Sudheendra Chilappagari, Sasha Blumenfeld on April 24th 2019
Whether you’re a high-growth company looking to scale or an enterprise focused on innovation, you need the right technology stack to continue to evolve and grow. That’s why we’ve opened our platform to allow technology companies to build and maintain their own Segment integrations using the Developer Center–giving you an ever-growing list of the most cutting-edge tools to choose from.
Below are the latest partner-built integrations now available on the Segment catalog. If you don’t see the tool you’re looking for, check out our new in-app wishlists. Wishlists give you the power to add new integration requests and upvote existing requests directly from the Segment app.
Adikteev | Advertising
Who is it for: Marketing teams
What is it: Adikteev runs machine learning on the data you collect via Segment to re-target and engage your users with customized, immersive creative campaigns.
How does it work with Segment: By incorporating historical data sent via Segment you can not only build richer segmentation but also further refine those audiences to deliver more relevant and engaging ads to each user.
Blendo | Raw Data
Who is it for: Data Engineers at Consumer apps
What is it: Blendo is an ETL tool. It helps you load your data into a data warehouse like Postgres, Redshift, or BigQuery.
How does it work with Segment: When you enable the Blendo destination, Segment will begin sending all of your Segment data to Blendo to be loaded elsewhere.
Candu | Customer Success
Who is it for: SaaS companies
What is it: Candu delivers in-depth learning experiences from within your application, so users learn what they need to know without ever leaving your product.
How does it work with Segment: When you use Segment to send user data to Candu, non-technical teams can personalize courses and automatically trigger in-product content recommendations based off intent.
ChurnZero | Customer Success
Who is it for: Subscription businesses
What is it: ChurnZero gives subscription businesses tools for battling churn. It gives you real-time alerts for actions inside your app and on social media so that you can proactively find and engage with customers who might churn.
How does it work with Segment: When you enable the ChurnZero destination, Segment will begin sending all of your Segment data to ChurnZero. Your in-app data will power ChurnZero’s reporting and customer segmentation data, allowing you to better identify at-risk users.
Dreamdata | Attribution
Who is it for: B2B companies
What is it: If you’re a B2B business, you have a small number of high value customers. They might come in via search, blog posts, or word of mouth. Dreamdata helps you understand how those users are discovering your app.
How does it work with Segment: Dreamdata takes in your Segment data, and uses it to show you funnels, ad spend, and how your various channels are performing.
Kustomer | CRM
Who is it for: CSM and Customer Success teams
What is it: Kustomer provides a single view of an account. It helps combine not only user behavior, but also the objects they might interact with. If you’re running an airline, Kustomer can help display the full user journey, including tickets, flights, and airports.
How does it work with Segment: Segment sends your first-party customer data into Kustomer, where it gets added to your views of the user journey.
PersistIQ | Email Marketing
Who is it for: Sales teams
What is it: Persist is a tool to help run email campaigns for your sales teams. It provides the ability to run mail merges, campaigns, and gives you reporting across how your different campaigns are performing.
How does it work with Segment: Events you collect through Segment are sent into PersistIQ, which you can then use to tailor more personalized emails.
Personyze | AB Testing | Email
Who is it for: Consumer and E-Commerce companies
What is it: Personyze is all about providing personalized data to change the user’s experience. They specialize in powering e-commerce recommendations, and recommended content for publishers. Personyze helps you not only add the widgets you need, but also powers the data behind the recommendations.
How does it work with Segment: When you enable the Personyze destination, Segment will begin sending data to power your recommendations.
Proof Experiences | Personalization
Who is it for: SaaS companies
What is it: Proof Experiences gives you tools to personalize your webpage. Instead of using a generic call-to-action or header message, you can instead tailor it directly to your visitor. They give you a visual editor to change the page layout depending on the rules you’ve specified.
How does it work with Segment: Proof Experiences takes in your Segment data, which you can then use to create rules + audiences. You can target users with certain traits, or ones who have performed certain events.
Savio | Customer Success
Who is it for: Product teams
What is it: Savio helps you collect feedback from your users. They give you a simple form to collect feedback, which you can then present to your users. In their interface, you can see rollups of the different pieces of feedback, as well as be able to slice and dice by various user tags.
How does it work with Segment: When you enable the Savio destination, Segment will begin sending your Segment data to Savio. Your Segment identify data should give you a better ability to Segment your feedback by different groups (“let me find only SMB users”).
ScopeAI | Analytics
Who is it for: Product teams
What is it: Scope AI helps you gather customer feedback. Chances are that you have a lot of feedback coming in from tweets, helpdesk tickets, app store reviews, livechats, and in-person conversations. Scope AI helps automatically pull in data from all of these different sources, surface this data in a single place, and gives you powerful tools to analyze sentiment over time.
How does it work with Segment: When you enable the Scope AI destination, Segment will begin sending all of your Segment data to Scope AI. Your users in-app behavior and sentiment data will help power your Scope AI reports, and give you a richer dataset to measure your progress.
Singular Analytics | Attribution
Who is it for: Mobile marketers
What is it: Singular provides dashboards and reporting for your mobile application across a whole host of different dimensions. You define goal metrics, send in your data, and Singular can help you track your progress against your goals.
How does it work with Segment: When you enable the Singular destination, Segment will begin sending data which you can then use in your dashboards and goals.
TrafficGuard | Security & Fraud
Who is it for: Marketing teams
What is it: TrafficGuard detects, mitigates, and reports on ad fraud before it hits digital advertising budgets. Ensures your campaigns result in genuine engagement.
How does it work with Segment: Trafficgaurd’s ad fraud algorithms are powered by your Segment data to automatically detect bot traffic and fraud at the impression, click, and event levels.
Trustpilot | Customer Success
Who is it for: E-commerce businesses
What is it: Trustpilot is a review platform. Users review various businesses, products, and services, and go there to find other reviews. If you run a business that’s reviewed on Trustpilot, integrating Segment can provide automated, verified reviews from your Completed Order Segment events.
How does it work with Segment: Your completed order events will be sent to Trustpilot. From there, they can be added to the reviews for your business.
Upcall | Customer Success
Who is it for: High-touch B2B businesses
What is it: Upcall is a tool to call new leads when they first sign up. If you run a high touch business, you can automatically call a user minutes after they request to be contacted, rather than hours or days.
