User Segmentation for SaaS — How Well the Top Marketing Automation Tools Handle It

Unless you are a sink manufacturer, segmentation is great for your business.

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For this post, I’ll assume you run a SaaS and not a British sink and faucet manufacturing business (unless I failed terribly with my targeting). With that in mind you probably want to learn how to segment your audience better.

In my last piece, I explored how to choose the right marketing automation tool for your SaaS. Today I’m diving deeper into a specific area of marketing automation tools: the user segmentation.

In this post, I’m going to review and compare the user segmentation features of 8 different tools. Before I start with the comparison, let’s briefly discuss why user segmentation is so important for SaaS.

The importance of user segmentation in SaaS

Segmenting your user and customer base would allow you to to do a few critical things for your SaaS:

  • Group your users to bring meaningful insights about your marketing funnel (signup, onboarding, retention, and other stages). For instance, to understand how many and which customers are at risk of churning.
  • Trigger emails, sequences, and whole workflows when a user enters a specific segment. (In Encharge, you can use the “Entered segment” trigger to achieve that.)
  • Craft hyper-personalized communication based on what segment a user belongs to and what stage of the customer journey they’re in.
  • Measure how well your product performs within different groups of users.

In the context of a marketing automation tool or a customer communication platform, segmentation is important as it allows you to reach out to the right people at the right time with relevant messages.

Here are a few segments that we’ve seen some of our customers create in order to provide a better experiences and convert more people:

  • Trial users that have not completed a specific feature in the onboarding process. Payment platform Payfacille segments trial users who haven’t connected their Stripe account in order to follow them up with nudge emails.
  • Activated users at the end of their trial period. Chatbot builder Landbot targets activated users who have 1 day left on their trial, in order to connect with them at that critical moment in the customer journey.
  • Freemium accounts. Project management platform Nifty segments Freemium users (all users on the Free plan) in order to focus their conversion efforts on the right people.
  • Users that haven’t opened an email or set of emails. Moodboard platform Sampleboard re-engages users who have failed to open or click an email by following-up with a sequence of helpful emails.
  • Active email subscribers. To avoid emailing non-engaged leads, we keep a list of leads that have performed at least one activity in the last 120 days (meaning, they have visited our website/app or opened one of our emails at least once).

If you’re just starting out with marketing automation, you’ll probably stick to simple segments like “Trial users”, “Paying customers”, “Leads”, and so on.

As you grow, you would want to build in more personalization in your messaging. That’s when you’ll need to segment users by their activity in your app, their engagement with your emails, and other live data attributes across your marketing and sales stack.

You don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot from the start by selecting a tool that doesn’t support precise segmentation. This would be one of those poor short-term decisions with long-term consequences — as transferring your user base, your segments, and your whole email communication to a different tool could take significant time and effort.

To help you avoid that costly mistake, I researched and reviewed the user segmentation of some of the most popular marketing automation tools out there. Let’s see how different tools handle user segmentation for SaaS


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HubSpot

One of the most popular marketing automation tools on the market. SaaS startups increasingly choose the HubSpot discounted startup plan, especially if the evaluation process is influenced by the sales team. So how well does HubSpot do when it comes to user segmentation for SaaS?

How does user segmentation for SaaS work in HubSpot?

The first thing you’ll notice in HubSpot is that the segmentation feature is not that obvious like you would expect in other tools such as Encharge or Intercom. The reason for that is because HubSpot uses different terms for segments.

There are 3 ways you can segment your audience in HubSpot:

  • Saved filters.
  • Static lists.
  • Active lists.

Saved filters

Saved filters are essentially saved views of a specific group of people. You can apply the filters in your Contacts, Companies, Deals, or Tickets Dashboard to filter the items.

user segments in HubSpot

Note: Saved filters can’t be used in workflows. To trigger a flow when a person meets specific criteria, you need to use an Active List or Static List, like the screenshot below:

markerting automation trigger in HubSpot

Static lists

Static lists don’t update when a person meets specific criteria. They are a snapshot of a group of users who meet a specific set of attributes. You’d use these to create an audience for a one-off newsletter, for example.

