Custom fields and campaign segmentation

Custom fields and campaign segmentation

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to create custom fields and how you can use them to segment your subscriber list. To automate different tasks without any problem, for example, the typical "Hello, John" at the beginning of any newsletter.


Creating custom fields

This process is very simple: just go to the Subscribers>>Custom fields: menu and click on the Add button:

And with that, you have the new field created and ready to use:

This will open the screen for creating the custom field itself and you must fill in the details of the you want to create:

In this case, we're entering random values, but let's take a look at the different options available:

  • Field type.You can choose whether it's a text or numeric field, you can choose from several options, etc.
  • Field. This is used to enter the name of the field, very useful for identifying it in the future.
  • Tag name. This is the name of the tag that we will use, for example in newsletters, so that the field is embedded.
  • Required. If the field is a mandatory field, for example if we use it in a subscription form.
  • Default value.   If we want to set a default value for the field

Now all you have to do is click on the Create custom field button to create it.

Import subscriber list

After creating the custom fields, one of the first things we can do is import the contacts that have these fields among their values.

To do this, simply go to Subscribers>>Imports and click on New import:


We'll now have three options for importing the contact list:

In this case, we'll choose the second option Import files (.CSV or .TXT) and then simply choose the file on your computer (or drag it to the area indicated)

Let's use a file like this one:

A list of contacts in a TXT file, one contact per line, with the fields separated by commas.

We'll choose the file and, once Mailrelay has loaded it, we'll have to define which values go in which column, which is known as column mapping:

You can see that we have, on one side, the drop-down fields and, on the other side, a preview of the data, which is like sample data so that you can easily identify which values correspond to which fields.

Based on the document we imported, the system identifies the first field as Name, the second as Email and, in the third field, we selected the custom field we created earlier: Sport.

You can change the field with which each element in your list is associated, if you wish, by simply selecting the name of the desired field in each of the drop-down menus.

The other values for this import would be:

1. we choose the sports group option

2. if you choose a new group, you will have to give it a name in the corresponding field.

Details of the additional options:

  1. Update existing subscriber data: if we don't check this option and import existing contacts that we've previously imported, the import won't do anything with them. They will be ignored and will remain as they are. If you check this option, two new ones will be displayed.
  2. Keep subscribers in their current groups and add them to the newly selected groups.  This is exactly that. If we already have these contacts imported into other groups, they will remain in those groups and will also be added to the new group. Don't worry, Mailrelay doesn't consider these contacts to be duplicates. What happens is that they will be registered in two lists.
  3. Remove the subscribers from the current groups and add them to the newly selected groups.   Basically, what this does is "move" the contacts from where they are now to the new group.
  4. I declare that the data to be imported complies with the GDPR (if applicable to my account) and international anti-spam regulations and has been verified with double opt-in, releasing Mailrelay from all liability for any damage, loss, liability, settlement or disbursement (including additional costs) arising from any claim or legal action if this is not the case. To comply with current regulations.
  5. Finally, click on Import.

After the import, we will be informed of the result of the process:

We will be able to see the emails that were successfully imported and those that were not.

You will also be able to see the values of these contacts.

Review a contact to see its values and custom fields

If you want to see the fields registered for a contact, simply go to Subscribers>>Subscribers menu and edit the contact. To do this, click on the Show button (blue) or the Edit button (green):

For each contact line, we have the option of viewing it, editing it or deleting it (by clicking on the red Move to trash button).

If, for example, you click on Show, you'll see something like this:

Well, there's a lot more information on that screen, but focusing on what interests us now, we can see the value of the custom field in the bottom left-hand corner.

If, instead of clicking on Show, we had chosen the edit option, the screen we would see would look like this:

As you can see, there is a custom fields section where we can view and edit the fields in question and then update them using the Update subscriber button.

Adding custom fields to the newsletter

One of the most practical uses of custom fields, although not the only one, is to insert them into the email, either in the subject line or in the body of the message. The procedure is the same in both cases.