How does it work with Segment: When you enable Upcall as a destination, Segment will begin sending user data along to your Upcall account. This will give you a richer dataset to trigger on (“make a call when a user triggers the ‘request demo’ event”)
UserIQ | Customer Success
Who is it for: B2B companies
What is it: UserIQ provides you account-level views of your customers. You can see dashboards of their overall health, visualizations of their user journey, and financial metrics for the account itself.
How does it work with Segment: When you enable the UserIQ destination, Segment will begin sending data that will populate your account-level views in UserIQ
Unwaffle | Customer Success
Who is it for: Businesses offering trials
What is it: Unwaffle gives you a per-user view of new users who have just signed up for your free trial. It assigns a happiness score to each one, with a likeliness to convert, and a high level set of metrics. Unwaffle helps you identify what makes users happy, and when a user might not be happy.
How does it work with Segment: When you enable Unwaffle as a destination, Segment will send along your user data into Unwaffle. This data is used to populate user actions, and translate into Unwaffle’s score around likelihood to convert.
Watchtower | Security & Fraud
Who is it for: CIOs and CISOs
What is it: Watchtower is an all-in-one solution to monitor how sensitive data flows through your production infrastructure, and various SaaS tools you might be using. Discover, automatically classify, and alert on sensitive PII and user-level data.
How does it work with Segment: Events you collect through Segment will be automatically sent to Watchtower. Watchtower can classify that data, and better understand whether you are accidentally collecting or leaking sensitive data.
Sara Thurman, Carlos Mecha on April 10th 2019
What are our customers doing with their raw data destinations?
Late last year, we were interested to learn what customers were building on top of our streaming webhooks and S3 connections. One name came up over and over again: AWS Lambda. AWS Lambda allows customers to write their own transformations and destination enhancements at a low cost and with little operational overhead.
And we knew we had a chance to make it even easier.
Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of our AWS Lambda Destination. Now customers can use our AWS Lambda Destination to execute custom, serverless code based on any call from Segment, like
The code you run on AWS Lambda (a “Lambda function”) can unlock endless new use cases for your business, and we’re excited to see what you build with it.
With AWS Lambda and Segment, you get the power of Customer Data Infrastructure and the flexibility to run code without provisioning or managing servers. Here are some of the ways customers are combining Segment events with AWS Lambda today:
Enrich events via internal + external data stores: Decorate your events with new data from the Clearbit API, snag product metadata of a productId, or fetch a required identity off the Personas Profile API.
Run advanced transforms: We understand there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to transforming your events. Merge property values to event names in Intercom or drop unnecessary fields from events.
Customize existing integrations: Edit or augment existing integrations in our Catalog to better solve your business problems. If you can code it, you can ship it!
Build your own integrations: Want to send data to an integration we don’t support today? Just wire up the mapping you need in your Lambda and watch the events roll in!
Lambda functions are incredibly powerful, but often setting up, piping data in, and monitoring these functions come at a cost. Segment’s goal is to allow our customers to unlock powerful use cases, without having to spend a bunch of time configuring or debugging.
Our customer Mode Analytics, a data analytics platform, has wired up a system using Lambda to perform their own custom transformations.
AWS Lambda and Segment is a great combination. We collect and centralize our customer data with Segment, and AWS Lambda makes those events immediately actionable by processing, transforming, and sending them to marketing, support, and alerting tools we use every day.
-Benn Stancil, Chief Analytics Officer at Mode
Getting started with Segment and AWS Lambda is as easy as 1, 2, 3…
Create your Lambda - In AWS (or using tools like Up), deploy your Lambda and create your IAM role.
Point Segment at your Lambda - In your Lambda Destination settings, fill in the ARNs for your Lambda and an IAM role with
Start sending data - Enable your Destination and start enjoying the freedom to control your data’s destiny.
Want to try it out yourself? Here’s an example for a destination we don’t currently support in our catalog, Banjo Analytics. In less than 25 lines of code you’ll have data flowing.
You can find the full example, or add your own, in our Lambda Recipes repo on GitHub.
Calvin French-Owen on April 2nd 2019
Every six months you see a post pop up on Hacker News like this:
The reality is that it’s hard to build a business from scratch. You need the right people, the right product, the right timing, and more often than not, a lot of luck. But even those things don’t guarantee success.
At Segment, we’ve had the incredible and unlikely fortune of building a real business in those exact conditions. We launched the very first tiny slice of our product 6.5 years ago as a Show HN post.
We still have an enormous distance to go on our journey. However, today is an important milestone. We’re announcing that we’ve raised $175M in Series D funding. It’s a big moment for us, and one that wouldn’t have happened without the support and feedback from all of our users.
Like every startup journey, we’ve had our share of ups and downs. In this post, we wanted to give you a window into Segment's journey in that first year; from the initial product launch, to our first hundred customers, to the pitch deck we used to raise our first funding. For all the startups out there in a similar boat, hopefully you can take something from our experience and apply it to your own.
Six years ago, we were just four engineers sitting in an apartment on Russian Hill in San Francisco. We had 6 months of runway, and paid ourselves almost nothing.
This is the story of our first year after launching on HN.
Let’s start in December, 2012. At the time, the four of us had been working on failed ideas for 18 months. We had 9 months of runway left.
To give you the hyper-abbreviated timeline up until this point:
May 2011: we were accepted to Y Combinator as part of their summer 2011 batch (as an Edtech startup!)
September 2011: we finished the YC batch, raised a seed round, and moved to Boston
October 2011: after thousands of lines of code, we realized our Edtech startup did not have product market fit, so we pivoted to building a Mixpanel competitor focused on segmentation
May 2012: we moved back to SF
December 2012: 6 product iterations later, nothing was working. We were trying to decide between a group trip planner and what eventually became Segment. It was a dark time.
We realized we had only one last shot. So we decided to open source a library we’d built to send our analytics data to all of the different analytics tools (including our Mixpanel competitor) via a single API.
Papering over these different APIs seemed like an almost trivial problem… but one that had clearly annoyed us enough to write some code to solve it.
We debated internally for 5 days whether this weekend project was actually a viable business. We kept going round in circles, coming up with arguments for and against the idea. Try as we might, we couldn’t come to a consensus.
