What is the best way to deal with conflicts in segments?

Why am I seeing this message?

We are currently developing the new segmentation. Creating a segment will become a lot easier. For example, you no longer have to type the corresponding values of multiple choice fields in manually, but you can simply select them from the list. This greatly reduces the chance of errors. In addition, new functions will be added to give you more ways to outline your target audience than before. But we will also remove some functions because they are unclear, misused, or too open to interpretation.

So if you have seen this message in your account, it means that one of your segments will no longer comply with the new rules. So if you want to keep that segment in the future, we want to give you enough time to adjust that segment now. That way there won’t be any unpleasant surprises.

Why will segmentation change?

We often get the feedback that new users are "afraid" of segmentation. They do not understand some concepts, find it too difficult or doubt whether they have built their segment correctly. We want to remove that uncertainty and doubt.

We understand that your current situation works for you and that change is not always pleasant. That is why we try to make this process as easy as possible for you.

Some important things before you continue:

  • A segment is the same as a filter. If a segment were to be removed later because it does not comply, remember that NOTHING will happen to your contacts. It is only your filter that will be removed. You can always adjust your segment now in view of the new rules, or when the new segmentation is there, rebuild your segment. The content of your fields in Flexmail remains the same. So you can still filter, personalize or - in the worst case - export the data from Flexmail and adjust it in Excel.
  • To give you more context, we have marked the segments that no longer comply in color.
  • An extra column has also been added to your segmentation overview, in which you can see when your segment was last used in a campaign. Ask yourself if you really need that segment in the future.
  • At the moment we are finalising the feature and hope to release it soon. You don't have to adjust all your segments at once, but don't wait too long either. For example, you could adjust a few segment every time you log in.
  • Have you modified a segment? Then it can take up to 15 minutes for the color of your segment to disappear.
  • We recommend that you critically review your contact data and your segments. Which segments do you still use, and how can you clearly structure them? Don't hesitate to delete segments you no longer need. You only delete the segment but not the contacts in the segment. 
  • Deleted segments can always be recreated with the same parameters, whereby they include the same contacts as before. 

Attention Are there any contacts on your segment blacklist?  On a segment blacklist, you cannot import any contacts. You should export these before deleting a segment. Later, you can add these contacts to a general blacklist.

What will be changing in segments?

Several segmentation functions will be disappearing

Until now, the list of available functions when creating a segment was not based on the type of field. Additionally, some functions were unclear or could also be achieved with other functions. 

In the new segmentation version, we will link the functions to the type of field, and certain functions will be merged to make segmentation easier. 

Segmentation conditions are limited to a maximum of 5

To keep an overall picture and be able to guarantee the performance of your account, we limit the number of conditions from 1 to a maximum of 5 segments.

All conditions of a segment must use the same operator (AND / OR) and conditions cannot be linked (use brackets)

Using a combination of several operators with the conditions of a segment is no longer possible. You will need to choose between an AND operator and an OR operator. Once all conditions use the same operator you can unlink them.

Segment nesting is limited to 5 levels

In other words, a nested segment can have a maximum of 4 parent segments.

All conditions for a segment need to be unique

All conditions need to have a unique combination of trigger, Field, Function and Value for the segment to be valid.

Conditions based on a contact field of the type Multiple choice can only use existing option values

When you create a multiple choice custom field, each option is represented by an option value. A condition can only use these exact option values for the condition value. Beware for typo's.

Conditions based on fields the type Multiple choice need a separate condition for each reaction

When you create a multiple choice custom field, you can allow multiple reactions. You will need to use a separate condition for each answer you want to check against.

Conditions can only use existing contact fields

Conditions based on contact fields can only use contact fields that still exist in your account. If you had a condition based on a custom field, but have removed this custom field since, your condition will not be valid and your segment will not be functional.

Conditions can only use existing interests

Conditions based on interests can only use interests that still exist in your account. If you had a condition based on an interest but have removed this interest since, your condition will not be valid and your segment will not be functional.

Segment functions that will disappear

  • Functions based on a contact field that will disappear for all field types:
    • Starts with
    • Doesn't start with
    • Ends with
    • Doesn't end with
    • Less than, equal to
    • More than, equal to
    • Empty value
    • No empty value
  • Functions based on a contact field that will disappear for the Free text type:
    • Smaller than
    • Larger than
  • Functions based on a contact field that will disappear for the Date and Creation date types:
    • Contains
    • Does not contain
  • Functions based on a contact field that will disappear for the Multiple choice type:
    • Contains
    • Does not contain
    • Smaller than
    • Larger than
  • Functions based on a contact field that will disappear for the Numeric type:
    • Contains
    • Does not contain
  • Functions based on the default field Language that will disappear:
    • Contains
    • Does not contain
    • Not equals (Exact)
    • Smaller than
    • Larger than
  • Functions based on Source that will disappear:
    • Contact has source
  • Functions based on Campaigns that will disappear:
    • Sent
    • Not sent
    • Form completed
    • Form not completed