Active lists

Active lists are dynamic lists — users automatically enter the list when they meet the criteria and leave the list when they no longer meet the criteria. Active lists are essentially what we call “segments”.

Both Static lists and Active lists are created from the Lists page under the Contacts tab.

Segment conditions in HubSpot

HubSpot offers a vast array of conditions that you can segment people by including: Contact properties, Company properties, Deal properties, Form submissions, Pave views, Workflow activity, Events (Enterprise plan only), and more.

user segmentation for SaaS conditions in HubSpot

The list of 145 default Contact properties and 70 Company properties that you can filter by is truly impressive.

The HubSpot list of properties is so long that they have to group it into sections such as:

  • Contact information — Email, name, city, annual revenue,
  • Email information — Marketing emails open. Marketing emails open, Now in workflow, Last marketing email click date, and so on.
  • Conversion information — First conversion, recent conversion, Number of form submissions, and more.

Some of these properties are automatically generated or pre-populated like Time of first session, Time last seen, *estimated* Company revenue, etc. Based on my personal experience the automatically generated and pre-populated field data is pretty reliable.

Many of the properties require manual input, but I can’t think of another tool that has solved this challenge.

When it comes to segmentation by attributes, HubSpot is the undisputed winner in this roundup. This hardly comes as a surprise considering that HubSpot is a CRM at its core, and CRMs work with data.

A drawback of the way segments work in HubSpot is the lack of flexibility with the AND/OR rules. While HubSpot supports AND/OR rules and allows you to create groups of filters ( screenshot below), it doesn’t allow you to change AND to OR or vice versa. This means that if you change your mind, you’ll need to rebuild the whole segment from scratch.

HubSpot user segmentation for SaaS in Encharge

User Events — the Achilles heel of using HubSpot for your SaaS

If you run a SaaS, you want to build segments with the actions that your users take in your product. For instance, a segment with the people “that have created a project but haven’t created a task”.

HubSpot allows segmentation by user events. BUT, both the Events API and the Event-based segmentation are only available the Enterprise plan which starts at $40,000 a year (annual plans only):

hubspot plans

The Enterprise plan is also not eligible for the one-year 90% Startup discount program that HubSpot offers. This makes HubSpot out of scope for the majority of early to middle-stage SaaS companies.

How to find if you have access to custom events in your HubSpot account?

Go to Reports → Analytics tools → Events → Manage events → Create event → Custom event.

creating a user event in HubSpot

User events as Custom fields in HubSpot — a good or bad workaround?

We’ve seen SaaS companies trying to outsmart the lack of user events in HubSpot by passing user activity data from their app to custom fields in HubSpot.

Let’s say you want to track and use the “First task created” event. The process would look like this:

  1. Create a custom field “First task created” in HubSpot.
  2. Change the value of the field to “true” when a user creates a task in your app.
  3. Segment by custom field “First task created”.

This may work for simple boolean (yes/no) fields, for example, “First task created: Yes/No” and other simple values, but fails as a complete solution for events for a number of reasons:

  • You can’t segment the event (user activity) by date: “Has created a task in the last 7 days.”
  • You can’t segment the event by number of times: “Has created 5 tasks in the last 7 days”.
  • Can’t segment the event by its properties. As we have talked in our guide on triggered emails each event passes a set of properties. For instance, the “Signed up” event will pass the properties User name, Trial started date, Plan, etc. In Encharge, you can easily segment by event properties (screenshot below), while this is not possible in HubSpot even on the Enterprise plan:

HubSpot’s user segmentation for SaaS — Final Verdict: 👎

The good

✅ Hundreds of custom properties to segment by.

✅ A lot of pre-populated data available from the get go.

The bad

❌ User Events and event-based segmentation only available on the Enterprise ($40,000 a year) plans.

❌ No segmentation by event properties available even on the Enterprise plan.

