Navigate to the Lists & Segments tab in your account and click Create List / Segment in the upper right corner. Next, click the Segment option on the creation page.
You will then be taken to the segment builder where you can add conditions to build out a segment definition. We will dive deeper into segment conditions in the next section.
Once you are satisfied with the definition you create, click Create Segment. 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.
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; to see a list of all metrics being tracked in your account, click here.
- 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 some 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 will have the opportunity to filter this action to refine your segment. You can do this by first choosing an action, and then selecting the Add Filter option.
When you choose Add Filter, you will first see an input that says Choose Property and then another empty input for the property value.
When you click the Choose Property field, a dropdown menu will appear. This dropdown menu will populate with all top-level properties available for segmentation. After choosing a property, add a value that you want to add a filter to in the empty field next to equals. Here, a dropdown menu will also populate with available values.
Note that a value will only pre-populate if it has synced to Klaviyo along with an order or other tracked event; thus, 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. If the property value you paste is identical to the value that will eventually sync to Klaviyo, the segment will work as expected.
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:
- Collections / Categories
- Item Count
- 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
Using the AND connector between conditions will make a segment more exclusive. We will check each condition separately and individually, but each 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.
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.
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 and 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
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.
Not sure which segments to start with?
- Use engagement tiers to identify different levels of interest within your audience, and then market to these segments accordingly.
- Check out our guide to list cleaning to suppress any unengaged subscribers and ensure that your deliverability remains strong and your emails make it to the inbox.
- Create email frequency segments to market to people based on how often they'd like to hear from you. This helps you keep contacts engaged by letting them choose how many emails they get.
- Segment based on someone's predicted customer lifetime value (CLV) to identify your future VIPs.
- Learn just how powerful segments can be with our Segmentation for Ecommerce Benchmark Report.