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Martin Cogburn
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    Contact Management Segmentation (Groups)

     

    About Groups

    ONTRAPORT uses a database to store your contacts. Unlike a list based system, your contact only needs a single Contact Record in ONTRAPORT, where all their activity is stored. This system is much more powerful than having the same contact listed on several different lists, and has some huge advantages.

    How do you make sure a contact receives the emails for purchasers but does not receive the special discount offer you intend for those who haven't yet purchased in a list based system? Usually it requires manually deleting the contact from the list of prospects and making sure you have them in the list for purchasers. And what happens if you have an email to all your Contacts in a list-based system, and a contact could appear on any number of the lists?

    ONTRAPORT's database system allows you to segment your contacts using Groups. Groups are dynamic and automatically update when the contact qualifies to be a member of the Group, or no longer meets the criteria for the Group. This article explains how to use Groups to get an up-to-the-minute view of your contacts.

    Think about Groups as if they were 'saved searches.' You're basically setting up a search for all contacts that meet certain criteria, then saving that search so you can go back to it whenever you like. For example, you could create a group of all contacts who live in Canada. The criteria of this group would be based on the country field of the contact record.

    In many businesses, it’s useful to view and market differently to people based on their gender, job title, income, or whether they’re a client, a past client, or a prospect. It’s also very useful to create groups based on the lead source of a given contact. This allows you to communicate distinctly, and in a more relevant way with contacts that come into your system via different lead sources.

    Create a Group
    1. Go to the Contacts collection

      Contacts Collection

       
       
    2. Click on the Group pulldown menu and select + New Group

       
       
    3. Name the group

    4. Select a group permission to limit who can view or edit the Group.


      Groups Permissions

    5. Set the group condition(s)

      1. Choose a field, condition, and value for each group criteria you add

         

         

      2. To add another value to a group condition, click the + Add Value button.

        group conditions

      3. To add another group condition, click the + Add New Condition.

         
    6. Click Save

    7. Verify your new Group contains the data you want.

    Example - Create a Group based on a Field and a Tag

    If you want to see a list of everyone in your database that’s from Canada or Mexico, and is not a client (and you’ve already tagged all your clients with the tag ‘Client’), set the first row of drop down fields in the group condition to read “Country is equal to Canada OR Mexico” and the second line to read “Contact Tags does not contain Client.” Click 'save,' and you’re done.

    OR and AND conditions
     
    A contact who lives in either Canada or Mexico and does not have the tag Client will be shown as part of this group. If you have a Campaign Goal (or Trigger) for a contact who purchases something (or any product) or fills out an order form and an Add a Tag action element that tags them with "Client", then the minute the Goal is achieved, at the time of purchase, the contact no longer appears as a member of this group because the Group condition for "Contact Tags does not contain Client" is not met.

    When creating Groups, Field values may also be left blank. For example, if you wanted to find contacts who did not have a Country listed you would leave the value blank. This is useful for creating groups around contacts who didn't fill in a particular field.

    This automation is at the heart of ONTRAPORT, and is designed to save you time, money and segment your database in as many ways as you see fit to target your marketing efforts effectively.

    Perform an Action on a Group

    Group actions are used to perform certain actions such as assigning/removing a tag or subscribing to a sequence, etc on entire groups rather than individual contacts. You also have the option of performing an action on several select contacts at once if you don’t wish to perform it on an entire group.

     

    CAUTION - if you schedule an email to be sent to a group of contacts at a future date/time, the email will only be queued to contacts who are in the group at the time you create the broadcast. Contacts added to that group later are not included in the broadcast. To ensure all contacts meeting a certain criteria are sent an email in the future use a Campaign. Use a Trigger for the criteria the Contacts need to meet in order for the email to fire, use a Wait element to schedule the email to fire at the appropriate time and use the send an email action element to select your email content.

    List of available group actions

    • Send E-Mail
    • Send SMS
    • Assign Task
    • Add/Remove Tags
    • Add/Remove Campaigns
    • Send Postcard
    • Send Double Opt in Confirmation
    • Change Field Value
    • Export Contacts
    • Delete Contacts
    • Legacy Feature: Add/Remove Sequences (only appears if feature is turned on from Administration)
    • Advanced Feature: Add/Remove Custom Facebook Audiences (only appears if feature is turned on from Administration)

    Perform an action on a group

    1. Go to the Contacts collection
    2. Select a group from the group dropdown menu
    3. Hover over the header row to expose the checkbox, and click it

      Hover and select

    4. The action menu appears with the contacts on the first page selected. Click the link Select ALL items in group? to select all the contacts in the group.

