Josephine Liu, Sherry Huang on June 9th 2021

Our latest feature, Journeys, empowers teams to unify touchpoints across the end-to-end customer journey.

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Travis Jeffrey on May 11th 2015

We’re excited to introduce the ability to view event properties the Schema.

While it’s great to be able to see the high level events you’re sending to Segment in the Schema, you also want to keep track of the properties — where you can record important details of each event that enable more granular analysis. Now you can.

Viewing Properties

For example, if you’re tracking Upgraded Subscription you’d likely also want to include the new and previous plan details in the properties so you know how much more money you’re making.

The Schema will show you how recently we’ve seen your event properties and their type (ex: array, boolean, data, number, text). This data is live, meaning if you added another property to your track call, it would automatically show up in the Schema. This is helpful for knowing which properties you’re tracking, and whether or not they’ve been implemented.

Log into your Segment account to start playing around with Schema today.

Dominic Barnes on May 6th 2015

The debugger has always given you insight into exactly what data you’re sending (in pretty and raw form), but it can be tricky to catch the event you’re looking for if your app has a lot of traffic. Not anymore!

Now, you can search for just the event you want to investigate with our new filtering feature!

The search looks all throughout your event data, not just the text you see in the condensed list view. In fact, by opening up the “raw” view of an event, you can see everything that you have the ability to search!

We are definitely looking for some feedback as we want to make this search even more powerful in the future. Let us know what you think!

Liz Yee on April 29th 2015

This month, we have a bunch of new integrations to showcase that you can start testing with the flip of a switch. Read on for the scoop on how you can use Autopilot, Indicative, Sendwithus, Blueshift and Salesforce Marketing Cloud (ExactTarget) for analytics and marketing automation.

Autopilot

Autopilot is a lifecycle marketing tool that lets you create customer “journeys” in an easy to use drag-and-drop interface.

With Autopilot and Segment, you can sort users into different communication tracks based on past behavior and speak to their expressed interests or where they are in the buying cycle. Beyond email, Autopilot also supports SMS and snail mail automation.

Want to send a postcard to new customers? No problem.

If you’re just getting started building out marketing automation tracks, check out Autopilot’s community driven guidebook to get some ideas. You can learn how to assign leads from new signups directly to your CRM, add email touches with a delay in between, and personalize postcards and SMS as easily as email. Learn more about Autopilot and how to automate personalized communications by catching a replay of our webinar.

Indicative

Indicative, an integration that is growing quickly on the Segment platform, offers analytics for mobile and web companies with a real-time dashboarding system and the freedom to answer custom queries without SQL.

Unlike many other analytics tools, Indicative lets you join, rename, and relabel any combination of events without touching the code. Additionally, you can toggle between a segmentation query, funnel or cohort analysis, or user profile directly on the dashboard and in real time.

Some of their latest features include revenue analysis that returns financial data instead of event frequency counts, reverse funnels that let you work backwards from the user’s last event, and UTM parameter support for automatically attributing marketing channels.

Sendwithus

Sendwithus helps you send better, faster emails to your customers. Sendwithus works directly with your email service provider like Mailgun and Sendgrid, so you can control of transactional emails without the need for coding.

You can use their email workflow, design and code assets, access to dynamic user data to build your onboarding campaign, product updates, and promotions. They offer A/B testing and the ability to set up drip campaigns with automated followups.

Another cool thing about Sendwithus is that they can help you take care of emailing international customers in the right language. They have a built-in translation tool, so there’s no need to worry about common translation errors.

Blueshift

Blueshift helps ecommerce companies convert web and mobile visitors into engaged, repeat buyers with what they call predictive marketing automation.

Blueshift’s technology crunches user behavior and history to form a customer score that updates in real time. The scores are used to help you determine how frequently to message, relevant discounts to offer, and appropriate budgets to spend on display retargeting for different segments.

The multichannel options lets you narrow web display and Facebook ad retargeting efforts to customers with actual purchase intent. Blueshift is a great B2C tool if you’re looking to target users with automated and personalized marketing through multiple channels.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce Marketing Cloud, previously known as ExactTarget, is a B2C marketing automation tool. With high profile customers Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Stanley Black & Decker and Vodafone, the tool is typically a good fit for enterprise companies who may also be interested in Salesforce’s consulting and implementation services. SFMC makes it easy for users to reach prospects sooner through building customer lists, automating customer journeys, drawing insights from social engagement and analyzing results.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud recently released Content Builder, a new cross-channel content editor, and Content Canvas, a content management application to ensure a consistent brand voice.

