Creating & Managing Segments

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This article applies to all paid subscriptions (Customer Data Studio is not available on Free subscriptions).


If you're new to segmentation or are looking for inspiration, have a read of our article introducing Customer Segmentation.

Before getting started, it really helps to have a clear idea of what it is you are are trying to achieve. This might be to reduce your churn rate, or perhaps to find Customers who may be interested in a new product offering.

Distil offers a unique and exciting range of options for segmentation that will exceed your expectations of what this powerful strategy can achieve.

Creating a New Segment

You can quickly create a new Segment by clicking the red plus symbol on the Segments view.

Screenshot of the Distil Customer Data Platform highlighting the plus symbol in the user interface

Give the Segment a unique name and a brief description.

By default new Segments are set to Private. This means that the Segment is only visible in your user account, and that it cannot be used to sync with a Distil Destination. To make a Segment Shared, un-check the box under the Private Segment section.

Next make a selection under Segment Growth: choose whether your goal is to grow or shrink this Segment, or if Segment size doesn't matter. Your selection here will influence the colour of the Last 30-days change value on the Segments view. For example: if your goal is to grow a Segment and the change value is above zero (the Segment has grown), then the value will be displayed in green. Changes that do not support your goals will be displayed in red.

The last step is to set the Segment Conditions. As this is a big topic we've covered this in a dedicated section below.

After setting the Segment Conditions, click the Save button on the top right. If you'd like to start again, you can click the Cancel button at any time, and the Segment will not be created.

Setting Segment Conditions

The Segment Conditions are a set of rules that identify the Customers in this Segment.

For new Segments, the Segment Conditions pane is displayed on the right. For existing Segments, select the Segment and then click the Edit Segment option on the top right.

Screenshot of the Distil Customer Data Platform showing the segment conditions selection panel in the user interface

You can also see (but not edit) the set of rules that define a Segment by clicking on the Rules tab. This view is very useful for understanding how AI Segments identify Customers.

Segment Conditions in Distil are structured to give you the flexibility and precision to find your target Customers. Remember that you can reach out to us if you need help at any time.

You can test whether your Segment Conditions will result in any Customers being selected by clicking Preview in the top right (next to Save). Segments are a powerful tool for delivering useful insights, so we'd encourage you to have a play with the wide range of Attributes and Conditions to find what works for your needs.

First we'll cover some key concepts, and then look into the detail and guide you through the process of setting Segment Conditions.

Key concepts:


These are the basic building blocks of Segments. A Condition is simply a question with a yes or no answer. Conditions are covered in detail in the section below.


A Group is a collection of Conditions that collectively also has a simple yes no outcome. Groups are useful where you want to consider multiple Conditions as a whole (more on this later).

Attributes and Conditions

Before creating or editing Conditions, make sure that you have either clicked the red + to create a new Segment, or selected an existing Segment and then clicked Edit Segment. Remember that you can't edit an AI Segment.

To create a new Condition, click the blue text + Add Another Condition. To edit an existing Condition, click the edit icon to the right of the Condition (see the screenshot below). To delete an existing Condition, click the trash can icon to the right of the Condition.

Screenshot of the Distil Customer Data Platform showing how to create, edit and delete a segment condition in the user interface

The example below is for creating a new Condition, however the same principles also apply to editing an existing Condition. Also, to keep things simple for now we'll just work in a single Group, but we'll cover Groups in more detail later.

After clicking the blue text + Add a Condition, you will be asked to select an Attribute. Click the three dots to the right of the text Please select an Attribute to see a list of available Attributes. This extensive list includes all of the standard Distil Attributes, plus any custom Attributes that have been created during data sync activities. You can search the list by entering search terms into the box at the top.

After selecting an Attribute, you will be asked to choose the Condition (or test) to apply to the Attribute. The available Conditions will depend on the data type of the Attribute. For example, an Attribute that has a True or False data type (Boolean), will only have Equals and Not Equals as available Conditions. An Attribute that is a date will also have After and Before as Conditions (amongst others).

AI Tags are a powerful and easy-to-use type of Attribute. Most of the heavy lifting is done by Distil, all you need to do is decide the value, and whether or not to select Customers who are tagged with that value.

Text Attributes have a range of additional Conditions including Contains, Starts With and Ends With. For these types of Attributes you will need to enter some text search terms. Just start typing and Distil will search for matching results in your Customer data.

Once you have made your selections and entries for the Condition, click Save on the right. To exit without saving your changes, click Cancel. You can always edit or delete an individual Condition later.

Creating Conditions may seem daunting at first due to the range of options available on Distil, however the process is intuitive and once you have created your first couple you will see how easy it is. It really helps to have a clear idea of what it is you are trying to achieve. We hope you'll be excited by the possibilities that Distil makes available. If you need help please reach out to us.


A Group is a collection of Conditions that are evaluated as a whole.

Within each Group you have the option to include Customers that meet Any of the Conditions in the Group, or to include Customers that meet All of the Conditions in the Group.

For example, you might want your Segment to include high value Customers who have made a purchase recently. So, you would set two Conditions: one to find high value Customers, and another to find Customers who have made a purchase in the past 30 days.

Because you want to combine these two Conditions to find Customers for this Segment, then you should select the option to match All of the specified Conditions, as shown in the image below. This means that each of the Customers in this Group will have High Customer Value, and also have made a purchase in the past 30 days. 

Screenshot of the Distil Customer Data Platform showing how to group segments segment conditions together using the AND function

You can combine Groups by using the All or Any option at the top of the section, under the heading Segment Conditions. For example, if you wanted to find high value Customers who have either made a purchase recently, or are at high risk of leaving, then you may create the Groups and Conditions in the example below.

Selecting the Any option here returns all of the Customers found in the first Group, and also all of the Customers found in the second Group.

Screenshot of the Distil Customer Data Platform showing how to group segment conditions using the ANY function

There is actually more than one way of achieving the desired outcome. Can you figure out another way? 

While each Segment will have at least one Group, you may only need one Group to achieve you goals for the Segment.

Editing or Deleting an Existing Segment

Existing Segments can be edited by selecting the Segment in the Customer Data Studio view, and then clicking Edit Segment in the top right corner. Make your changes and then click the Update button on the top right.

If you need to delete a Segment, first click Edit Segment, and then select the Delete option on the top right.

Segments that are being used in Destinations with Auto-Sync enabled can't be changed or deleted. The reasons for this are explained in more detail in our article on Destinations. If you need to edit one of these Segments, first tun Auto-Sync off, then edit the Segment and verify that you are happy with the changes, and then turn Auto-Sync back on. Also, you can't edit (or delete) AI Segments.

You can quickly see the status of a Segment by checking the icon next to the Segment name. If the icon has only one person, then the Segment is visible only to you (it is not Shared). If this icon has two people, then it is Shared (visible to all users on your Distil Account). If the icon has a little green radio, then it is being used within a Destination.

In the examples below, the Segment No purchase since offer is not being Shared, and therefore can't be used in a Destination. The Segment High risk of churn is being Shared and therefore can be used in a Destination, but isn't currently being used in a Destination. The Segment Eligible for discount is Shared and also being used in a Destination.

Segment types in the Distil Customer Data Platform

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