       

      Contact actions select all in Group

    5. Select an action to perform.

    Example: Remove a Tag from a Group

    To do this, work your way through the steps above and then for step 5, select Add/Remove Tags. A window will then pop up in which you will have to select from a dropdown which tag(s) to remove from your contacts. Then click Submit and that action will be performed.

    Example: Assign a group to a Campaign that grants membership access to your WordPress site

    1. Integrate your WordPress site with ONTRAPORT
    2. Create or Edit a Campaign
    3. Add a Goal (or Trigger) + Add Goal button. Click the + Add Goal button and use the dropdown to select "Contact submits a Form". Select the membership order form. Use the drop down next to & order to select is successful.
    4. Add a Give WP Membership Access advanced element below the Goal (or Trigger) element. Select the website and membership level to give access to.
    5. Below the Give WP Membership Access element, add an email action element. Create an email and insert the merge fields for Username and Password for your integrated Wordpress site. Hyperlink the URL where members can login.
    6. Publish the Campaign.
    7. Perform step 1 - 4 of the group actions process
      1. For step 5, select Subscribe/Unsubscribe Campaign
      2. In the pop-up window, select the Campaign that you created from the dropdown
      3. Click Submit


    The contacts will then be subscribed to the Campaign which in turn will give them membership access to your WordPress site.

    Add Contacts to a Group

    Contacts are automatically added to groups when any data or field in the record of a contact matches the criteria of the group. You don’t drag and drop or add contacts manually to groups as you would in a lot of list-driven programs. Deleting a Group - the "saved search" - does not affect any of your contacts. The distinction is important because deleting a Contact Record really does delete that contact! Click here to learn how to create a Group.

    Segment Contacts by Products Purchased or Amount Spent

    Segment a list of contacts that bought anything

    1. Go to Contacts
    2. Click on the Group pulldown menu and select + New Group
    3. Name your group "Customers"
    4. Click the + Add New Condition link. Select "Spent" for the Field. Select "Not Equal To" for the Condition and enter 0 (zero) for the Value.
    5. Click Save.

    The group called "Customers" shows any contact who spent any amount greater than $0.00 in your ONTRAPORT account. Tip: You could also adjust this group to find contacts who have spent greater than x amount.

     

    Segment a list of contacts that purchased particular product(s)

    1. Go to Contacts
    2. Click on the Group pulldown menu and select + New Group
    3. Name your group "Purchased [product name(s)]"
    4. Click the + Add New Condition link. Select "Products Purchased" for the Field. Select "Contains" for the Condition and use the dropdown menu to select the name of the product.


      To add multiple products, hover to the right and click the + Add Value link. Use the dropdown menu to select additional products.
    5. Click Save.

    This group called "Purchased Product X" shows any contact who purchased any products listed in the group.

     

    Segment Contacts by Bulk Email Status (Opted Out, Hard Bounced, Pending and Unconfirmed)

     

    Segment by contacts who opted out or hard bounced

     

    Contacts who opted out or hard bounced (email address was invalid) cannot be mailed from ONTRAPORT in broadcasts or Campaigns. Opted out means the contact requested to be unsubscribed from all future mailings. Hard bounced means the email address is invalid or it received 4 consecutive soft-bounces.

    Some ONTRAPORT users clean their lists by updating misspelled email addresses (eg gmial vs gmaill), deleting the contacts or making a last attempt to communicate with them in a one-off message from the contact record, making a phone call or sending a postcard to get updated contact information.

     

    1. Go to Contacts
    2. Click on the Group pulldown menu and select + New Group
    3. Name your group "Opted Out/Hard Bounced"
    4. Click the + Add New Condition link. Select "Bulk Email Status" for the Field. Select "Equal To" for the Condition and select "Opt-out" for the Value.

      Hover to the right and click the + Add Value link. Use the dropdown menu to select "Hard Bounced", adding another value to your group criteria.



    5. Click Save.

    This group called "Opted Out/Hard Bounced" shows any contact who has either opted out of receiving further email communications from you OR has an invalid email address.

     

    Segment contacts who are pending list approval

    All list imports are subject to approval by our Email Delivery team to ensure compliance with our anti-spam policies. To see if your contacts are in pending review, create a group using the instructions below.

     

    1. Go to Contacts
    2. Click on the Group pulldown menu and select + New Group
    3. Name your group "Pending Approval"
    4. Click the + Add New Condition link. Select "Bulk Email Status" for the Field. Select "Equal To" for the Condition and select "Pending Review" for the Value.

    5. Click Save.

    This group called "Pending Approval shows any contact who is not able to be emailed due to list import review.

     

    Segment contacts who have not confirmed their double opt-in subscription

    If you have selected double opt-in required or optional on your form settings, ONTRAPORT will send an email asking the contact to confirm their subscription. For those that do not click on the link, you may wish to resend the double opt-in confirmation email. To see who has not confirmed their double opt-in status, create a group following the instructions below.