❌ No way to switch around AND/OR rules — you need to rebuild the segment from scratch.

HubSpot offers an extremely robust segmentation by contact/company/deal attributes, but unfortunately falls short when it comes to user activity (events) segmentation. The workaround with sending events data to custom fields is rather tedious and not worth the pain of implementation.

HubSpot is an excellent tool if you plan to use it for sales or high-touch onboarding and take advantage of its CRM capabilities. However, I don’t recommend using it for SaaS marketing automation unless you have deep pockets to subscribe to the Enterprise plan. Even then, you should ask if this is the best way to spend your money.

A better, more efficient approach would be to use HubSpot as a CRM along with another tool for marketing automation and user segmentation. Encharge, for instance, offers native integration with HubSpot, which makes for a great symbiosis. Read more on the topic in our full HubSpot marketing automation review for SaaS.


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Mailchimp

In December 2019, Mailchimp launched behavioral targeting. In their own words: “You can now pull engagement data from your app directly into Mailchimp and store it alongside everything else you know about your audience using the Mailchimp API to track custom events.”

With the feature to trigger emails and segment users by their actions, is Mailchimp a suitable platform for SaaS, or it’s still the good old newsletter tool for small businesses?

Let’s explore.

What Mailchimp plan do I need?

The first challenge I had with Mailchimp was figuring out which plan I need to be on to be able to segment my audience.

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After a lot of digging, I figured that there are two types of segmentation in Mailchimp: Basic and Advanced.

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Event-based segmentation falls under Advanced Segments, and therefore only available on the Premium plans. The weird thing is that you can actually trigger emails from custom events on the Standard plans, but event-based segmentation is only available on the Premium plans. Why? I find this pricing structure confusing and plain stupid.

With events, any/all logic, and unlimited conditions only available on Premium plans, it’s certain that you must be on the Premium plan in order to do some decent segmentation in Mailchimp.

The Premium Mailchimp plans start at $299 for 10,000 contacts. This iis just too steep considering that you can get a much more robust marketing automation tool for SaaS for that price like Encharge, Customer.io or ActiveCampaign.

How does user segmentation work in Mailchimp?

To create segments in Mailchimp, you need to go to Audiences → Manage contacts → New segment.

I find the Mailchimp segments UI the clunkiest of all tools in this roundup. There’s no way to search conditions, so you must find the right condition in a long dropdown. This could become strenuous if you have a large set of merge fields (as Mailchimp calls custom fields).

Mailchimp also doesn’t support AND/OR groups, so you’re stuck with either one or the other, which could be really limiting when you start building complex segments.

mailchimp user segmentation for saas

When it comes to their event-based segmentation, Mailchimp doesn’t support segmentation by event properties or number of times that an event was completed. In other words, you won’t be able to segment people that have “Created 5 tasks” or narrow down by a specific property of the tasks like, for example, “Has due date”.

Below are the supported event-segmentation options:

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For a full list of parameters that Mailchimp supports, you can check this post, but I’ll tell you I couldn’t find anything new or exciting for a SaaS company. Apart from a couple of good-to-have filters like the one that allows you to target people that have replied to any of your emails within the last month. Unfortunately, even with those filters, Mailchimp doesn’t provide much flexibility, and the filters are predefined.

Mailchimp’s user segmentation for SaaS — Final Verdict: 👎

❌ Advanced segments are only available on the Premium plan, which starts at $300/mo for 10,000 contacts (almost two times more expensive than Encharge, which goes for $179/mo for the same number of contacts).

❌ No segmentation by the number of times an event was performed.

❌ No segmentation by event properties.

❌ No AND/OR grouping. You can only select contacts that match “any” conditions or “all” conditions, but you can’t combine AND/OR conditions.

❌ Clunky UI with no way to search for a condition.

Mailchimp might be a great newsletter tool, but even with its latest “behavioral targeting tools” it’s still not up to par with most of the marketing automation tools in this list. It’s an easy pass for SaaS companies, unless all you need to do is send one-off newsletters.