So we put it to the test. On 12/12/12, we launched it on HN, and the response was startling:
The post sat at the top of Hacker News all day with hundreds of upvotes, dozens of comments, and hundreds of tweets. But most surprisingly, professional engineers were saying “we need this at work.”
We were blown away. We’d finally hit a real problem - but whether we could build a business remained to be seen.
We had put up a landing page at segment.io to test whether users wanted a hosted version. We told them to leave their email and then we’d get back to them.
That day, we got hundreds of emails like the one below, coming in at all hours of day and night:
We’d finally built something people wanted! We’d finally tapped into something with real potential, and started solving a real business problem. So we hacked for seven days straight to deliver the first version of the product.
It was minimal — all it did was host Analytics.js for users. They could turn on any of our 10 integrations, enter their configuration, and we would render a custom version behind a Cloudfront CDN. We’d also collect these events via our Node API, and show the events in in a dashboard, but there wasn’t any data actively being proxied through our servers.
The winter holidays were the first time we’d consistently had a steady stream of traffic on our API. We were seeing tens of requests per second come in around the clock.
It was a far cry from the hundreds of thousands of requests we see today, but it was at least a start:
We came back in January and started going “all in” on Segment.io.
Spurred on by our early user adoption and attention from press, we next turned our focus towards building features.
The most valuable thing we ever did at this stage was enable livechat via Olark. It gave us an unparalleled window into what users were asking for.
Unlike our earlier ideas, we were now getting constant feedback on the product. People would start using the product and then just kept asking us for more.
It was an invigorating feeling for us. Instead of making vague guesses at what users might want… they told us outright!
We took his advice. We kept talking to users and launching features to see what would stick. In those first four months, we added:
6 client libraries: Node, Ruby, Python, Java, .NET, PHP
23 server-side integrations
2 mobile libraries and native integrations for iOS + Android
Throughout that time, we only had one medium to announce our products: our blog. We had no real press contacts, no analyst relations, and we certainly didn’t have any money to buy ads.
So we built and built, and we highlighted what we had built in our blog…
we shared our plans to productize in The Future of Analytics.js
we launched our first new integrations
we announced our server-side libraries
we continued building integrations, including Heap, Qualaroo, Adobe, and Pingdom
While publishing on our blog certainly helped us get the word out about what we were building, there was one problem with it.
We felt like it didn’t quite capture all of the questions our users had. It helped answer the question “what’s new with Segment?” But it totally ignored the question of “how should I think about analytics?”
Back then, analytics was a relatively new concept for many companies. It wasn’t enough to just talk about features; we needed to help businesses understand the most effective ways to use them.
Analytics Academy was our first foray into trying to create our own content marketing. We launched it over email to our users (as well as launching it on HN).
The premise was simple. Each week, we’d release a new lesson promising to take you from zero to analytics expert. We hoped that it would be a good way to spread all of knowledge we’d gained from working in the analytics ecosystem for the past year.
Once again, it seemed like we’d hit on something that people wanted! The whole analytics ecosystem was confusing… there were hundreds of different vendors… and our content seemed like it could actually teach our users something.
The trouble was, it didn’t seem like our content was landing. We weren’t seeing it get re-shared, and the posts didn’t seem to resonate. It all felt lame compared to our earlier success on the blog.
Ilya (one of the four of us) sent a draft post to his brother, Mike, who runs his own bootstrapped startup to ask for his feedback.
Mike had some brutal, but honest criticism for us on a post we did about Live Chat tools. He sent us back this email:
The question is, do I feel I learned something unique/valuable from this article? I didn’t think so.
Can you guys give me something valuable here?
- Which chat products are better at what? / how are they different?
- How do you deal with chat volume?
- What are some best ways to use the customer feedback?
Bottom line, give me some juicy knowledge that (a) puts me at ease with adding live chat and (b) gives me specific techniques for benefiting from it.
He pointed out that the Academy posts had piqued his interest… but not really delivered on their core goal: to teach him about analytics.
We set out to do better with the next posts. For each one we focused on a set of specifics. Things that he could immediately take away to help his business.
By March, we’d gotten to a better spot:
That lesson has really stuck with us ever since. It’s been our goal for everything that goes on our blog that the content should be both specific and actionable.
We ended up publishing six different tutorials, from dashboarding to live chat and email tools. It wasn’t easy, but now the academy is still one of our most popular pieces of content to date.
Despite our first taste of success in product-market fit, we started to hit some serious problems.
In May, our funding was starting to dry up. We still hadn’t started charging for the product, and we were looking at about three months of runway.
We set out to raise $1m as part of a bigger seed round at an $8m valuation. We had public pricing on our site, promising traction and a lot of momentum, but we were still pre-revenue.
Peter was doing the fundraising, and reached out to all of the investors on our radar. Of the dozens of emails we sent, 3 replied. Among them were e.Ventures and KPCB.
To give you an idea of where the business was at, I’ve included the full set of slides from our 2013 “Series Seed” pitch deck down below. Following the advice of YC, we included: 1) extremely clear descriptions of the product 2) the relevant pre-revenue metrics 3) a set of ideas for the future.
Slides 1 & 2
We started with a simple description of the product, and a few screenshots to give investors a grounding in what Segment does.
At its heart, Segment is a technical product, so explaining what it does and how it works is key. We’d just launched our mobile libraries a few weeks before, and we were riding off the momentum of our new releases.
Slides 3 & 4
Next came our growth numbers.
The primary metric that mattered to us was the number of new projects (our name for sources at the time) sending data. Our pricing was based upon data volume, and each new project would be paying us at least $10 a month.
The charts shown in the second slide were the ones that we were looking at week over week. Oddly enough, instead of using an analytics tool (we use Mode over Redshift today), we had hooked up a Google sheet. We’ve always loved being able to look at the raw data.
The top left graph shows the number of active projects sending data. You can see that it grows linearly, sometimes dipping on weekends when the smaller projects sent no data.
The bottom left graph shows the percentage of signups who are actually creating a project (the first step in our funnel). The bottom right graph shows the percentage of projects that actually get to the point of sending data.
We put these up on a dashboard in our apartment and monitored them religiously. You can see where we fixed our signup flow to ‘auto-create’ projects about two weeks in, and steadily started seeing higher levels of activation.