To do this, go to the Campaigns>>Campaigns menu; On this screen, you can create a new campaign or edit an existing newsletter.

The first thing you'll need is a text field, like this one:

Just click on the Edit button, which will open an option for editing the block in question:

The Variables drop-down menu shows the system variables and those we have created. Custom variables are displayed at the bottom of the drop-down menu, so select the Subscriber custom fields option.

Click on the field that will be used, so that it can be inserted into the text (in our example, it will be Sport).

This action adds the variable {{ }} to the newsletter and this value will be replaced by the field that corresponds to each subscriber.

You should consider three key points:

You need to indicate that this is a subscriber variable > subscriber

That it is a custom field > custom_fields

And the field in question > sport

So, in the editor, you'll see:

And when the email is sent, the custom field will be replaced by the value assigned to that subscriber:


So far, we've seen how to import data from custom fields and how to insert them into campaigns. How to segment the contact list in order to send a newsletter only to subscribers who meet a condition, for example: that the field has a value, i.e. that it is not empty.

Segmenting the contact list by custom field value

Filtering or segmenting is very easy with Mailrelay, just go to the Subscribers>>Segmentation menu:

Here click Add to create a new segment.

Let's take a closer look at the following steps.

This is the screen for creating a new segment. The first thing we'll do is give it a name, for instance, Contacts who play golf.

The segment name (Name) will come in handy later, you can write whatever you need, but you should know that you'll need to use it later, so use something representative.

Now let's set up the conditions.

In the "Subscribers must match" field, we have to choose between:

  • All. All conditions must be met
  • Any.  Any of the conditions must be met, any of them.

This is related to the conditions we'll define later. If we only have one condition, it doesn't matter.The next point is to select the event or field that we will use in the filter (in our case, Sport):

There are several options:

  1. Subscriber-related
  2. With newsletters
  3. Subscriber activity
  4. and custom fields

The operation is the same regardless of the field selected, but the options that will be displayed later may vary. For example, if we select Custom field, we will see these options:

  • Contains: the field must contain the text string that was written.
  • Does not contain: We're looking for it not to contain the string in question.
  • Equals: unlike "Contains", in this case the string must be exactly the same as the string in question.
  • Not equal to: must not be exactly equal
  • Blank: or if it is blank

Finally, we just need to fill in the field with the desired value:


In this case, we'll add Golf, which is the value we put in the custom field, among others.

Well, now that we have everything ready, before we go any further, we can click on the Preview button on the right and this will return a list of subscribers that match the filter we created, for example:

Now we need to decide whether to create a segment (Create segment) or a group (Create group):

What's the difference between these two options? If we choose Create group, what we do is create a new group with the contacts who respond to the segmentation we created, in their current state. The group we create will contain these contacts forever, even if we make changes to the values of these contacts.

However, what the Create Segment option will do is create a kind of "dynamic group" that will contain the contacts that are in the segmentation created.

But if we edit the contact and the sport value changes from Golf to Karate, that contact will no longer belong to the segment. In other words, its data will change based on the field value in real time.

  • So, in a segment, we always have the contacts that meet the condition.
  • In a group, we have the contacts who met the condition at the time the group was created.

For this example, we'll create a segment and see it in the list like this:

And from that moment on, you can use the segment to send mass mailing campaigns. All you have to do is select it by checking the Segment option and check the segment you created.

Segment contacts who didn't open the last newsletter

Another possibility offered by segmentation is to filter out contacts who haven't opened a specific campaign, if you want to send the newsletter to them again.

To do this, all you need to do is add a new segmentation by clicking on Subscribers>>Segmentation>>Add.

The configuration is quite simple:

Newsletter filter, select Specific campaigns. After that, select the newsletter you want to use under Campaigns.

Finally, you can create a new segment or a new group. The segments are dynamic, so that if a contact suddenly opens the selected newsletter, they will automatically be removed from the segment.

Groups, on the other hand, are static.

Once the group or segment has been created, you can select it when sending the newsletter.

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