Want to learn more about Mailchimp? Read our full Mailchimp marketing automation review for SaaS companies.


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Intercom

Intercom is one of the heavy-hitters in the SaaS industry. It’s the go-to customer communication tool for a big part of the SaaS companies out there. Needless to say I was very curious to find out how well Intercom handles user segmentation for SaaS companies.

How does user segmentation work in Intercom?

User segmentation has a nice UI in Intercom. Unlike HubSpot and Mailchimp, it’s also very accessible. The first thing you’ll see when you enter your Intercom account is the Platform page which is essentially your user list.

Intercom, also, comes up with a set of pre-built segments, which is a nice way to reduce the onboarding friction.

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Segments are created by adding filters. All filters are searchable and have nice little icons, which I really dig. Also, when you connect with Stripe, for instance, the custom fields from Stripe will have the S icon next to them.

Another thing I liked about Intercom’s segmentation is the ability to segment by Company properties like Company last seen, Number of people, Company size, etc.

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A few months ago, Intercom also rolled out the ability to create filter groups. Groups in Intercom look a bit different than what you would expect. Instead of the typical vertical segmentation interface, Intercom uses a horizontal one. Groups are created by clicking the + sign next to an existing filter. You can click the AND/OR to change the rules.

This solution to segment groups may seem intuitive at first, but unfortunately, it becomes an obstacle when you create more advanced segments. It also doesn’t support nested groups (groups within groups), limiting the people who want to do something more complex.

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Event-based segments in Intercom

So far, so good, but how the behavior-based / custom events segmentation looks like in Intercom?

First things first, Intercom has an event-based segmentation that’s available on all plans. To connect an event from your app to Intercom, your developers must build the integration. Once that is done all events will show up like filter conditions along with the rest of user properties:

event-based user segmentation for SaaS in Intercom

Event segmentation works with:

  • Count — how many times the event has been performed.
  • First and last occurrence of the event — this is a useful condition as it allows you to target people that, for example, “created their first task less than 5 days ago.”
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What Intercom lacks in its event-based segmentation is the ability to segment by event properties (as Intercom calls it “event metadata”). Also, you can’t combine event count with dates, for instance, “has created more than 10 tasks in the last 30 days”.

Intercom’s user segmentation for SaaS — Final Verdict: 👍

The good

✅ Event-based segmentation available on all plans.

✅ First and last occurred event segmentation allows you to precisely target people based on when they have taken an action for the first or last time.

✅ Company-based attributes to segment by.

✅ Intuitive UI if you’re building simple segments.

The bad

❌ No segmentation by event properties (as Intercom calls it “event metadata”).

❌ No way to segment by event count AND dates. For instance, “has created more than 10 tasks in the last 30 days”.

❌ No group nesting (groups within groups) available in the segmentation UI.

❌ Segmentation UI can become an obstacle if you create large segments.

Overall, Intercom provides a pretty good segmentation for SaaS but lacks some important features, such as segmentation by event properties. For that reason, I’m giving Intercom a thumbs up, but it won’t make my top list if you’re really serious about SaaS segmentation.


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Customer.io

Customer.io is one of the leaders in behavior-driven messaging. The tool is primarily used by large companies with a lot of data like Reddit and Shutter stock, but also by SaaS companies. So let’s explore how their user segmentation works.

How does user segmentation work in Customer.io?

The first thing you’ll notice with Customer.io is that the tool has a lot to offer in terms of functionality, but power comes with complexity. There are a ton of buttons, options, and what not in Customer.io. The tool feels like it’s built for mature companies and more technical product people right out of the box, which may feel like overkill if you’re a small or medium-sized SaaS.

But let’s see how Customer.io is handling segmentation.

Customer.io has two sections under Audience: People and Segments. They have decided to separate the segments from their user list, so People is where you import and list users, and Segments is where you define your user segments.