Slides 5 & 6
Since we didn’t have much (read: next-to-zero) revenue to speak of at this point, we thought ‘social proof’ would be better.
This last slide became pivotal when we later went to raise our Series A, though looking back on it, we realize how cheeky it was to include at the time.
As we made it clear to investors, none of these companies actually used Segment at the time. They had all expressed interest, and the intent of things they wanted to do. But we hadn’t convinced any of them to actually use the product.
When we began to raise our Series A one year later, we re-presented this same exact slide, but proudly noted: “a year ago, these six prospects expressed interest. Today, five of the six names on here have become customers.”
Segment was here to stay.
Slides 7 & 8
To really drive the point home, we included a few slides positioning ourselves in the market, how we might monetize, and spelled out the benefits of using Segment.
What’s changed the most today is how we monetize. Back then we thought revenue sharing with partners might be a good idea, but that ended up being a small revenue stream and a conflict of interest in advising customers on the best tools, so we no longer practice revenue sharing with our partners. Instead, we only receive revenue from our customers.
We no longer charge for premium integrations either. We realized quickly that users get the most value from Segment when they integrate more tools. Making users think twice before enabling an integration felt like it was hurting our customers and ourselves more than it helped.
Of course, we wanted to share a few of our ideas for the future. Building a simple way to integrate different tools felt like step 1 for Segment. We saw our bigger path forward as creating the platform for customer data.
We eventually integrated with 2/3 of these companies (we never got the chance with Amiato, who was acquired by Amazon).
With the launch of our Developer Center last month, this promise has become more and more of a reality. Since that time, we’ve added 180 integrations. In the past month alone, we’ve added 25 new integrations, all built atop Segment Data.
Slides 10 & 11
Finally, we explained our ambitions: to be the infrastructure that lets you manage your customer data. As we’ve grown, this pitch has been largely consistent. Segment is the place to send your first-party data.
We wrapped up by sharing every credential we could find within reach. It was a short list for four people who had never worked ‘real’ jobs before… 2 years of experience was enough to make us dangerous though
And that was it!
We closed $2M in new funding from e.ventures and KPCB, which gave us the necessary runway to make it through the next year, and blow past our first milestone of $1M in annual recurring revenue.
Here’s the email Peter sent to Ray, our partner at KPCB, just after the round closed at $2m raised on $10.5m post-money valuation.
We began hiring for engineering, customer success, and sales that November. And we had our first annual contracts booked in November 2013. We grew from 4 to 10 people that year, and set ourselves on the road to scaling.
Since those early days, Segment has grown enormously.
analytics.js from the original Show HN is now loaded 15 billion distinct times per month across 1 billion distinct devices
our data volume has grown by 10,000x, now processing over 100,000 messages per second
our users now enable over 80,000 new destinations over the course of the year, which equates to one integration enabled every 1.4 minutes of every workday.
we’ve re-written our core pipeline to improve the delivery and retry behavior in the face of downstream failures
launched our second product, Personas, which provides audience management atop our core product
released our third product, Protocols, a product to help enforce your tracking plan and our users have created 500 different tracking plans for customers
the team has grown from 4 to 350+, now spread across 5 offices globally
To power all of those product improvements, we’ve also made a number of infrastructure changes. Since our first launch in 2012, we:
now run our full production workloads in containers on ECS
split from all data in MongoDB to split RDS datastores
now have detailed reporting to help reduce our AWS bill by millions of dollars per year
developed our own distributed database for control data called ctlstore
That said, some things haven’t changed. Our blog is still our primary avenue for launching product. We keep open-sourcing our internal tools to share with the community. We keep reading every HN comment and tweet about the business. And we continue to share what we’ve learned.
Most of all, we’ve just kept trying to build momentum and create value for our customers. Not all of our bets have panned out. But as long as we continue to make bets, some of them will.
With this most recent fundraise, we have three new ways we want to serve our customers:
1. Continue building out the platform
In the past 6 years, we’ve gone from 8 integrations to more than 250. This year, we are focusing on expanding on that number in a major way. We’ll be continuing to provide more powerful ways to integrate via our developer center, and continuing to onboard new partners into the Segment ecosystem. This month alone, we’ve added 25 new partners integrated with Segment.
2. Iterating on our pricing
We’ve heard the feedback that our pricing can be expensive for early-stage, high volume, consumer-focused startups. We’ve already taken a first step to address this with our startup program, which gives away two years of Segment for free. And as we speak we’re working with startups all over the world to figure out a pricing structure that will work better for them.
3. Giving you superpowers
Our renewed goal this year is to “give you superpowers”. We have a number of products in our pipeline that should give you unparalleled ways of managing your data pipelines, all without changing your tracking code. Advanced filtering, workflows, and privacy products are coming down the pipeline.
On a more personal note, we want to thank everyone who has been along for the ride. To this day, the four of us still re-forward 5-year-old emails from our earliest users and customers. Your excitement about the product gave us the conviction to keep building.
Without you, Segment would have been another failed side project. With your help, we’re now able to help thousands of business provide world-class experiences for their customers. And tomorrow, we’re looking forward to helping tens of thousands more.
-The Segment Founders
Andy Schumeister, Doug Roberge on March 21st 2019
At Segment we spend a lot of time focused on helping customers do fantastic things with their customer data. Whether it’s helping you transform any tool into an account-based tool or alerting you when someone updates your tracking plan, we’ve been hard at work to ensure Segment helps you use data better.
Here’s a roundup of the latest features, product updates, and integrations at Segment.
Check out some of our latest integrations:
Singular: Segment customers can now effortlessly adopt Singular without the need to add code or an SDK to their apps. Singular's Marketing Intelligence Platform helps marketers drive growth by automatically unifying campaign data from thousands of sources with attribution data to uncover ROI across the customer journey.
Proof: Proof’s newest product—Experiences—helps B2B SaaS companies increase trials and demos by delivering delightfully personalized experiences to their visitors. You can create raving fans by dynamically delivering the perfect website content or signup funnel for each visitor, add targeted banners, social proof, and more.
UserIQ: Helps your organization to capture usage, engagement, and customer health data and puts that user-centric data into action. UserIQ helps your team facilitate onboarding to reduce implementation time, highlight new product features to expand user adoption, and improve time-to-value to increase customer retention.
