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Contact List Segments

Segments Updated on October 11, 2022

Contact list segments allow you to group your contacts based on data provided in your contact list fields. Instead of sending the same content to your entire contact list, you can use segments to create targeted campaigns.


Read more about why and how email segmentation is important to your email marketing: Email Segmentation 101.

Things you should know before starting:

  • The Segment feature is included in both free and premium Benchmark accounts.
  • Before creating segments, you should have contacts in your account. To learn how to import your contacts, click here.
  • Segments are created based on the information in your contact list fields. If the fields are empty, it will add no contacts to the segment.

How to create a segment

Segments are generated based on your contacts’ information such as State, Business Name, or even something custom, like a special tracking code for a group of people.

To create a segment:

  1. Log in to your Benchmark account. Select Contacts from the dashboard, and then click on Segments.
  2. Click on the Create New Segment option.
  3. Select a contact list to segment.
  4. Give your segment a name and an optional description.
  5. Click Save & Next.
  1. Click on the dropdown, select a contact field, and click on the Add Criteria option.
  2. Select a condition from the dropdown.
    • Equals
    • Doesn’t Equal
    • Contains
    • Starts with
    • Doesn’t start with
    • Doesn’t end with
  3. Then, add the information that should match the criteria in the blank field.
    • Your segment’s criteria can be based on any data field or combination of fields, such as signup date, zip code, or email address. If a contact matches your criteria, they are added to the segment.
  4. Click Save and Refresh Count to save your segment criteria and segment.


The more information you have of your clients, the more thorough your segment will be. As a tip, you can create codes for specific contacts in a list (this could be product codes). You can then later use those codes to create a segment. If you don’t have much information about your contacts, utilizing Surveys and Polls can be one way of collecting this information.


Contacts will enter a segment in real-time as they meet the criteria for that segment; the segment count may not reflect immediately.

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How to send to a segment

To send an email to a list segment, you must first create an email. Create an email from scratch or by using a premade template.

RSS and Regular Emails
  1. In the Email Checklist, click on the Select Contacts option in the To section.
send to option
  1. Select the segment or segments you want to send your email campaign.Unlike regular lists, you can identify the segments with this icon:
  1. Use the Exclude option to remove a specific segment or list from receiving the email.
  2. When done, click Save.
  3. You can continue with the email creation process.
Sending to a segment using automations:


To learn about the differences between Automation Lite and Automation Pro, click here.

Automation Lite
  1. Click on the Create New Automation option in the Automation Lite dashboard.
create automation
  1. To use segments with Automation Lite, select the CONTACT LIST AUTOMATION option, then click Next to continue.
contact list automation
  1. Fill in the required data. Next, select the segment(s) you want to email in the Contact List Selection step. Segments are highlighted in gray.
  1. Last, continue with the automation creation process.
Automation Pro

Contact list segments are available in the following options in Automation Pro:

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Editing an existing segment

To edit your segments, follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to your Benchmark account, select Contacts from the dashboard, and click on Segments.
  2. Select the Segment you wish to edit.
  3. Click on the Edit option located on the top-right of the page.
  1. You can edit the segment name, description, and criteria.
  2. When done, click Save and Refresh Count.

The segment will not update unless you click Save and Refresh Count.  Depending on your new criteria, the number should be higher or lower. If your count becomes zero, review the criteria.

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Delete and Duplicate Segments

Follow the steps below to delete or duplicate a Segment:

  1. First, log in to your Benchmark account, select Contacts from the dashboard, and click on Segments.
  2. Locate the segment you would like to delete or duplicate and select the More options icon next to the segment name.
  3. Select the Delete or Duplicate option.
delete and duplicate options


Deleting a contact list segment will not delete the contacts from the original list.

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Exporting a segment

Follow the steps below to export a segment to a file:

  1. Log in to your Benchmark account, select Contacts from the dashboard, and click on Segments.
  2. Select the Segment you wish to export.
  3. Click on the Export to File option located on the top-right of the page.
  1. Select the fields you want to export; by default, the email address field is selected.
  2. Click on Download as CSV or Excel.
  3. The segment file will be saved on your computer with the segment’s name.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use segments?

Segmenting provides a great way to organize your contacts and target specific people on your list.

Segmenting can also help keep the number of contact lists down and organize your contact lists.  Although creating another might be easier, you could end up with hundreds of lists, making it harder to manage your contact lists.

Why are there no contacts in my segment?
  • Make sure the criteria is accurate. Check the spelling; if it is not spelled or added correctly, our system will not match it.
  • Check to see if the information is in the correct contact list field; there are 26 contact list fields that can store information.
  • Keep it simple; for example, if you have a contact list dedicated to sports lovers, one contact field could contain the type of sport they prefer, such as “baseball.” Having this information would permit you to create a segment with all contacts who have “baseball” in a particular field. Additionally, you can exclude segments from receiving emails.


To learn about contact list fieldsclick here.

How can I add custom information to my contacts?

You can add custom details to your contacts individually or by using the Contact Details Node in Automation Pro. You can also customize the fields of your contact list.

How do I create a segment of contacts who prefer only text emails?

To create a segment of users who prefer only Text or HTML emails use the following criteria.

For Text Only Emails

  • Contact List field: EmailType
  • Condition: Equals
  • Value: 0

For HTML Only Emails

  • Contact List field: EmailType
  • Condition: Equals
  • Value: 2


Explore related topics:

We highly recommend you download The Complete Guide to Email Marketing to find everything you need to take your email marketing to the next level.

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If you have any questions, please contact our support team.