The segments page is quite robust. You get a list of all of your segments (comes with pre-defined segments) and filters to see Used/Unused/Only in sent newsletters, which is a nice addition if you intend to create a lot of segments. The Usage column shows “a collection of links to places in Customer.io that reference this Segment”.

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Similarly to HubSpot, Customer.io has:

  • Manual segments — People enter and exit Manual Segments when you explicitly add or remove them.
  • Data-driven Segments — Dynamic segments when you want Customer.io to handle moving people into and out of your Segments automatically based on the conditions they meet.

The actual segmentation in Customer.io is very advanced. You can filter by Events, Attributes, Devices, Webhooks, and create stacked groups. They also provide filtering by event conditions. Also, you can rearrange and delete conditions quite easily in Customer.io.

Overall, Customer.io has provided a very robust, flexible segmentation. Kudos for living up to the expectation!

customer.io user segmentation for saas
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Segment Analytics

A nice addition in Customer.io is the ability to track how a segment is growing or decreasing. Customer.io offers a People section for each segment, which shows movement in the segment membership. I haven’t seen any other tool doing that, and this seems like a nice addition, especially for data-driven teams with a large user base.

segment detail membership chart 2

The drawback — lack of native integrations with 3rd-party apps

Although Customer.io has a comprehensive integrations page, the majority of its integrations are through Zapier. The platform lacks native integrations with CRMs, survey tools, and others. If segmentation with live user data from your apps is important to you, you’ll need to go with Zapier or look for another solution.

Customer.io’s user segmentation for SaaS — Final Verdict: 👍

The good

✅ Event-based segmentation by the number of times an event was performed and the time window.

✅ Advanced segment groups and reordering.

✅ Segmentation management (search and filter segments). Helpful if you plan on building many segments.

✅ Segmentation analytics. A historical view of how many people enter or leave a specific segment.

✅ Segment usage. A clear view of where a specific segment is used.

The bad

❌ Customer.io’s segmentation might be too complex for non-technical people and startups looking for easy to use solutions.

❌ Lack of native integrations with CRMs, survey tools, and other 3rd party apps makes segmenting by live user data from other tools difficult. You’ll need to resort to using Zapier.

Customer.io offers powerful segmentation features for SaaS companies and flexibility with their filters/conditions if you’re not afraid to deal with complex tools.

However, the lack of native integrations with 3rd party apps might make the platform less than ideal if you plan to segment by live user data from your CRM, survey tool, lead gen tool, or another external app.


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ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is one of the old leaders in marketing automation. Although they don’t target SaaS companies specifically, let’s explore how they handle user segmentation.

How does user segmentation work in ActiveCampaign?

The segment creation page is super hidden in ActiveCampaign. AC doesn’t have its segments page. Instead, you need to use the Advanced Search to filter for contacts and save your search as a segment.

To do that, you need to go to the Contacts page and click on Search contacts, then Advanced Search. I find this interface odd…

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This will open the segment creation section:

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Right off the bat, you can see the AC supports advanced AND/OR segment groups, which is great.

This is the list of condition groups that AC supports:

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  • Contact Details — your standard list of contact attributes like name, tag, IP.
  • Custom Contact Fields — all custom fields that you create go here.
  • Actions — Email, forms, and other activities go here. There are some interesting conditions like Has entered automation, Has achieved goal, and Read site message.
  • Geography — nothing unexpected here.
  • Site & Event Data — page visits and Custom Events would go here.
  • Account details — More contact attributes, but on an account level.
  • Deal details — AC has its own CRM, so you can filter by CRM activity.
  • Sources — basically, UTM terms.

Segmenting by custom events in ActiveCampaign

As soon as you start creating your first segment in AC, you’ll notice that there’s no group or field for Custom Events. That’s because ActiveCampaign doesn’t show the Custom Event filters, by default. That’s another UI quirk of ActiveCampaign that I find strange.

To enable segmenting by custom events, you need to enable Event Tracking from the Settings (Tracking) page. You can add events manually or get your developers to send events to you once you share your event key.

user events in ActiveCampaign

Once you have some events in there, you’d be able to segment by selecting the event from the Site & Event Data group.