Dreamdata: Enables B2B companies to understand the revenue impact of every touch in their customer journey. Dreamdata uses your Segment data to deliver multitouch, account-based attribution.
Have a new team, product, or business unit coming soon? We now offer the ability to make bulk updates to your Segment workspace—including sources, destinations, and tracking plans—programmatically.The Config API allows you to provision your Segment workspace directly from your command line. Now you can choose to build and maintain Segment in the way that you want. Many customers, including Atlassian, have saved dozens of engineering hours by using the Config API.
To help you organize and understand the events in your Protocols tracking plan, you can now add labels to indicate event priority, team ownership, or even platform. Because labels are flexible, you can create labels for whatever makes the most sense for your business. You can also filter events by label in your tracking plan, schema tab or the data validation report, enabling you to focus on relevant events. Learn more.Click to add a caption…
Instead of blocking events that don’t fully adhere to your tracking plan, you can now choose to omit unplanned properties while retaining the properties you care about. For example, let’s say you specify that all “Product Viewed” events must include the properties SKU, category, and brand. If a Product Viewed event is sent with those properties and a property called test, Segment can automatically omit the test property from enabled cloud-mode destinations. That way, your planned properties will make it to your analytics and marketing tools, but any unplanned properties won’t. Learn more.
To help you monitor tracking plan updates, new events, and blocked or omitted properties, we added Protocols support to the activity feed. You can view the activity feed in the app or forward alerts to a Segment source. From there, you can send these alerts to your data warehouse for querying, or any cloud-mode destination. To get started, go to your workspace settings, and click on “Activity Feed Settings.” You’ll be able to select a source and enter email addresses for Protocols-specific alerts from this view. Learn more.These features are available to all customers currently using Protocols. If you want to learn more about how Protocols can help you protect the integrity of your data, get in touch.
A new feature that allows you to use SQL to pull customer data directly from your warehouse into Personas and activate it in your marketing tools. With SQL Traits, you can unlock data in your warehouse that has previously been inaccessible to advertising, marketing automation, and out-of-the-box analytics tools such as object cloud source data, historical sales data from POS systems, or totally new predictions from your data science team. Read the blog for more information.
This is a popular request from the B2B companies we work with. We added support for Accounts in Personas, which turns any tool on the Segment platform into an account-based tool. The feature gives you the option to view and query account profiles and create computed traits or audiences at the account-level. See how people are using it!
Want to get a quick read on users who have submitted a demo request, but never returned to your site? No problem! On each computed trait and audience page in Personas, you can now easily determine what users are included with a mini user explorer and how that audience size has changed.
To help you create better campaigns faster, we have added list support for three popular destinations: Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Marketo, and Sendgrid. This makes it easier than ever to create behavior-based audiences in Personas and use them to run personalized campaigns.
New activation configuration: You can now choose to send your traits or audiences to downstream tools as an identify call, configurable track call, or both. This enables you to understand better when users are moving in and out of audiences in end tools.
Audience builder enhancements: You now have access to a calendar date picker for time-bound audiences, source-filters to control what data you’re using to create audiences, and relative property references, which allows you to compare the relationship of two user characteristics when building an audience.
Added user explorer context: We’ve restructured the user and account profiles to make them more accessible. Computed traits and audiences are now broken out into their own tabs so you can quickly see what audiences and traits are being computed within Personas.
These features are available to all customers currently using Personas. If you want to learn more about how Personas can help you understand and engage your users, get in touch.
Doug Roberge, Alex Millet on March 12th 2019
The marketer’s role within an organization has changed. It has evolved from focusing on brand-first experiences that can’t be tied directly to business impact to driving data-backed strategies that show quantifiable results. Along the way, marketers pushing the boundaries on technology rely on a common thread: access to accurate, real-time data.
Unfortunately, this kind of access to detailed and real-time data is not possible for most marketers. Whenever they want to create a new campaign, they need to ask their analytics team to write a SQL query in their data warehouse, download a CSV, and then upload it to a marketing tool. This process could take days at best and months at worst. And, the process only grants access to web and mobile data. Few marketers can understand the data within a broader context of CRM, POS, and help desk data to augment their messaging.
There is a better way.
SQL Traits is a new feature in Personas that allows you to use SQL to pull customer data directly from your warehouse into Personas and activate it in your marketing tools. With SQL Traits, you can unlock data in your warehouse that has previously been inaccessible to advertising, marketing automation, and out-of-the-box analytics tools. This includes account data from Salesforce, historical sales data from POS systems, or totally new predictions from your data science team. Any piece of data that’s stored in your warehouse is now available for segmentation and personalization.
Specifically, SQL Traits enables you to:
Access new types of data for marketing. These new data types include object cloud source data like Zendesk, Salesforce or Stripe, historical customer data, data from back end systems, like your POS, or models that your data science team has built.
Build any segment imaginable. If it’s possible in SQL and the data is in your warehouse, it’s possible with SQL Traits. You can build audiences with complex calculations from data that exists across tables and data sources.
Give your analysts and data engineers time back. The ability to query your data warehouse directly can save hundreds of hours of engineering work by eliminating the need for duplicative data pulls, manual CSV downloads, and simple data transformations. Not to mention, it speeds up marketing’s ability to test and innovate.
Request a Personas demo to see SQL Traits in action.
With more context around your customers, you have the power to deliver personalized messages throughout their customer journey. And, with fewer data blindspots, there is a much smaller chance of showing an irrelevant promotion or sending an incorrectly personalized email.