Get Started

To turn on these tools, go to your Segment dashboard, enter your credentials, and click “save and enable.” That’s all there is to it. If you’re new to Segment, you can learn more here.

Interested in joining the Segment platform? Check out our new partner process.

Lance Pollard on April 15th 2015

If you’re just getting started with your tracking plan, it can be tough to know what data to collect. With our new event catalog, you don’t have to start from scratch. You can add common events to your plan super quickly.

The event catalog is the latest addition to the Tracking Plan, a new workflow that lets you see and manage the events you’re sending to Segment. Past feature ships include disabling, counting, and filtering events.

The Basics

When you’re on the Tracking Plan page, click “Plan New Event”, and you’ll see the list of standard events you can add.

We continue to collect best practices and popular use cases from our customers and make them available here. Along with our customers, we’ve spent a ton of time experimenting to find the best events to track in your product, so that you can use them without reinventing the wheel.

Ecommerce Events

For example, say you’re running an ecommerce business selling t-shirts and want to see how well your store is doing and how you can sell more. All you need to do is add our Viewed ProductAdded Product to Cart, and Completed Order events to your Tracking Plan and copy-paste the code snippets onto your site.

Then, boom, you have a standard ecommerce funnel and can see exactly which part of the process needs to be improved. You can also send the same events to other tools, like marketing automation, to reenage people who’ve Added to Cartbut haven’t Completed Order.

And since these events are standardized, we can give them special treatment—we’ll intelligently map all of these product events to whatever end tools you’re using. So your Completed Order event would show up in Google Analytics as a Transaction, in Bronto in their “Orders” section, etc.

All of implementation details get taken care of for you automatically.

To make this all work, when you implement a standard event, just send along the standard properties listed with the event in the Spec. For example, with Viewed Product, send the product’s idskuprice and category.

You can send any additional properties you want as well, but including the standard properties makes sure your integrations have everything they need to visualize these events correctly. Learn about all of the standard ecommerce events and properties.

Standardizing Event Tracking

In addition to ecommerce tracking, we’re working on standardizing collections of events for other industries and integration categories. It’s a work-in-progress, so keep an eye out for the new ones in your tracking plan, or directly in the Spec :)

Anthony Short on April 1st 2015

Many of you have asked for a way to filter specific events from being sent to specific integrations. The answer is here: event filtering in Schema!

In case you haven’t seen our previous posts, the Schema is our latest addition to Segment, a workflow that lets you view and control the data you’re sending us!

Event Filtering

While you could already disable events from being sent to all integrations, now you can choose to disable events for specific integrations, too.

This is helpful if you’d like to stop a popular event from running up your bill in an expensive tool, or if you want to send a niche event to a single tool only. Now you can choose which integrations should receive each event right in the Segment interface. No code required!

By default, your events will still go to all of the integrations you have turned on via Segment, but now you have complete control on a per-event basis.

This feature is available for customers on the Business Plan.

Ian Storm Taylor on March 13th 2015

A few weeks ago we introduced the Schema. We want the Schema to help you manage and organize the data you’re sending to Segment. To realize that goal, we’ve shipped a few additions that should give you more insight into what your events mean, and help you keep your plan clean!

Event Counts

One of the most requested features for the Schema has been the ability to quickly see the number of times Segment has received an event. Now you can do exactly that!

You can see counts for last 24 hours to verify your installation, for the last 30 days to check your event volume for billing, and for the last 60 days to sanity check that an event is recording with the right frequency over time.

Removing Events

We’ve also added the ability to remove old or junk events from your Schema if you’re no longer recording them, so they don’t clutter up your day-to-day view.

This is helpful if you’ve fully de-instrumented an event from your codebase, if you recorded a few events tests, or if you accidentally made a typo while implementing. Just click the trashcan icon inside the details for an event.

We’ll still keep around the data you sent us previously. And, if you send the event to us again, it will reappear in your Schema list.

Diana Smith on March 10th 2015

Last week, we put together a little event called Analytics for Good where Watsi, an awesome nonprofit that funds health care for people around the world, opened up their Segment SQL data for our partners to explore.

Top notch analysts from Looker, Chartio, and Mode presented insights they found in Watsi’s data and made recommendations to drive growth. Along the way, we discovered that the strategies they used could help grow any business, not just nonprofits.

