Content of the Article

It was a surprise for many users when they realized that in Dynamics 365 for Marketing, the existing marketing lists could no longer be used. Instead, Microsoft is focusing on segments. At first glance, there does not seem to be much difference between marketing lists and segments. However, if you take a closer look at them, you quickly realize that some of the features would not have been possible with the "old" marketing list.

In most cases, they are the starting point for a customer journey. The segments can therefore be used to determine which contacts take part in a customer journey. By the way, information collected using Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights can be used to create segments.

Types of Segments in Dynamics 365 for Marketing

There are the following types of segments:

  • Dynamic
  • Static
  • Compound

Dynamic segments are created using queries. Contacts are not added manually, but dynamically added to the segment based on the query criteria. This allows you to display all contacts who are from Frankfurt am Main and are younger than 30 years old.

Static segments allow manual addition of contacts without a query. Usually, the basis is private knowledge, which is collected by sales employees.

Compound segments are, as the name suggests, a combination of several segments.

Only contacts can be segmented in Dynamics 365 for Marketing. It is not possible to fill segments with leads as is possible with marketing lists in Dynamics 365 for Sales, for example. Contacts are the primary entity in Dynamics 365 for Marketing. Therefore, a contact record must be created for a lead that is to participate in a customer journey.

Segments can be based on profile information or interactions:

  • .Profile segments are based on information from existing data records such as leads, contacts, and accounts. However, the result of the query must always be contact. For example, fields from account records can be used for the query, but the result will be the account's primary contact.
  • Interaction segments are based on interactions of a contact. For example, opening an e-mail or clicking a specific link in an e-mail. Once the interaction has taken place, the contacts start the Customer Journey.

When creating a new segment, the following options are available under Definition:

  • Demographic: Segment contacts based on the information in the contact record.
  • Firmographic: Segment contacts based on information from the parent company.
  • Behavioral: segment contacts based on their interactions with forms, e-mails, or landing pages.
  • Static: segment contacts at your preference (add manually)
  • Combined audiences: Segment contacts based on several existing segments.

Segmente in Dynamics 365 for Marketing

The process involves creating your segment, defining it, checking it for errors, and then going live. To edit a segment that has been set live, it must first be stopped.

Segmente in Dynamics 365 for Marketing

General Tab in Dynamics 365 for Marketing

The following fields can be found under General:

  • Name: The name of the segment.
  • Created on: When the segment was created.
  • Segment Type: Dynamic, static or combined. Determined during creation and cannot be edited afterward.
  • External Source: For segments that are synchronized from an external source, such as Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights
  • External source URL: If the external source has a URL, it is displayed here.
  • Query type: Profile- or interaction-based. It is determined during creation and cannot be edited afterward.
  • Activation Status: Shows whether the segment is a draft or live. Also known as a status reason in Dynamics 365.
  • Owner: Name of the user who is the owner of the segment.
  • Description: An optional field for a description of the segment, such as what the segment is trying to reach.



Segmente in Dynamics 365 for Marketing

Definition Tab in Dynamics 365 for Marketing

Depending on whether the segment is static or dynamic, this tab has different options.

Static Segment

Probably the easiest way to create a segment. If you want to create a segment quickly, which should not be updated dynamically by a query, you are in the right place.

Contacts can be searched and added manually.

Segmente in Dynamics 365 for Marketing

Dynamic Segment

Dynamic segments include the possibilities of a complex query. This will dynamically add / remove contacts to / from the segment based on the attributes you include in the query.

Segmente in Dynamics 365 for Marketing

In most cases it is sufficient to use attributes from the contact entity. But other entities in Dynamics 365 can also be included in the query. The Explorer button can be useful to get a graphical representation of the related entities.

Segmente in Dynamics 365 for Marketing

In addition, you can get an "estimate" of the resulting segment size while creating the segments. This is useful to check if your segment gets the expected amount of contacts.

Segmente in Dynamics 365 for Marketing

Important: The aim of a segment is to return contacts that can be used specifically for marketing activities. Therefore every query in your segment must return contacts. This does not prevent you from working with other entities. It would theoretically be possible to display all contacts for which an opportunity is still open, so long as a relationship exists in the data model.

Compound Segment

Finally, we look at composite segments. These are actually the combination of several segments to create a new compound query. Within the definition of a compound segment, you can list the segments that you want to include and whether you want to merge segments, exclude segments, or have intersections.

  • Merge: Every contact that appears on at least one of the segments is included in the Customer Journey, but contacts that appear in more than one segment are still only counted once.
  • Exclude: Contacts that are in an excluded segment are excluded from the Customer Journey.
  • Intersect: Only contacts that appear on all segments are included so that customers that only appear on one of the lists are ignored.


Members Tab in Dynamics 365 for Marketing

As soon as the segment is live, a member tab is displayed. After going live, it takes a few seconds until the Members tab is visible.

Remember that the members of dynamic and composite segments change. When new contacts are created or existing ones are changed, they can be added to or removed from existing segments.

Segmente in Dynamics 365 for Marketing


Insights Tab in Dynamics 365 for Marketing

The number of contacts within your segments may change over time. The Insights tab provides a graph showing the number of contacts over time. This is useful to see changes in contact volume over time.

Segmente in Dynamics 365 for Marketing

Hint at the End: Using a Static Marketing List as a Segment

If you have a lot of static marketing lists that are filled with tons of contacts, it would be a lot of work to recreate them in Dynamics 365 for Marketing. Therefore you can create a dynamic segment and take over the members of the static marketing list.

Create a demographic segment and select the marketing list as a related entity in your query.

Segmente in Dynamics 365 for Marketing


Create following query:

Segmente in Dynamics 365 for Marketing


Save the segment and go live. After some time you will see the same members in the Member Tab as in your static marketing list.

Segmente in Dynamics for Marketing

Segmente in Dynamics 365 for Marketing