     

    1. Go to Contacts
    2. Click on the Group pulldown menu and select + New Group
    3. Name your group "Double opt-in: Unconfirmed"
    4. Click the + Add New Condition link. Select "Bulk Email Status" for the Field. Select "Equal To" for the Condition and select "Unconfirmed" for the Value.


    5. Click Save.

    This group called "Double opt-in: Unconfirmed" shows any contact who has not clicked on their double opt-in confirmation link. You can resend a double opt-in confirmation email from the group actions menu.

    Segment Contacts by Email Opened/Not Opened

     

    Segment a list of contacts that opened a particular email message

     

    This is best done from the Messages collection.

    1. Go to Campaigns > Messages
    2. Locate the desired Message
    3. Hover to the right and locate the column titled "Opened"
    4. Click on the "Opened" number


    5. A group of contacts automatically opens with the contacts contacts

     

    This group shows all contacts that received and opened the email, at the time you clicked on the messages no opened email statistic. For the most recent statistic, go back to the Messages collection and repeat the steps above.

     

     

     

    Segment a list of contacts that did not open a particular email message

     

    This is best done from the Messages collection.

    1. Go to Campaigns > Messages
    2. Locate the desired Message
    3. Hover to the right and locate the column titled "Not Opened"
    4. Click on the "Not Opened" number


    5. A group of contacts automatically opens with the contacts contacts

     

    This group shows all contacts that received but did not open the email, at the time you clicked on the messages no opened email statistic. For the most recent statistic, go back to the Messages collection and repeat the steps above.

     

     

    Note about email opens (and did not opens): The industry standard for tracking email opens involves injecting a tiny 1x1 transparent pixel into your message. Attached to that pixel is a unique URL - so if you open the email and display images our system can see that you've downloaded the image and we can safely assume the email has been opened. However, if a contact opens the email and doesn't display images, the pixel will never be downloaded and we won't know the message has been opened. Because of this we can only track emails with roughly 75% accuracy.

     

    Common Group Errors

    Using Multiple Negative Conditions ("does not contain", etc.)

    The example above works logically and you get the results you expect with the "does not contain" the Tag. But if you stack multiple negative conditions in the same statement it actually reverses the meaning. Each line of the Group's Conditions is evaluated as "True" or "False" for each contact in standard "boolean logic" fashion. The following example uses "does not contain" for two tags, Gold and Silver.

     

    Using OR with negative conditions

     

    This Condition evaluates as "True" for any of the following contacts:

    • Contact does not have either Gold or Silver tags

    • Contact has Gold but not Silver - the statement is "True" because the contact doesn't have Silver

    • Contact has Silver but not Gold - the statement is "True" because the contact doesn't have Gold


    The intention was to show only contacts who do not have the Silver AND do not have the Gold Tag. But configured this way a contact who has Gold but not Silver will be included in the group. And so will a contact who has Silver but not Gold.

    When using a negative condition such as "does not contain" separate the criteria into separate lines so the criteria uses "AND":

    Negative conditions with AND

    The contact must not have the Tag "Gold" AND the contact must not have the Tag "Silver" to be part of the Group.

    FAQs

     

    Q. Can I create a Group of contacts that do not have any tags?

    A. Yes! In the Group conditions just use "Does Not Contain" and select "Any Tag" as the value, as shown here:

    Create a group using the condition does not contain any tags

     

    Q. Can I create a Group of random contacts for split testing?

    A. Yes, you can use the Contact ID field and set the criteria that the Contact ID ends with "0" to create a Group representing about 10% of your total contacts. Adding additional numbers using OR will increase the size of the group. For additional ideas: For Split Testing, How Do You Split Your Existing List?

     

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    Comments

    • Avatar
      Julia Carol

      When I'm trying to create a group, what I'm shown does not look like the image above.  Specifically, the Field doesn't have "Contact Tags" in it, so I have no idea how to add a tag, which is what I want to do to create the group.

    • Avatar
      Martin Cogburn

      Hi Julia, I went ahead and added an image to the step by step to clear up the confusion. What you need to do is select the Field titled 'Contact Tags' in the dropdown and then set your condition and value. Hope that helps.

    • Avatar
      Andrew Murray

      There should be an EASY and QUICK way to re-send an email (edited slightly for example with a new subject line) to all contacts you send the first email to without creating multiple tags and groups.

      When can we expect such an important email feature set?

    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      Andrew, if you go to the Messages library you can add the "Sent" column to the header display. Then, click the underlined number sent to open an ad-hoc group of contacts who were sent that email. You can then send that group an additional message using a group action (or tag them, or perform any group action). 

    • Avatar
      Lory Rosenberg

      (1) How can I create a group of people for whom  only I can determine their membership, such as " non legal colleagues."

