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Segments vs. Lists in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing

Post Author: Catrina Mathisen |

Communication is a key to every successful relationship – and it’s certainly no different in the relationship between Sales teams and Marketing teams. So, how do you handle a situation in which both teams use similar words that have very different meanings?

For example, your sales team keeps suggesting you deploy mail to a marketing list, but you know that the customer journey requires a segment. What’s the difference? And when should you use a marketing list versus a segment

In Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing, marketing lists and segments each have very distinct features that make them both beneficial. For starters, segments specifically are only accessible in the Marketing app, whereas marketing lists can be accessed by both Sales and Marketing. In addition, segments are part of Marketing Insights whereas marketing lists are not. Marketing Insights provides important data about the interactions customers are having with your digital marketing efforts. 

Marketing lists are just lists of people to market to. They are typically subscription-based and allow your customers to subscribe to different types of information you’d like to send out. Your Sales team can also add Contacts to a marketing list.

As a marketing professional, you can create a segment that refers to that marketing list, allowing your customers and Sales team to use lists. Likewise, that segment can be used in your Customer Journey and is tied to your Marketing Insights. 

Segments can also be used inside other segments to build compound segments that either build on an existing segment or exclude the Contacts from an existing segment. Segments can also be used to suppress people from a Customer Journey. 

Dynamics 365 Marketing natively does not send to Contacts marked Do Not Bulk Email, but if you have other groups of Contacts that you don’t want to market to, you can set up a Suppression Segment to further limit who is included in a Customer Journey. 

Both segments and marketing lists serve important purposes within the Marketing app, it's just a matter of understanding which is best in each scenario and changing your internal language to make sure your Sales and Marketing teams are on the same page!

By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

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