Printed, a one-stop creative gallery and directory, is using SQL Traits to:
Have control and visibility of all audience rules, including the ability for marketing to update them easily
Combine multiple data inputs to create email campaigns that span the customer’s journey: From welcome to onboarding to usage and reactivation
Integrate data from their rewards program into their email marketing for added personalization
Grailed, a community marketplace for men's clothing, is using SQL Traits to:
Double the number of campaigns they run per week
Connect historical information on their buyers, such as lifetime spend with their push and email tools
Calculate the number of times a buyer has purchased a specific brand tier and use that information to determine which brand to highlight in the next email campaign
Frame.io, a post-production video editing software company, is using SQL Traits to:
Send emails to account owners when someone else on their team hits an account limit
Use LTV predictions to create advertising audiences that they are comfortable spending more on
Configure trial expiration dates with the Personas SQL editor to drive personalized trial-ending emails based on account activity during the trial period
Other use cases for B2B companies:
Import lead fields from Salesforce and create an audience of closed, lost leads that triggers a nurture campaign
Run a query in Stripe that pulls the
field for every account to target ads and create more effective lookalike campaigns
Get a list of users that currently have a ticket open or a negative NPS from Zendesk to remove them from any upsell email campaigns or ad campaigns
Use cases for B2C companies:
Identify how a user has engaged with previous Facebook ad campaigns to determine what type of campaign they should receive next
Compute the number of emails that have been delivered, opened, and clicked to determine if you should keep emailing someone, or if they’re not engaged, switch to ads
Import new customer LTV predictions from your data science team to determine whom you should bid more for and whom you should exclude from ad campaigns
Once you have access to Personas, you can start using SQL Traits. Within the Computed Trait builder, you simply select SQL Traits, select the correct warehouse, write or paste in your query, preview your audience, and send it to your selected destinations. The editor in Personas works just like an editor that you would use in a BI tool.
Once your SQL Trait is setup, Personas will run your query on a recurring basis and import only the users and traits that have changed. For each row of your query results, we’ll send an identify or group call with all the columns returned as traits. For example, if you write a query that returns the following results:
We will send an identify call with the following payload:
We currently support Redshift, Snowflake, BigQuery, and Postgres. Check out the docs for more detail.
Building your traits and audiences and getting them to the right place is only one piece of the customer engagement puzzle. The success of what you build is dependent on the quality and completeness of the data you are using. If you’re working with an incomplete or inaccurate data set, your product experiences and marketing messages will fall flat.
Personas SQL Traits tackles one of the big hurdles that marketers face: data access. Quality and data completeness, two other critical parts of the equation, require a foundation of strong data infrastructure. At Segment, we call this Customer Data Infrastructure. A combined solution for companies that allows you to easily collect your customer data from a variety of different data sources and standardize it to ensure quality, all while elevating the customer as the most essential unit.
If you’re already using the advanced version of Personas, the new trait type will be available in the Segment app. Try it for yourself! If you’re not currently a Personas customer or you are a Personas Essentials customer and want to learn more, request a demo here.
Ilya Volodarsky on February 21st 2019
Early-stage startup founders have a lot on their minds. Are people using my product? How are they using it? Are they returning to get value week over week?
When we were first starting out, my co-founders and I did not understand how important these questions were or how to use analytics to find the answers. As a result, we spent 1.5 years and $500,000 dollars to unfortunately fail in our pursuit of product-market fit.
However, the story doesn’t end there. We realized that there wasn’t an easy way for our early startups to power all of our tools with the same data. So we decided to build a way. Fast forward to today, and Segment has helped tens of thousands of companies instrument and install their first marketing and analytics stack. We’ve seen how critical a solid data foundation and analytics can be to the success of an early startup (us included). That's why we are launching the Segment Startup Program to help early-stage startups get started on the right track.
Early startups have been using our free Developer Plan for years to collect and send data to over 250 tools. But we believe we are well-positioned to help the startup community a lot more.
Today we’re opening up the Segment Startup Program, an initiative dedicated to helping early-stage startups use data to reach product-market fit and grow their business. The program offers startups a free Team Plan (up to $25,000 annual value), which includes significantly more monthly tracked users than the Developer Plan as well as unlimited sources and destinations.
The program also includes exclusive deals from our partners like AWS, Google, Mode, Intercom, and Customer.io, and access to resources on important topics like data collection, analytics, and product-market fit.
The Segment Startup Program is open to early-stage startups that are less than two years old and have raised less than $5M in funding. The program helps companies power all of their apps with the same data, implement their analytics, and install the tools they need to reach product-market fit.
The program consists of three components:
A free Segment Team Plan (up to $25,000 annual value) that includes unlimited sources, unlimited destinations, and additional startup office hours.
Access to over $1M in software credits from our partners, including marketing and analytics tools like Mode, Customer.io, Intercom, Amplitude, Google BigQuery, and AWS.
Educational resources including our Analytics Academy aimed at helping early-stage founders get started on the right path for analytics, product-market fit, customer data, and building a growth stack.
If you’re new to Segment or you’re an existing Segment customer that meets our eligibility requirements, you can apply online and get started immediately.
Are you an accelerator, incubator, co-working space, or venture capital fund? We’d love to work together to unlock even larger offers for your startups. Apply here to join the Segment Startup Program’s network.
Calvin French-Owen on January 31st 2019
It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the day-to-day motions of building out new infrastructure, launching features, and adding new integrations. But over the holidays, we took a bit of a pause to reflect on everything that happened at Segment in 2018.
As we look forward to the new year, we wanted to share a few of the highlights with the customers who helped guide our product development.
To see it visually, take a look at our 2018 infographic. For the full story, read on.
At heart, we’re a data-driven company. So to start off the review, we wanted to share some of the datapoints that we’re looking at on a daily basis.
In 2018, we hit a new record: our users enabled 86,551 new destinations over the course of the year. Assuming a 40-hour work week, our customers were turning on a new tool every 1.4 minutes of every workday.
To better understand how impactful this was, we surveyed 100 of our customers. On average, they told us it took 100 engineering hours to connect a new tool, not to mention the 21 hours of recurring maintenance per month. This might sound like a long time to just add a few hundred lines of code, but to fully QA, test, and ship to production, the time quickly adds up.
Throughout the year, that means we saved our customers and engineers more than 4,000 engineering years worth of implementation time.
At the beginning of this year, we saw traffic volume on our API averaging 70,000 messages per second. Today, that number has grown about 1.8x, up to 130,000 messages per second.
Our warehouses pipeline hit its biggest day in history, loading 23 billion rows in a single day.
Over the course of the year, we’ve also focused on reducing our infrastructure footprint. We’ve been working hard to ensure that our infrastructure is running efficiently and cost-effectively.
Even though our volume is up by 80%, we’ve only grown the number of machines running in our production infrastructure by 50%. Today, our workload on ec2 hovers around 1,200 instances running 13,000 containers, and our CPU utilization has increased by 30% since one year ago.
