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How to segment your contacts

Filter your contacts list by certain rules to create and save user segments which you can later use for messaging campaigns.

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 

To create a new segment, go to your Contacts.

Click + Add filter and select the people or company data you want to filter by.

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."

Combine filters using And / Or rules for very specific targeting.

Then click Save segment and give your segment a name (something easy to remember, like "Trial users"). Your new segment will appear on the left under Contacts.

Send targeted auto messages 

From here you can message these users by clicking New message on top of the user list, and selecting a message type (i.e. email, post, survey, etc.)

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).

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:

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 this segment from the menu under Contacts.

Or filter the Contacts list by "Segment" to show users that belong to a certain segment.

How to edit or delete a segment

To edit a segment, select this segment from the menu under Contacts. The filters for that segment will appear above the list of users, and you can edit them from there.

You can also delete a segment from Settings > Workspace data. Just visit People Segments or Company Segments and select the red x icon next to the segment you’d like to delete.

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 on the Contacts menu is based on personal teammate settings.

To make a new segment visible, each teammate will need to go to Contacts and click on the settings icon next to "Show X hidden".

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 a Proactive Support 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.


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