How to filter and segment users

Identify specific groups of interests, so you can send them targeted messages.

Beth-Ann Sher avatar
Written by Beth-Ann Sher
Updated over a week ago

Intercom lets you filter and segment important groups of users, so you can send them targeted messages. For example, you could create a segment of trial users and send them onboarding messages, or you could create a segment of hot prospects, loyal customers or whatever you like. 

What is a segment? 

A segment is a group of your users defined by rules (or filters) that you set. Users are automatically added to the segment every time the user updates to match those rules. 

We recommend creating a segment for every key group of users you'd like to send a message to - for example, trial users or users who have yet to take action. 

Create a segment 

Use filters to identify groups of interest 

To create a segment, first you’ll need to select the filters above your user list. For example, if you want to create a segment of trial users and your trial is 30 days long, just filter for ‘Signed up less than 30 days ago.’ 

Then click Save segment and give your segment a name (something easy to remember, like 'Trial users'). Your new segment will appear to the left of your user list. 

Send targeted auto messages 

From here you can message these users by clicking the message drop-down on top of the user list, and selecting either a manual or auto message. One of the most powerful features of Intercom is the ability to create targeted ongoing messages to a Dynamic Audience based on your filters and segments. 

Once you put your ongoing message live, these customers and every customer who subsequently meets these criteria will get the message (just once).

Note: If you select a Fixed Audience, this message will only send to the users who currently match the filters.

Predefined segments

Intercom comes with three predefined segments, and you’ll see these at the top of your user list: 

  • Active: Anyone who has been active in the last 30 days (this is the most relevant segment as it really informs you as to who is actually using your product).

  • New: Anyone who has signed up in the last 24 hours.

  • Slipping away: Anyone who hasn't been active in 30 days or more. This segment is an extremely important one and should be monitored closely.

Useful segments to create

The segments you create should be specific to your product. Here are some ideas to get you started: 

Pro plan customers - These are your highest paying users or those on your most expensive plan. You should prioritize this group and ensure they receive your best possible service. 

Trial users - These are the people you need to make sure convert. You’ll want to give them a warm welcome and show them how to make the most of your features. Your filters for this segment might be something like: ‘Signed up less than 14 days ago’ and ‘Plan is free trial.'  

Hot prospects - These are prospects who are active and are approaching a barrier. For example, if you’re a photo sharing app you can create a segment for everyone who has more than 80 photos uploaded of a possible 100 allowed. Your filters for this segment might be something like: ‘Plan is starter’ and ‘Uploaded photos more than 80.' 

Loyal customers - You might want to create a list of loyal users for beta testing your new features. Or maybe you want to reward these users with a thank you gift. Your filters here might be: ‘Signed up more than 365 days ago AND last seen less than 30 days ago.' 

No action taken - You could create a segment of users who have yet to download your mobile app. Then you can give them a little nudge and remind them how to download it and why they should. Your filters here might be: ‘Downloaded mobile app is false.' 

Create flexible segments with And / Or filters

To create more sophisticated segments you can combine ‘and’ with ‘or’ filters. This makes segments more powerful and flexible. 

For example, if you’re holding events, you could filter for all paid users in specific countries you're hosting the events:

Note: Highly complex segment queries may take longer to run and in some cases, be too complex. If this is the case you'll receive a notification to simplify the filters.

Search for segments

To see who belongs to a segment, just select it from the left of the user list, or filter the user list to show users that belong to a certain segment.

How to edit or delete a segment

To edit a segment, just click open it from the left of the user or company list. The filters for that segment will appear on the top, and you can edit them from there.

You can also delete a segment in your app settings. Just visit People Segments or Company Segments in your settings page and select the x icon next to the segment you’d like to delete.

Note: You need to be an admin with full permissions to edit and delete segments.

How to show and hide a segment

Segments are available to everybody, but the visibility of these in the segment bar is based on personal teammate settings.

To make a new segment visible for a teammate in the UI, each teammate will need to click on the ⚙️ (gear icon) on the user/lead/company tabs:

From here teammates may toggle the visibility of each segment using the "Make visible" or "Make hidden" buttons:

Segment users not part of any companies

Applying a Company ID is unknown filter to your user list will not filter out users that don't belong to any one company.

Instead, this filter will return all users who are attached to companies but where these companies have an ID value of null.

The same logic is used in other filters like these, such as Company name is unknown.

To filter out users that don't belong to a company, you will have to create 2 segments;

  1. A segment where users are filtered by Company ID has any value - let's call this Segment1

  2. A segment where Segment is NOT Segment1

50,000 Company's Match Error

If you receive this error: "Your filters include company data, and more than 50,000 companies match", the query is too large for us to accurately show the preview however if using the filters in an Outbound Message, it will still send to the full audience.

If you have less than 50,000 Company's and are receiving this error, it is because you have archived Company's that still contribute to this number. In this case, you can bypass the search limit here by adding the rule "People is greater than 0" as a filter. This will narrow down the search to only companies that currently existing in your workspace.

What’s next? 


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