Using Automation to Refresh Data Segments


  • Two ways to refresh segments created via Drag & Drop Segmentation
  • What is a data filter?
  • What is a filter activity?


  • A filtered list or data extension is a snapshot in time
  • When should you refresh a filtered list or data extension?
    • When you add new subscribers to  the list or data extension
    • When you want to update subscriber information
  • Best practice is to make sure you refresh your list or data extension frequently and consistently as subscribers can update their profile information from the profile center

Manual Refresh

  • To manually refresh a list or data extensions, simply navigate to the list or data extension and click on the refresh icon from the actions bar

Automation Refresh

  • To automatically refresh lists:
    • Step 1: Define the data filter and create the rules and conditions
    • Step 2: Create a filtered list via the filter activity.  The filtered activity will be executed in automation studio
  • To automatically refresh Data Extensions:

What is a Data Filter?

  • A filter (rule) or a set of criteria that’s applied to a specific list
  • It can be used to subset or segment data on a specific list
  • To create a data filter, select Data Filter from the Subscribers drop down list in the Email application
  • In the Data Filters work space, click Create
  • The create filter window appears
  • You can create a data filter from:
    • Profile Attributes
      • Build a filter based on profile attributes, preference attributes, filters and measures
    • Data Extension
      • Build a filter based on measures for a sendable data extension or source data extension

What is a Filter Activity?

  • All the filtered activities in the interactions tab can be automated in automation studio
  • A filter activity applies the logic of a data filter to a list
  • To create a filter activity, from the Interactions menu, select Filter
  • To start the creation process, click Create
  • Data filter name and filter definition are required
  • Once the filter definition has been selected, we need to select the source list
  • Once the source list has been selected, a result group folder needs to be specified
  • Save the Filter Activity then select Groups from the Subscribers menu to see if the filter has been created

What can you Automate with Automation Studio?

  • You can automate:
    • Sending of Emails
    • Data Imports
    • Refresh Groups
    • Segment Data
    • Manipulate Data
    • Run Reports
    • Send SMS

Four steps to building an Automation

  1. Select the Type of Automation
    • Scheduled
      • Use a scheduled automation when you want your automation to start based on a schedule you define, or when you want to run an automation once
    • Triggered
      • Use a triggered automation when you want your automation to start based on the event of a file being dropped into your designated Enhanced FTP folder
  2. Build your Automation Workflow with Steps & Activities
    • Organize the specific activities into Steps
    • Note: When refreshing filtered data extensions and filtered lists from a single source, do not put more than two activities in a single step
  3. Define your Automation Schedule
    • Start
      • Select a day and time in the future when the automation is to begin
    • Time Zone
      • Select the time zone in which the automation will execute (honors DST)
    • Repeat
      • Defines the interval in which the automation will run
    • End
      • Establishes an end date; Never, After, On Date
  4. Review your Automation Activity
    • Shows you all the details of an automation including the health of the automation and average run time
    • Option to send a Status Notification to one or more email addresses when the program completes or errors
    • Ability to view specific time period



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