In case you are not familiar, segments are the Dynamics 365 Marketing version of a marketing list. In other words, the target audience for your marketing. While building a segment in D365 Marketing is like other query tools within the system (such as advanced find), one of the biggest differences is that the segment builder can query the marketing-insights service. The marketing-insights service contains all the rich interaction data (such as opening an email or filling out a form) that will help you take your marketing beyond simple demographic segments by including behavioral components. Let’s discuss those behavioral segments.
Getting Started with Behavioral Segments
To get started with segments, click on + New Dynamic Segment (differences between Dynamic and Static explained here). We’ll skip choosing a template for now (more on templates here) and select Add behavior block to start building my behavioral segment. Next, we’ll chose the “email opened” interaction where the message is “BOGO Birthday Coupon Email.” Voila! The members in this segment will contain customers who have opened the BOGO Birthday Coupon Email. When we go live with this segment, we can target these customers in a Customer Journey.
Now that we know we can target people who opened a specific email, let’s dive in a little deeper. You’ll notice when you add a behavior block, there’s a filter icon to the far right of the selected interaction (this does not exist with query blocks or segment blocks). This is the interactions filter that can be used to set a minimum or exact number of desired interactions. In the example below, we are looking for all contacts who have opened more than 3 emails in the last day. Ok, so we doubt anyone has opened the BOGO Birthday Coupon Email more than 3 times in the past day! But think about how you could use this interaction filter to target customer personas based on their engagement… New customers who submitted more than one survey response in Q1 2021, Customers between the ages of 35 and 39 who have opened more than 5 emails in the past month, etc.
The next topic is an important one, because often we want to limit the frequency with which we contact our customers. If we are contacting them too much, we risk the dreaded opt-out. Enter exclusion segments within a Customer Journey… Let’s say we have a new Customer Journey we’re working on, and the audience is rather large. We’ve seen a high number of opt-outs recently due to the volume of emails that we are sending, and we need to limit the risk for additional. In the screenshot below, we've added an and condition to the main segment that excludes a different segment. That second segment is a behavioral segment of customers who have been sent more than three emails in the past month. Now, we are targeting all married customers over 18 who have not been sent more than 3 emails in the past month.
Flow and Query Views
This last topic does not apply specifically to using behavioral segments but it’s an important one to cover for any segments you are creating. At the bottom of every segment is a section for Flow view and Query view. The flow view is a visual Sankey diagram that shows the combination of your query groups – this is helpful to visualize complex queries with multiple intersections. The query view is the text-based query that the system will run against the database. This can be extremely useful to troubleshoot issues, and you can even copy the query text and paste it into a new segment without having to rebuild it in the designer.