Here is a breakdown of the activation, retention, and conversion analyses they built for Watsi that you could use, too.

Activation

Erin Franz from Looker and Benn Stancil from Mode suggested focusing on two areas to increase activation: analyzing power users and defining sessions in a way that makes sense for your business.

Analyzing Power Users

Analyzing power donors, Erin showed Watsi a breakdown of users that donate multiple times in one site visit. She found that 17 percent of donors fall into this segment, and suggested Watsi run experiments to crank up this number. She also recommended that Watsi use the multi-donation metric as a benchmark to measure the effectiveness of future activation and marketing campaigns.

With the power users grouped into a single segment, Benn suggested that Watsi analyze what actions these do-gooders have in common—Did they all view multiple patient profiles or come to the site from the same traffic source? Did they visit Watsi’s website multiple times before donating? Based on the answers, Watsi could reorient the flow of their website to encourage power user behavior.

Mode calls this exercise finding your “aha” moment and has a neat playbook that helped Watsi find common actions among people who redeem gift cards and later sign up for the Universal Fund.

Defining Sessions

Erin from Looker also talked about the importance of defining a user session, or a unique period of user activity, that makes sense for your business. Most important analyses (like the finding the “aha” moment which we just discussed and analyzing time between funnel conversions, which we’ll touch on later) are based events that occur in specific sessions. As a result, it’s important to make sure the way you measure sessions reflects how customers use your product.

For Watsi, Erin defined a session as a period of user activity followed by 30 minutes of inactivity, mirroring how people browse the web. BI tools that run on SQL give you the flexibility to completely customize how you define sessions. Some out-of-the-box tools like Google Analytics also give you some flexibility to choose session length.

Retention

As you could imagine, getting users to donate once isn’t enough to make Watsi’s business sustainable. Finding a way to encourage repeat donations, on the other hand, is an opportunity for steady growth. For this reason, Aaron Heise and Barry Parr from Chartio looked into retention: How can we get people to come back for more, and what’s stopping them from doing so?

Investigating Churn

Aaron from Chartio started by analyzing churn, or the percentage of people over a given period of time that cancelled their recurring donations to Watsi’s Universal Fund, which turned out to be about 4 percent.

Anything in the single digits driving toward zero is a healthy churn-rate for a SaaS company, so Watsi’s 4 percent is pretty good. That said, there is always for improvement, and Chartio asked Wasti if they had any data on why people were churning.

Thomas Bukowsi from Watsi mentioned they occasionally email people asking why they cancelled. So, Chartio suggested automating this process to collect a more comprehensive data set. That way, Watsi could identify the top reasons for churn and work to fix them. To do this, Watsi could create an analytics event called “Cancelled Subscription” that triggers in-app messages through Intercom or emails through Customer.io. These messages would automatically ask ex-donors why they are canceling.

Shortening Time to Upgrade

Aaron and Barry also found that, on average, it takes Watsi donors more than a month to make a second donation. This insight was a bit surprising because after a month people usually completely forget about products they’ve tried.

Grace Garey from Watsi hypothesized that after someone makes a donation to a patient on Watsi, it takes about a month for that patient to get fully funded, and for Watsi to email out a success story on their surgery. Because these emails are likely driving repeat donations, Chartio recommended Wasti test sending more emails earlier in the process that feature other patients’ success stories.

Conversion

After Chartio and Looker suggested plugging up the holes in Watsi’s funnel, Benn from Mode recommended ideas for optimizing conversions, or getting more donations from the same product.

Experimenting with Anchoring

First, Benn suggested Watsi experiment with anchoring on their Universal Fund landing page. The page currently features a blank state where you can enter any donation amount you want. People give on average $35 per month with this blank state. Benn asked, might anchoring the donation at $50 or $75 a month drive multiples of revenue?

Similarly, Barry from Chartio suggested Watsi play around with anchoring for tips. Because Watsi gives all of their donations directly to patients (which is pretty freaking awesome), they ask for “tips” to help cover administrative costs. Barry dug into the tip analysis and found that the amount a person donates does not affect the percentage they tip. For example, one person who donates $20 and another who donates $100 will likely tip the same percentage.

Barry suggested testing some different anchors for tip donations (currently 10%, 15% and 20%). Specifically he recommended upping the middle option based on research that consumers tend towards the middle price–no matter what that price is.