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You can then segment by how many times the event has happened. However, you can’t select a time window for the event: e.g. “Has created a task within the last 14 days.”

Moving forward with the rest of the event conditions:

I had no idea what “data value” is and how those conditions work.

event-based user segmentation for SaaS in ActiveCampaign

I couldn’t find any information in the help docs either, so I had to ask the support team. After some digging and getting our development team to send one test event I found out that “data value” is essentially “event property value”.

The issue, however, is that a single event could have multiple properties (data points) each with different values, as we have previously explained. Unfortunately, ActiveCampaign only supports sending one single property (or as they call it “data value”), for example, “Event Name” or “Order Value”. This is a serious limitation and pretty much makes event property segmentation useless.

ActiveCampaign’s user segmentation for SaaS — Final Verdict: 👎

The good

✅ Event-based segmentation by the number of times an event was performed.

✅ Advanced AND/OR groups.

The bad

❌ No event segmentation by time window. E.g., “Created a task within the last 5 days”.

❌ Event property segmentation limited to just one property, which makes it as bad as not having any event property segmentation at all.

Before I started writing this post I thought I would be recommending ActiveCampaign as one of the top tools for SaaS. However, it comes as a surprise to me to find out that ActiveCampaign’s segmentation is not that robust. The lack of time window segmentation for events and the inability to send more than one property per event makes AC very limited when it comes to building segments based on what people do in your product.

ActiveCampaign is a preferred option over some of the other tools in this list (like Mailchimp and Sendinblue) but it won’t be my #1 choice unless I’m absolutely OK with compromises.


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Autopilot

Although not as old as some of the players like ActiveCampaign, Autopilot rose to popularity within the last couple of years. We have also seen an increased number of SaaS companies that use it for marketing automation.

How does user segmentation work in Autopilot?

Unfortunately, Autopilot has a very strict, locked signup process that requires manual approval. For that reason, I wasn’t able to sign up to test the tool, but I do have previous experience with Autopilot and also their docs at my disposal.

Similarly to HubSpot and Customer.io, Autopilot has two types of segments:

  • Contact lists — for manually adding people to a list.
  • Smart segments — dynamic segments. People enter a smart segment when they match a set of conditions.

We’re going to review how smart segments work.

To create a new Smart segment, navigate to the Contacts tab, and click the plus sign.

The first thing you’d notice is that Autopilot has some nice segment management features like the ability to group segments and lists into groups.

Autopilot segments

The segment creation screen will open in a pop-up with a list of criteria (as Autopilot calls the segment conditions) to select from.

In Autopilot you can segment by:

  • Contact field value — Your standard contact attributes.
  • Refine by list or segment — is in/is not in list/segment.
  • Form submission
  • Page visit
  • Email status — has opened/clicked/replied to an email.
  • UTM parameters — the source of the contact.
  • Typeform submission  similar to form submission but for Typeform.
  • Facebook Lead Ad submission   if a contact has submitted a Facebook lead ad.
  • LiveChat tag — if a contact has a specific tag in LiveChat.

The different thing you’ll notice here is the presence of some conditions related to 3rd party app like “Typeform submission”, and LiveChat tag. Autopilot integrates natively with a vast range of external apps, including CRMs, landing page tools, survey tools, ad tools, and more. This makes Autopilot a great tool if you want to build segments from live user data from your marketing and sales stack. All 3rd party data can be sent like custom fields from your apps to Autopilot and then used to build segments.

However, Autopilot lacks any type of segmentation based on user events. In other words, you won’t be able to build segments from the actions that your users take or don’t take in your app. This means that you’ll need to use the custom field solution we described in the HubSpot review section above. :/

Another drawback of Autopilot’s segments is the lack of advanced AND/OR grouping, limiting you if you intend on building advanced segments.

