What are 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 (and also Rules).
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.
A good way to think about Groups is 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.
Go to the Contacts collection
Click the down arrow next to the Group: All and select the +New Group link
Name the group
Select a group permission to limit who can view or edit the Group.
Set the group condition(s)
Choose a field, condition, and value for each group criteria you add
To add another value to a group condition, click the + Add Value button.
To add another group condition, click the + Add New Condition.
Verify your new Group contains the data you want.
Example: Creating a Group
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’) simply 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.
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!
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 Step or Date Sequence to schedule the email, and a global Rule to add contacts to the Sequence when they meet the criteria.
List of available group actions
- Send E-Mail
- Send SMS
- Send Postcard
- Delete Contacts
- Subscribe/Unsubscribe Sequence
- Add/Remove Tags
- Change Field Value
- Send Double Opt In Confirmation
- Export Contacts
How to perform an action on a group
- Go to the Contacts collection
- Select a group from the group dropdown menu
Hover over the header row to expose the checkbox, and click it
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.
- 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 sequence that grants membership access to your WordPress site
- Integrate your WordPress site with ONTRAPORT
- Create a new step sequence
- Add a rule step that provides access to a membership level of your integrated WordPress site
- Save the sequence
- Perform step 1 - 4 of the group actions process
- For step 5, select Subscribe/Unsubscribe Sequence
- In the pop-up window, select the sequence that you created from the dropdown
- Click Submit
The contacts will then be subscribed to the sequence which in turn will give them membership access to your WordPress site.
Usecase 1: Segment a list of contacts that did not open one of your emails
Create a group of contacts that have opened your email
Go to Contacts
Click on Manage Groups
Name your group "Has opened [name of email]"
Under Group Conditions select “Emails Opened” for the Field and the name of the email under Value.
Add your new tag to the group
Select the group you just made (Has opened [name of email])
Click on the Select All checkbox next to First Name in the header row
The Actions dialog will open
Click the Select ALL items in Group? link and then click the Tags icon.
In the add tag dialog box, select CREATE NEW TAG
Name the tag “Opened [name of email]”
Click Submit to add the tag.
Create the group of contacts that did not open the email
Go to Contacts and click Manage Groups
Name the group "Not opened [name of email]"
Under FIELD select Emails received and under VALUE select "[name of email]"
Click + ADD NEW CONDITION
For FIELD select Contact Tags, for CONDITION select Does Not Contain, and for value select the tag "Opened [name of email]"
This group now contains all contacts that received but did not open the email, as of the date we created the group. What if a contact opens the email tomorrow?
To make this group update dynamically as contacts open the email in the future, add a Rule to tag the contacts as soon as they open the email:
This Rule, created in Contacts > Rules, will Tag a contact as soon as they open the email. As soon as the Tag is applied the contact will no longer be in the Not Opened group.
Special Note: 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.
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":
The contact must not have the Tag "Gold" AND the contact must not have the Tag "Silver" to be part of the Group.
Q. Where can I get more information and ask specific questions about creating Groups?
A. The ONTRAPORT Community Q&A forum at https://support.ontraport.com/hc/en-us/community/topics/200621608-Community-Forum-Community-Q-A provides answers from our Certified Consultants and other members of our user community.
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:
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. See the answer at http://answers.ontraport.com for additional ideas: For Split Testing, How Do You Split Your Existing List?
Revised Jan. 19, 2016