Segment functions that will remain or be added

These functions will continue to be available for segmenting:

Contact fields

  • Free text
    • equals
    • does not equal
    • includes
    • does not include
  • Numeric
    • equals
    • does not equal
    • is smaller than
    • is larger than
  • Date
    • equals
    • does not equal
    • is smaller than
    • is larger than
  • Multiple choice
    • equals
    • does not equal

Creation date

  • was created on
  • was created before
  • was created after


  • equals


  • is subscribed to interest
  • is not subscribed to interest
  • is unsubscribed from interest


  • Campaigns
    • has received campaign
    • has not received campaign
    • has opened campaign
    • has not opened campaign
    • has clicked link in campaign
    • has not clicked link in campaign
  • Forms
    • has completed form
    • has not completed form
  • Surveys
    • has completed survey
    • has not completed survey
  • Landing pages
    • has visited landing page
    • has not visited landing page


  • has subscribed via
  • has not subscribed via

What will happen if I don't adjust my segments?

Unfortunately, since we do not know the data or logic behind the structure of your segments, we cannot automatically convert the conflicting segments. Due to the complexity it is also impossible to provide a migration tool that offers sufficient flexibility to cover all scenarios. 

All segments that still have conflicts when we roll out the new version will be deleted. All segments nested under a segment with a conflict will be deleted as well. Segment adjustment is therefore vital to ensure the smooth conversion.

We will keep you informed when the rollout comes closer.

Possible problems and solutions

1. My segments are created based on a source.

With the arrival of GDPR legislation, we created sources to allow you to document your contact’s origin. Since the introduction of sources, we have worked hard on our platform to provide you more ways to define your target groups and manage their interests, while a single contact list allows you to easily work in a GDPR-compliant way. 

We have now reached a point where we will be returning sources to what they are really intended for: information that can be consulted but that does not have a functional purpose.

However, it is possible that you have based the structure of (some of) your segment on sources. In this way, you keep a long list of segments that may have only been used once or a few times and an even longer list of sources that is neither here nor there. This not only creates an unclear structure, but it also makes adding contacts later more difficult.

We therefore recommend that you base your segments on other data you have about your contacts. Do your contacts have some interests in common, for example? Do they all have the same job within a company which you could define using a custom field? 

Think about the structure that goes best with the information you have.

2. My segments have more than 5 conditions.

Adding contacts to a segment with more than 5 conditions could cause problems, because you need to make sure that your contacts meet each condition to be included in this segment. From now on, this will be easier with the number of conditions being limited to 5.

If you need to add more than 5 conditions, it is advisable to use nested segments.

3. I use conditions in my segments that will be disappearing.

If your segments are based on conditions that will be disappearing, you have two options.

You can find out whether there is an alternative for the conditions that will be disappearing. In that way, you can ensure that the segment has a similar structure.

If that is not the case, you will need to reconsider the structure of the segment. You can do this with interests or own fields, for example.

4. My segments use more than one operator (AND / OR) or has linked conditions (brackets)

Using a combination of operators in one segment will no longer be possible. However, this does not necessarily mean that your segmentation is impossible. In that case, you can work with nested segments to get the same result. Furthermore, your structure will be clearer, and adding contacts to your segments will be easier. If your conditions are linked, you also need to unlink them once they use the same operator.

5. I have more than 4 nested segments under 1 segment

We have opted to allow a maximum of 5 levels, which will offer a better overview of your segments. It also gives us the possibility to present a better tree structure. Do you currently have more than 5 levels? Take a good look at your segment structure. perhaps you can recreate a nested segment at a higher level and separate the segments more.

6. I use the function "Empty value" or "No empty value" in my condition, how can I preserve this segment?

You can change the function to "Equals (Exact)" or "Not equals (Exact)" respectively and leave the value field. 

7. I want to build my segmentation again from zero

If your segmentation has become an endless list or if you can barely discern the structure, you may need to do some cleaning up and build a logical structure. 

The best way to start is by deleting segments you no longer need. This can now also be done in bulk. Select the segments you want to delete and choose the option for deleting segments. 

Think about the campaigns you will be sending: Which contacts do I need for these? Do these contacts have any common data on which basis I can perform segmentation, like a certain value or a common interest? 

Next, create your segments (and therefore target groups) based on this data. 

Support tip
In our blog article Segmentation for email marketing: types, benefits and examples, you can find inspiration and check out how we manage segmentation ourselves.
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