Additionally, we had a large number of new launches this year from our engineering, product, and design teams. All of these launches were driven by feedback from our customers, big and small. We tried to help simplify all aspects of data collection, management, and analysis.
Over the past three years, one of the biggest complaints we’ve heard from customers is that they have ‘bad’ data. They had events which were incorrectly tracked. Different teams collected data inconsistently. And they had trouble filtering out rogue tests to get to a ‘clean room’ state.
We’ve estimated that these sorts of mistakes and typos have caused many businesses to lose millions of dollars of business value (it’s even cost us dearly in the past).
So we set out to solve the gigantic problem of bad data. We wanted to give our customers much more fine-grained controls over the events they were already sending, without changing a line of code.
Protocols gives customers the ability to align on and enforce their tracking plans, in the same workflows that they are already using to manage their data.
Since our September launch, we’ve created 500 different tracking plans for customers. In most cases, this replaces a very error-prone google sheet and manual QA process.
Additionally, this year we released Personas as a generally available add-on to Segment.
Personas adds new use cases on top of the Segment Connections product. Instead of being just a ‘smart pipe’ for all of your data, Personas allows you to create audiences and custom computations running automatically atop Segment data.
We’ve seen customers build out ideas with Personas that stretched beyond our wildest imaginations. Frame.io uses Personas as the database to make every helpdesk response personalized. Drift uses Personas to make sure they’re speaking to the right person at every touchpoint.
As of today, Personas customers have configured 1,780 traits and audiences, which means we’re running 42,000 computations per day on top of three hundred billion data points.
A year ago, one of the most common questions we received was, “what’s happening with my data?”
Customers could tell that data was getting into Segment, but weren’t able to identify what had happened to their data after that point if it didn’t arrive in their destinations.
Was it stuck in transit? Was the destination API down? Had they forgotten to update their credit card, and all of their calls were being rejected?
We presented our first solution to that problem in June with our launch of Event Delivery. For the very first time, our customers could actually see the requests and responses Segment makes to all of their destinations. Even better, they could now see the automatic retries that Segment performs in the case of an error.
In surfacing this data, we’re able to show customers the 1.8% of data that would have been dropped without Segment retrying ten times over a four hour period. On average, we helped save two out of every hundred events that might’ve been dropped by rate limits, flaky networks, or dying cell phone batteries.
This year also marked an important redesign for the main Segment app.
Early on, we had evolved our navigation by bits and pieces as we added new features and parts to the product. We started with just sources and destinations. But we quickly expanded into schema rules, personas, and new tools to understand your data.
When using the app, our customers often struggled to find what they were looking for quickly. And for workspaces with many sources, it’d often take 5-10 clicks to get where you wanted to go.
Here’s the before…
In the summer, we launched an updated navigation system, designed to scale to hundreds of sources and destinations in a workspace. Since then, we’ve aimed to minimize the amount of effort to jump between different parts of your workspace.
Our most recent addition to help is the new ‘omnisearch bar’, which allows users to quickly search any part of their workspace.
One of the biggest features we released this year wasn’t about collecting data at all. Instead, it was all about deleting, suppressing, and governing your customer data.
On May 25th, 2018, a new regulation went into effect as part of the General Data Privacy Regulation (or GDPR). If you weren’t following along directly, you probably saw a bunch of updates to the terms of service for many of the sites you interact with every day. Each of those updates granted you, the end user, the ability to request that the site forget all record of your existence.
In advance of the GDPR rollout, we launched a fully-fledged GDPR solution, designed to help companies manage their data both inside Segment and other integrations they might be using.
Today, over 300 customers have deleted 3 million different user records. We’ve been building even more robust features to give customers total control over their data.
Again and again, customers ran into issues installing Segment because it was hard to find their API keys and settings. Sometimes, it just isn’t clear what the difference is between a token vs. an API key vs. a customerId.
So we launched one-click destinations. If you’re trying to send data from the browser, one-click destinations will automatically search your webpage for public API keys. We simply scan the page, extract the relevant tokens, and then your destinations are enabled, just like magic.
As you might imagine, this has allowed a much greater number of customers to properly configure their destinations within Segment. After introducing one-click destinations, we found an 80% increase in users getting to a properly configured workspace.
We’d long heard our users wanting more flexible and programmatic controls over their Segment workspace. The loudest requests came from marketing agencies which run hundreds of websites and enterprises with thousands of business units needed some form of programmatic standardization. These users were operating at a scale that our UI couldn’t match.
So we introduced the Config API. It’s built from the ground up with Envoy, Protobufs, and gRPC to make modifying hundreds of sources and destinations a breeze. It’s being used by many of our biggest customers to define their workspace in git repos, Terraform, and custom scripts.
Best of all, we were able to help out many customers achieve their goals with their data. Among some of our most exciting wins:
At IBM, one of the largest companies in the world, the IBM Cloud team wanted to get a single view of their users. Previously, they had data scattered across a number of different data silos. Using Segment, they were able to get their data in one place, A/B test with Optimizely, and grow their revenue by 70%.
At Drift, a livechat tool, Personas increased the number of positive conversations that support reps would have by 150%. A few contextual clues about the user helped make a world of difference!
At Meredith Inc, we were able to help replace a decades-old legacy analytics software over the course of about 6 months. As a company of hundreds, we’re still floored by their ability to move quickly and take advantage of the full power of Segment to re-think their data strategy.
And that’s a wrap. Our 2018.
In 2019, we’re hoping to do even more for you, our customers. More integrations, more controls for managing your data, more visibility into how it flows, and more powerful ways to use it effectively. There’s a lot more coming!
Tom Pinckney on January 23rd 2019
Segment believes the most inspiring and successful companies put their customers first. By working together with our partners, we can help even more companies solve their toughest data challenges as they evolve into customer-first businesses.
Segment has grown exponentially over the last few years, and during this growth phase, we’ve seen an increase in inquiries from our customers for more options to help integrate customer data into their organizations. As a result, we are excited to announce an evolution to our partner program: Segment Select.
Segment Select gives customers access to our growing ecosystem of certified Technology and Channel Partners that advise, architect, and implement Customer Data Infrastructure (CDI) — empowering any customer to innovate with Segment.