Optimizing for 10x Growth

Benn from Mode structured his entire presentation around testing different traction channels to find a sustainable growth engine. These were his methods: 1) Look at what’s working. 2) Figure out if it’s repeatable. 3) Optimize.

He started by investigating spikes in Watsi’s data to see whether they could be recreated. While he found that launches on Hacker News were unpredictable, corporate Gift Card donations could actually drive 300% growth by getting users who redeem cards to sign up for the universal fund.

Watch his fascinating presentation and the entire live event here.

Analytics. Experiments. Analytics.

Each recommendation our partners gave to Watsi started with analytics—assessing the current state of affairs. Next, experimentation—product design, email marketing, and user feedback to improve the state of affairs. Then, analytics again, to see if the experiments actually improved their initial metrics.

What does Segment have to do with it? Watsi uses Segment to collect, transform and send their data to their growth tools—Looker, Chartio, Mode, Customer.io, Optimizely, CrazyEgg, Olark, Perfect Audience—with the flip of a switch. And, they get Segment for free because they are willing to open up their data to the community. :)

If you’re interested in our options for non profits, shoot us a note! Or, to become a part of the data and donate to Watsi yourself, sign up for the Universal Fund today! Take me to Watsi.

Thanks again to Wasti, Chartio, Looker and Mode for their awesome insights!

Ian Storm Taylor on February 26th 2015

This week we’re very excited to share a brand new part of Segment with you: the Schema. It’s the easiest way to organize and manage all of your customer data.

We’ve talked to many of you about how you organize your analytics tracking. You’ve built everything from spreadsheets, to wikis, to full-blown internal web applications to keep teams on the same page about what’s being tracked and why. With the Schema you understand what you’re tracking inside Segment itself, and we’ll keep the active/inactive status of every event for you automatically.

You can start using it today for any of your projects.

Getting Started

Schema is a workflow for viewing and managing the customer data you’re sending to Segment. Inside your Schema, you can see all of the track events that you’re sending through Segment, and if they’re active or inactive.

This should help answer questions like “what did we name that one event?” and “is our signup event still working?” that pop up when you’re working with a lot of data or have new folks join your team.

Disabling Events

The Schema isn’t only for viewing your data schema, though. You can actually disable events from being tracked right in the interface—without any code changes! Just click the off button to disable the event in Segment, and we’ll stop forwarding it to your integrations. You can remove it from your code at your leisure.

It’s as easy as turning on an integration on your Integrations dashboard.

If you’re using our iOS or Android SDKs you’ll need to update to the latest version of the SDK. Analytics.js (browser) and server-side libraries are supported immediately.

For a quick reminder on event best practices, check out Jake’s recent article about our own tracking plan.

Coming Soon

We’ll be adding support soon for our other API methods identifypage, and screen. And we’re really excited about some other additions that will make Schema even more helpful!

If you have any ideas or questions, shoot us an email.

Peter Reinhardt on January 30th 2015

At Segment, we help companies record and manage their customer data. Our API has three basic methods: identifytrack, and page/screen. These methods describe facts about customers. We often get asked why we don’t support recording sessions, and the short answer is that sessions aren’t facts, they’re stories.

Every piece of raw data that flows into Segment is a small fact.

But sessions are different. Sessions are actually an interpretation of the raw data. True, they’re based on the facts, but sessions are a story we build around the facts during our analysis. Take this example: a customer opens the app, they log in, they do some stuff, they close the app, they immediately reopen the app, and then close it for good. Boom, a session.

Two issues should immediately pop out:

  • They closed the app in the middle. Did the session end there? Why not?

  • When we say they “closed the app for good” does that mean 10 minutes? or 24 hours?

These questions about session length are important because they fundamentally change our interpretation of the underlying raw, factual data about what the user did.

For RunKeeper, a 10 minute session makes no sense. Most RunKeeper users run for longer than 10 minutes, which means there could easily be 10 minutes between UI interactions while they’re running. So 6 hours might be a good session cutoff for RunKeeper (those crazy marathon runners!). But a mobile game is completely different. For them, 10 minutes is a whole new gaming experience. If you disengaged for 10 minutes, you were doing something else entirely.

Sessions aren’t fundamental facts about the user experience, they’re stories we build around the data to understand how customers actually use the product in their day-to-day lives. And since Segment’s API is about collecting raw, factual data, we don’t have an API for collecting sessions. We leave session interpretation to our partners, which lets you design what a session means as you learn from your data and think more deeply about your customers.

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