      (2) How can I move such people from a large main list into a smaller group?

       

    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      Hi Lory - in ONTRAPORT all contacts are always in the main Contacts database and visible in the default "All" group, so you really don't move them to other lists like you would in some other programs. You then create "views" of the Contacts we call Groups. To segment the Contacts into other groups you use some defining characteristic. It can be a field value in the database, a Tag you add to certain contacts, or something like a product purchased.

      For your group of non-legal colleagues you could use a Tag or the lack of a Tag as a criteria for the new Group. If you have a way you identify the non-legal colleagues currently, and it is in the database, you can use that as the criteria. If you don't you can add a tag to each one. 

      Sometimes you may have a CSV file with the group you want to create from another program, but you have already imported them without a way to tell them from your other contacts. You can re-import that same CSV file ... we save it for you in the Contacts > Settings > Import Contacts area ... and specify a "Default Value" for the Contact Tags with your new tag. We default to a merge operation we call "Merge and Underwrite" which means that we only write new information to the contact record, and don't overwrite what is already there ... so that operation would only add the Tag to those contacts. 

      Support can help with all of this!

    • Avatar
      Chuck Loparo

      In AutoPilot there was a "All in Group" command. Where did it go in this version?

    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      Hi Steve - when you click the header row it selects all contacts on the page. In the Actions drop down, it will say "You have selected XX on this page" (with the number of contacts on the page) and next to it a link for "Select ALL items in group":

       

      select-all-in-group.png

    • Avatar
      Dana Guillory

      I want to add a column on the contact management page to reflect the tags that each contact has been assigned, but there is not an option to add tags.  How do I see a list of all contacts and their tags or do I have to look at them by their groups only to see their tags?

    • Avatar
      David Collier

      Is there a simple way to create a group that has contacts that do not include any tags? I'm looking for a more elegant approach than a series of "and" "not equal to" "(tag)".

    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      Hi David,

      This should work ... create a Group where the criteria is "Contact Tags" > "Contains" and then leave the Value field blank. Before you save it will look like this: 

      no-tags-group.png

    • Avatar
      Joe Kalis

      My company is made of several brands with different types of customers, all of which require different contact information stored about them. For instance, I deal with home buyers, home sellers, and real estate investors looking for funding. Buyers have specific desires in the house they want (which I'll capture with a form), sellers have specific details about the property they're selling, and funding prospects have qualification criteria like credit score.

      All three of these prospect/client types require a variety of custom fields, all different from each other.

      I can obviously "Group" these similar people together, but can i make custom "views" of which fields are available to each? For sellers, I don't want their credit score. For funding clients, it doesn't matter how many bedrooms they want in a house.

      I only want to see custom fields that are relevant to each unique type of client...

    • Avatar
      Josh Davidson

      How to delete an old/empty group?

    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      To delete a Group, select it from the drop down, click "Manage Groups" and then click "Delete Group". This does not delete or change any of your Contacts. It just removes the Group definition from the drop down:

      delete-group.png

    • Avatar
      Porshea Wilkins

      I have two groups I want to send one email to. How do I do that without having to send two separate emails, one to each group?

    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      Hi Porshea,

      The best way to handle the possibility that a Contact could be in two groups is to put the message in a Step Sequence and then use a Group Action to subscribe both Groups to the sequence. ONTRAPORT will keep track of the Contacts added and make sure that the email only goes out once to that Contact. 

      Just leave the "Settings" > "Unsubscribe after last step" setting in the default unchecked state in the sequence.

       

    • Avatar
      Sandis Viksna

      Hi, how can I see all my groups and the count of contacts in them? Which report is that?

    • Avatar
      Danny Humphrey

      I would like to know the answer to Joe's question which was skipped over.

      "My company is made of several brands with different types of customers, all of which require different contact information stored about them. For instance, I deal with home buyers, home sellers, and real estate investors looking for funding. Buyers have specific desires in the house they want (which I'll capture with a form), sellers have specific details about the property they're selling, and funding prospects have qualification criteria like credit score. 

      All three of these prospect/client types require a variety of custom fields, all different from each other. 

      I can obviously "Group" these similar people together, but can i make custom "views" of which fields are available to each? For sellers, I don't want their credit score. For funding clients, it doesn't matter how many bedrooms they want in a house. 

      I only want to see custom fields that are relevant to each unique type of client...

      May 6, 2015, 8:45 PM"

      -Thank you

    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      All custom fields are in every Contact Record. You can choose the header display for each Group you create, and it remains "sticky" for that Group. You can also put the custom fields on tabs, so a separate tab can be created for Sellers, Borrowers, etc.

       

      contact-group-view-1.png

      contact-group-view-2.png  

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