Autopilot’s  user segmentation for SaaS — Final Verdict: 👎

The good

✅ A vast array of native integrations. By bringing in data from external apps, you can segment with live user data from your whole marketing stack.

The bad

❌ Lack of any segmentation based on user actions/events.

❌ Lack of Advanced AND/OR groups.

Autopilot’s strength is in its native integrations. Thanks to the integrations, you can build segments with your user data spread across your marketing stack. However, the lack of any event/action-driven segmentation makes Autopilot a bad choice for SaaS companies.


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Sendinblue

Sendinblue is not really targeted at SaaS companies, but we had a few potential customers in the past that evaluated it because of its attractive pricing based on the number of emails (instead of number of contacts). That’s why we thought we should also take a look at their segmentation.

How does user segmentation work in Sendinblue?

The segmentation in Sendinblue works similarly to ActiveCampaign. You must go to the Contacts page and click on Advanced Search and Segmentation to build a filter (that’s how Sendinblue calls the segments).

sendinblue user segmentation for SaaS

You’ll notice that Sendinblue supports AND/OR rules… and that’s pretty much the only good thing about their segmentation.

When you click on the conditions options, you’ll see a bunch of important conditions missing like Page visits, Form submissions, and of course, User events.

conditions in Sendinblue

Now, I don’t know if these will show up if I install their “Tracker,” but I just gave up after not seeing them on their doc’s page with example search filters. There they talk about segments based on behavior, but that’s just email activity.

Sendinblue’s  user segmentation for SaaS — Final Verdict: 👎

Sendinblue’s segmentation is simply not up to par with the rest of the tools in this list. Apart from the AND/OR rules, there isn’t anything much to talk about here.


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Encharge

Full disclaimer: This is our product.

We built Encharge with SaaS products in mind. We completely redesigned and re-architected the Encharge segmentation after working exclusively with SaaS companies for the last year. This is the final result.

How does user segmentation work in Encharge?

Creating segments in Encharge is straightforward. Go to the People’s section. You’ll see a set of pre-defined segments. If you want to create your own just click the plus sign at the bottom left of the screen and select Add segment.

creating a new segment in Encharge

The next screen you’ll see is the segment’s condition screen.

The first thing you’ll notice is that Encharge supports advanced AND/OR grouping as well as nested groups.

In Encharge, you can build segments with 7 different types of conditions:

adding new conditions in Encharge
  • Field — Encharge supports a set of default fields like name, IP, browser, UTM sources, and you can also add an unlimited number of custom fields to segment by.
  • Tag — Tags applied to users.It’s important to note that Encharge doesn’t have static lists of uses. However, you can easily tag users when you import them and build “static” segments by applying the tag condition..
  • Email activity — Segment by email opens, clicks, replies, bounces, and more.
  • Event — What people do or don’t do in your app.
  • Page visit — What pages people visit on your website and in your product.
  • Segment — What segments a person belongs or doesn’t belong to.
  • Group — Encharge supports sophisticated AND/OR rules to create nested groups of segments.

Let’s take a deep dive into each one of the condition types.

Event

Thanks to the Encharge API and native Segment.com integration, you can effortlessly bring user events in Encharge and build segments out of them. For instance, when a user signs up or activates a feature.

event-based user segmentation for SaaS in Encharge

You can build laser-targeted segments with user events by using the following event filters:

  • Event count — how many times the event has been performed. For example, “Created at least 4 tasks”.
  • Time window — within what timeframe was the event performed. For instance, “Created at least 1 task within the last 5 days”.
  • Event property — in Encharge, you can segment by event properties. A segmentation feature that tools like HubSpot, Intercom, Autopilot, and Mailchimp lack.

Field

Encharge comes with a number of built-in fields like Company, Website, Title, Last activity, and others that you can segment by. You can also build segments with any custom field you add to Encharge.

user segmentation for SaaS in Encharge

Email Activity

Segment your users when they:

  • Receive an email.
  • Open.
  • Click.
  • Reply.
  • Unsubscribe.
  • Bounce.
  • Or report an email as spam.