We have always had a strong partner community, and now with Segment Select, our customers can more easily identify and work with a trusted group of products and agencies.
In order to ensure a great experience for mutual customers, Segment Select requires all top-tier Channel and Technology partners to complete a technical certification and sales training program. Only partners that demonstrate a strong understanding of the Segment platform and implementation best practices are designated as top-tier. This gives customers peace of mind when choosing who to work with to support their unique needs.
Segment Select gives all of our partners the opportunity to work with Segment to grow their businesses while providing exceptional service to our joint customers.
With Segment Select, partners have the opportunity to unlock:
Dedicated partner team: Partner relationship manager that provides access to technical pre-sales support as well as on-site, in-person training.
Sales support and enablement: Partner-specific go-to-market opportunities to identify and promote their unique partner story alongside Segment. Activities include co-selling, custom marketing collateral, listing on Segment’s website, and a fully-featured Segment test account.
Segment certification program: Sales and technical certification program that provides learning modules to gain expertise in customer data infrastructure. The technical track covers content including Segment’s data model, tracking plan build process, and implementation. The sales track teaches the Segment value proposition and provides key customer use cases.
In order to become a Segment Select certified partner, you can apply online. Once we review your application, we’ll provide access to the certification program.
Interested in joining the Segment Select program? Apply to become a Segment Select Partner today.
Are you a Segment customer interested in access to additional implementation services? Contact us today, and we can match you with a partner.
Mandy Adkin on December 20th 2018
In the early days, Segment offered lunch to team members five days a week. The decision felt natural as an early stage start up trying to attract top talent to come and build with us.
The lunch program was delighting our team every day when suddenly, the earth shook. On April 25th, 2015 an 8.1 magnitude earthquake hit and devastated the country of Nepal. The Segment team was listening and wanted to help. That’s when one team member, Raphael Parker, decided he was going to find a way to make it happen. With the help of our fearless office leader, Laylee Asgari, the No Lunch Donation was born. The team decided to save all of the money Segment would have spent on Friday lunches for one month and donate the proceeds to the disaster relief efforts in Nepal.
By the end of May 2015, we had saved $3,534 from eliminating our Friday lunch program. Alternatively, on Fridays, team members began eating lunch out together at the wonderful restaurants in our beautiful San Francisco neighborhood of Potrero Hill. It is safe to say that after that month, the program deeply resonated with our team. On one hand, we’re saving money to give back to causes we care about. On the other hand, we are spending more time in our community and with each other. It was an easy decision to make the No Lunch Donation a permanent program. We formed a committee to meet every month, where folks can bring an organization they are passionate about, present to the group on where the money will go, why we should donate to them and their personal connection to it. The committee then anonymously votes on that month’s donation winner. The criteria is simple: something local or having ties to a Segment team member for a great cause.
“There are millions of people across the world who do not have access to basic needs like food, shelter and clothing. No Lunch Donation helps us realize how incredibly lucky and blessed we are to be living this life and is a great way to give back to society. It’s also a reflection of one of our values, Karma - do good things and good things will come your way.”
Over three years later, we have collectively donated over $250,000 to 70 non-profit organizations across the globe. Every single organization we have donated to was presented to us by a Segment team member who held a personal connection to the organization or issue. As a result, we have supported causes such as STEM education, urban farming, disaster relief, homelessness, medicinal research, LGBTQ rights and many, many more. This year, the program became even more dynamic with the addition of new global Segment offices. We are currently running the no lunch donation program in our San Francisco, New York, Vancouver, Dublin, London and soon to be Sydney offices every month.
In addition to making these donations, we have found ways to get further involved with the organizations we choose to double the impact. After a while we felt that simply donating money was not enough. When possible, a group from our team will volunteer with the organization, host them to present in one of our committee meetings or maybe teach them how to use our product to better their business. As these opportunities grew for our team, we rolled out our Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program. All team members at Segment are offered three days, or 24 hours, per year to volunteer. Every quarter, we partner with local organizations to give our team a chance to use “VTO” days together.
“The No Lunch Donation exposes me to local organizations that are worth keeping on the radar, and it makes me feel great as a Segmenter knowing that we want to share our privileges with organizations in need.”
In San Francisco, we have been working with Project Homeless Connect for the past couple years through donations and volunteering. This organization was first brought to us in a committee meeting for the no lunch donation back in 2016. Following our donation, a representative from PHC came to our office to present on available volunteering opportunities as well as how you can make a difference in the lives of the homeless community on a day to day basis. Since then, multiple teams have chosen to volunteer with PHC in lieu of their typical team outings.
Last quarter, we partnered with SuitUp Inc. in both our New York City and San Francisco offices. This program brings a group of local high school students into your office for a day to compete in an epic business competition. A handful of our team was able to take a day from their regular work to mentor these students through the process of creating a product, marketing it, selling it and profiting from it. Team members loved this opportunity because it allowed them to use their everyday professional skills to teach and give back to the youth of our community.
We have even made events happen with organizations that felt almost impossible to reach. In 2016 we made a donation to Children’s Youth First, a non-profit from Nepal that is building schools for the youth of their community. Over the years, we kept in touch with the organization as they never forgot the impact Segment’s donation made. In August of 2018, the founder of their organization came through San Francisco. We hosted a Nepal Culture Night in our office to not only meet them in person, but to educate our team on Nepal’s culture and how we made an impact over the past two years in the lives of the children at those schools.
The No Lunch Donation program will always be embedded into our culture here at Segment. It helps us continuously learn from and about each other.
Are you or your team interested in starting your own donation program?
Here are a couple of steps to help you get started.
👋 Give something up. Is there something you spend money on regularly that can be given up?
💸 Determine the spend. Put aside the same amount on a regular cadence.
🤔 Create a criteria. Make concrete decisions on how you will choose organizations. Perhaps you will allow team members to nominate their own, or maybe you want to focus on organizations within a particular issue.
📝 Track it. Keep track of all your donations. At Segment, we track the exact amount, date, organization and person who submitted the org. Years later, it has allowed us to review data from the program and create cool things like the map you see above 😎
💯 Double the impact. Find out how you can partner with the organizations you support. Do they have local or online volunteering activities? Can they come to your office and give a presentation?