Smart Segments Reengineered for Faster Performance & Highly Targeted Journeys

laurendavis on 12th of Dec 2016

Smart Segments Reengineered for Faster Performance & Highly Targeted Journeys

Some argue that segmentation and targeting are the most critical part of an automation journey. After all, it doesn’t matter how well-crafted your message is if it falls on deaf ears. At Autopilot, we want to help marketers engage with their audience at just the right time, which is why we prioritize features such as smart segments. Smart segments help you dynamically segment your contacts based on pre-defined criteria (e.g. field values, content engagement, list membership) so you can create highly targeted and personalized journeys for every customer. Throughout 2016 we’ve used your feedback to make smart segments faster, more flexible, and easier to use. In this post, we’ll highlight how smart segments has evolved, and show you how they can make your marketing more remarkable.

Lightning fast performance

Most days, there just aren’t enough hours to get everything done. To ensure Autopilot isn’t a bottleneck for your productivity, we fully rebuilt our smart segments backend platform earlier this year - and it had a big effect. While smart segment queries of a database containing 100,000 records might have previously taken minutes to load, they are now completed almost instantaneously, even if your database contains millions of contacts! smart-segments-gif With smart segments loading instantly, you can now use it to dive into your data, explore various segments, make changes, publish journeys and get on with your day. Pro tip: You don’t need to create a smart segment to see a preview of those who match the criteria. Just simply “Click to view preview” at the bottom before you create the smart segment to see a few contacts who qualify.

Date-based smart segments

72% of consumers are frustrated by generic, untargeted marketing, and standing out from the crowd of advertisements today can be difficult. In order to help you discover new segments of your database and deliver timely, personalized messages, we recently rolled out advanced date-based filtering. Date-based filtering allows you to target individuals based on timeframes that are relevant to your business. You can build segments off of relative dates (e.g. purchased more than 30 days ago) or specific dates (e.g. purchased this month), as well as for events that occur annually, such as a birthday or renewal date. renewal-date-example

Countless layers of filtering

With smart segments you can combine not just demographic data, but engagement, CRM and event data as well.

  • Field values: Pull together groups based on any field value that you capture. This means you can trigger off of field values from any application you have connected, whether it be Salesforce, Segment, Recurly, or your product. Some examples might be city, industry, revenue, or t-shirt size.

  • Lists (inclusions and exclusions): Add or remove contacts based on other list or smart segment memberships. Try using this to define key segments you’ll often want to consider, such as competitors, customer VIPs, or press & analysts.

  • Has submitted form: Filter contacts based on form activity. This is especially helpful for journeys where the main call to action is a form submit (page abandonment, lifecycle nurture, etc.), so you don’t target individuals with the same offer or content that they’ve already redeemed or downloaded.

  • Page visited: Back in August we rolled out additional options for filtering page visits, so you can group or exclude segments based on tracked web pages that they’ve visited. Easily spot who’s been reading your blog or follow up with those who landed on high-intent pages, such as pricing, free trial or sign up.


  • Email status: This allows you to segment based on a contact’s status with any or a specific email, so you can filter not just by those who have opened or clicked an email, but by those who have unsubscribed, complained, or bounced as well.

  • UTM parameters: While other platforms only capture the latest UTM parameter associated with a contact, Autopilot captures them all, so you can pull segments on those referred by Facebook, regardless if it was the initial touch, last touch, or somewhere in between.

For more information around creating smart segments, refer to our help center.

Creative ways to grow with smart segments

With smart segments you can reach a new level of granularity and targeting in your journeys. There are hundreds of ways you can get creative with your marketing using smart segments, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Win back customers who haven’t bought in 30 days. Last purchase date more than 30 days ago? Trigger a message to get them back on your site and shopping again.


  • Invite your avid blog readers to a meetup. Try segmenting your blog subscriber base to see who’s been reading your posts and follow up with these leads more often.

  • Begin the renewal or upgrade process in an automated fashion. Give your customer success team some time back and try automating the process by sending an initial reminder email 30 days prior to their expiration date. Better yet, automatically alert your team when a customer hits 90% of their account limit to schedule a check-in.


  • Nurture content downloaders who came from Facebook. Running a seasonal advertising campaign? Segment journey messaging based on those who responded to a particular ad for a more personalized journey.

If you need more inspiration on who to target next using smart segments, check out our on demand webinar, 5 Smart Segment Examples to Create Personalized, High-Performing Marketing Journeys.

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