You can choose a specific email, set of emails, or Any email.

Want to target people that haven’t opened any of your emails in the last 60 days? Just switch on the “Event count” and “Time window”.

user segmentation for SaaS in Encharge

Page Visit

With our site tracking installed on your website, you can build segments based on what pages your users visit or don’t visit. A person checking out your pricing page more than 3 times in the last 5 days? Why not assign them to a sales rep in HubSpot and send an automated email to offer help?

user segmentation for SaaS in Encharge

Tag

Tags allow you to organize people in contextual groups based on your own preferences. You can tag people when you import a new list of contacts or automatically add a tag to a person through our flows. However you do it, you can also use tags when building your segments.

user segmentation for SaaS in Encharge

Segment

Want to exclude people that belong to a different segment? Or target only people within a specific segment? You can use the Segment condition to narrow down your segmentation.

user segmentation for SaaS in Encharge

Group

With the Groups condition, you can use advanced AND/OR rules to build extremely targeted segments of people.

Let’s say we run a software with 3 critical user actions:

  • Created a project.
  • Created a task.
  • Invited a team member.

And we want to create a segment of people that have completed 2 or more of these actions. Often, these types of segments are used to differentiate between Engaged and Unengaged users.

If we simply use the “All of the following” rule with the 3 conditions, we’re going to segment people that have completed all of the 3 events.

user segmentation for SaaS in Encharge

On the other hand, “Any of the following” would give back all people that have completed at least 1 of the events.

user segmentation for SaaS in Encharge

So how do we target people that have completed 2 or more of the events?

Groups to the rescue!

Using the AND/OR logic, we can create 3 different groups:

user segmentation for SaaS in Encharge

This may seem complex at first, but it’s just 3 groups with all of the possible combinations of events. That way, allowing us to target people that have completed 2 or more events.

Segment by live user data from your whole marketing stack

The beauty of Encharge comes with its native integrations with tools like Stripe, HubSpot, and Typeform. Every single answer in your Typeform survey, field in your HubSpot account, or billing data point in Stripe can be automatically sent to Encharge as a custom field. You can then use these fields to build precise segments in Encharge.

All Encharge plans include native integrations with:

  • Segment.com
  • Salesforce (supports automatic syncing).
  • HubSpot
  • Typeform
  • Intercom
  • Slack
  • Facebook Ads
  • Mailchimp
  • Webhooks

Think of the things you can do if you had all your data available for segmentation?

Encharge’s  segmentation for SaaS — Final Verdict: 👍

The good

✅ Advanced event-based segmentation by the number of times an event was performed and the time window available on all plans.

✅ Advanced AND/OR grouping that supports nested groups.

✅ Native integrations with tools like Salesforce, HubSpot, Typeform, Stripe, and more. By bringing in data from external apps you can segment with live user data from your whole marketing and sales stack.

The bad

❌ Lack of company-based segmentation

Encharge offers robust segment conditions that are up to par with the leaders on this list. The native integrations with tools like HubSpot, Stripe, and Typeform allow you to bring in user live data from your whole marketing stack and segment by it.

Combined with your full user data, these advanced conditions allow you to build extremely powerful and precise segments. For that reason we believe Encharge is one of the best choices for SaaS companies that are focused on delivering targeted emails through better segmentation.

User segmentation for Saas — conclusion

That was a long read! So many tools, so many choices. If you’re a SaaS business and user segmentation is important for you, I hope this deep dive review has given you a better idea of how to evaluate marketing automation tools. Or at least managed to narrow down your choice significantly 🙂 Either way, let me know what tool you ended up with and why?

Further Reading

Meet your new marketing automation platform

Customer messaging tools don’t automate workflows outside your product and marketing automation tools are bad at behavior emails. Encharge is the best of both worlds — a marketing automation platform built specifically for SaaS companies.

“Encharge helped us visually redesign our onboarding flow resulting in a 10% increase in our trial activation rate."

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Camille Richon
Founder Payfacile
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