Company Blog Support
Martin Cogburn
posted

Contents

    Back to Top

    Contact Management Segmentation (Groups)

    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.

     

    How to Create a Group

    1. Go to the Contacts collection

      Contacts Collection

       
       
    2. Click the down arrow next to the Group: All and select the +New Group link

      Main Menu

       
       
    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: 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.

    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 Rule that says "when a contact purchases something, add the tag Client to them" then the minute the Rule runs, at the time of purchase, the contact no longer appears as a member of this group.
     
    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.

    Adding 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!

    Performing 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 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

    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 sequence that grants membership access to your WordPress site

    1. Integrate your WordPress site with ONTRAPORT
    2. Create a new step sequence
    3. Add a rule step that provides access to a membership level of your integrated WordPress site
    4. Save the sequence
    5. Perform step 1 - 4 of the group actions process
      1. For step 5, select Subscribe/Unsubscribe Sequence
      2. In the pop-up window, select the sequence that you created from the dropdown
      3. Click Submit


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

    Usecases

    Usecase 1: Segment a list of contacts that did not open one of your emails

    1. Create a group of contacts that have opened your email

      1. Go to Contacts

      2. Click on Manage Groups

      3. Name your group "Has opened [name of email]"

      4. Under Group Conditions select “Emails Opened” for the Field and the name of the email under Value.

         

        has opened email

      1. Click Save

    1. Add your new tag to the group

      1. Select the group you just made (Has opened [name of email])

      2. Click on the Select All checkbox next to First Name in the header row

      3. The Actions dialog will open

      4. Click the Select ALL items in Group? link and then click the Tags icon.

         

        Contact Actions select all in Group

         
      1. In the add tag dialog box, select CREATE NEW TAG

      2. Name the tag “Opened [name of email]”

         

        create a new tag to add to the Group

         
      3. Click Save

      4. Click Submit to add the tag.

    1. Create the group of contacts that did not open the email

      1. Go to Contacts and click Manage Groups

      2. Name the group "Not opened [name of email]"

      3. Under FIELD select Emails received and under VALUE select "[name of email]"

      4. Click + ADD NEW CONDITION

      5. For FIELD select Contact Tags, for CONDITION select Does Not Contain, and for value select the tag "Opened [name of email]"

        has not opened group

      1. Click Save

    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:

    Rule for Group

     

    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.

     

    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. 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:

    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. 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

    Have more questions? Submit a request

    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  

    Powered by Zendesk