Push Customer and Other data to Dotdigital

  • Updated

This article covers pushing Customer data from Distil into Dotdigital.

Before pushing data to Dotdigital, make sure you have read and understood the Key Distil Concepts and Key Dotdigital Concepts sections within our introduction article. You will also need to have created a connection to Dotdigital as described in our article Create a Connection to Dotdigital.

How It Works

First create a connection to Dotdigital. Then select a Distil Segment to sync with Dotdigital.

Distil automatically keeps Segments up to date by applying the rules defined for the Segment to select Customers. So if new data comes in that changes the Customers in a Segment (for example a Customer makes a purchase), Distil will automatically update your Segments.

Next create a new Destination, and select the Attributes from Distil that you want to push to Dotdigital. Distil will create a new List in Dotdigital, and keep this up to date as the Distil Segment changes. Distil pushes data automatically every six hours, so any updates to the Segment you have selected for a Destination will be applied in Dotdigital within six hours.

In addition to pushing Customer data, Distil also pushes Content, Product and Order data into Dotdigital's Insight Data store. 

Create a Customer Segment to Send to Dotdigital

Before you can push Customer data into Dotdigital, first you need to create or select a Distil Customer Segment that contains the Customers you want to push. You can create a Segment using any of the standard or custom Attributes available in Distil.

Important: both Distil and Dotdigital use the concept and term Segment. While the Segment concept is similar in both platforms, Distil only pulls Customer data from Lists in Dotdigital. Distil does not push or pull Customer data from Segments in Dotdigital. Whenever we refer to Segments, we mean Distil Segments (and not Dotdigital Segments).

Distil automatically keeps Segments up to date, meaning that any new customers added to a Distil Segment will get automatically added to the Dotdigital List, equally, customers removed from a Distil Segment will get automatically removed from a Dotdigital List.

If you want to use a Segment in a Destination, make sure that the Segment is Shared. This is because Destinations are visible to all users of your Distil Account, and therefore any Segments used in a Destination must also be shared. To validate this, navigate to Customer Data Studio > Segments, select the Segment from the left menu panel, and then click Edit Segment on the top right. For a Segment to be shared, the check-box under the heading Private Segment must be clear (not checked). 

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Also, if a Segment is used in a Destination that is set to Auto-sync, that Segment will be locked and cannot be edited (Auto-Sync is explained in this article below). This is because if the Segment rules change, this may trigger multiple updates to Dotdigital, which in turn could cause issues with your campaigns. If you need to edit the Segment, first turn Auto-Sync off, then edit the Segment and verify that you are happy with the changes, and then turn Auto-Sync back on. 

Set up a Dotdigital Destination

Once you have created a Segment to sync, create a new Destination by selecting Destinations from the left menu bar, and then click to Create Multi-Channel Audience.

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Select Segment

On the next screen enter a Title and a brief Description for the new Destination. On the first push of data into Dotdigital, Distil will create a new List in Dotdigital with the same name as the Destination Title

Select a Segment to use in the new Destination, by selecting an available Segment from the list at the bottom of the page.

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Click the filter icon Filter.png to sort the list of Segments by date created or Segment name. You can also search for a specific Segment by entering search terms in the search bar.

You can only select Segments that are Shared. You can easily identify Shared Segments as they have an icon with two people. This is explained in the section above on Creating a Segment.

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When you've selected a Segment, click the Next button on the top right.

Select a Connection and Attributes

On the next page you will see a list of available connections. In the example below there are two connections: Shopify and Klaviyo.

If you haven't already set up a connection, then follow the instructions in our article on creating a connection with Dotdigital.

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Click to select a connection, and then click Choose Attributes to sync... These are the Attributes that will be sent to Dotdigital.

Select one or more Attributes from the pop-up. You can bulk select all Attributes in a category, or search for a specific Attribute by entering search terms in the search bar.

We highly recommend that you sync the Distil Customer Tracking ID, as explained in the Key Distil Concepts section of our introductory article.

When you have made your selections click Save Changes to close the pop-up

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Next you will be asked if you wish to sync these Attributes to Customer Data, Insight Data, or both. Insight Data is explained in this article from Dotdigital. Unless you have a specific reason to choose Insight Data, we recommend choosing Customer Data.

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If you do choose Customer Data, then Distil will create Custom fields in Dotdigital as needed for the selected Attributes. This Dotdigital article gives more information about Custom fields.

If you chose Customer Data, then you will be able to choose the name of the Custom field that Distil will create in Dotdigital for each Attribute. These field names must be unique, can have a maximum of 20 characters, and cannot contain spaces or special characters other than underscores. You won't be able to change the name of Dotdigital Standard fields.


Click Save Changes to continue.

Finalise and Activate

Nearly finished!

You can click Previous on the top right to check the selections made in previous steps.

Once you are happy with your selections, click Create Campaign to finalise and activate the Destination.

Distil will immediately sync the selected Attributes to the Destination. Distil will repeat this sync every six hours.

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Content, Product and Order data

Along with the Customer data that is covered in the sections above, Distil will also push Content, Product and Order data into Dotdigital. This data is pushed into Insight Data within Dotdigital: Insight Data is explained in this article from Dotdigital. You can use this information within your email templates and also use Order data as triggers for email campaigns.

Your Content and Product catalogues within Distil are pushed to Account-scoped Insight data within Dotdigital. This means that this information is not tied to a specific Contact within Dotdigital. You can find this information within Dotdigital by navigating to Settings > Insight data. The name of the collection is the name you entered when you first set up the connection to Dotdigital (this is covered in this article).

Order (or Purchase History) data is pushed to Contact-scoped Insight data within Dotdigital. This means that each order is tied to a specific Contact within Dotdigital.

Manage an Existing Destination

To view your existing Destinations, click Destinations in the left menu panel. Your existing Destinations are listed underneath Create Multi-Channel Audience. Click on an existing Destination to manage it.

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After choosing a Destination to edit, you can edit the Destination's source Segment and Attributes by selecting either of the Click to Edit buttons on the right of the page.

At the top of the page you have four options, including Sync Now (run the sync now) and Delete (delete this Destination).

You can also turn this Destination on and off by toggling Enable/Disable Campaign. Use this when you want to pause the Destination without deleting it. Setting this to Disable Campaign will keep the Segment and Attributes configured for this Destination.

By default, Distil will set a newly created Destination to Auto-Sync: this means that Distil will automatically sync with Dotdigital every six hours. When this option is set to Auto-Sync, you will not be able to edit the linked Segment - this is explained in more detail in the section above Select a Customer Segment.


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