How to work with segments and marketing lists in Dynamics 365 and Dynamics 365 Marketing

10.12.2019 netwise

Dynamics 365 applications allow to create both static and dynamic marketing lists. Cool right? But if you are a marketing pro you’d probably want to use customer journeys based on segments instead. Here comes Dynamics 365 Marketing with a separate feature called marketing segments.


What are the differences?


Supported operationStatic segmentDynamic segmentStatic marketing listDynamic marketing list
Use in customer journeyYesYesSubscription list onlyNo
Use in campaign/quick campaignNoNoYesYes
Include in segmentYesYesYesNo
Show on subscription centerNoNoSubscription onlyNo
Query interaction records from the marketing-insights servicesNoYesNo No
Go live to activateYesYesNoNo
Runs on the marketing-insights servicesYesYesNo No
Add/remove a contact while viewing the contact recordYesNoYesNo
Contacts onlyContacts onlyContacts, leads or accountsContacts, leads or accounts


First of all, what is a segment? It is a group of people/profiles with one or many common characteristics.


“…Most firms have moved from mass marketing to segmented marketing, in which they target carefully chosen submarkets or even individual consumers.”
– Principles of Marketing, Philip Kotler and Gary Armstrong, 2009


You create segments within your potential customers (prospects) profiles, dividing your audience into different groups based on a various criteria, such as product interest, scoring or event attendance. Digital marketers segment audiences as key part of a targeted marketing strategy.

Using segmentation helps to increase email engagement, build brand loyalty, and increase email open and click-through rates and simply makes your email marketing more personal.


Segments in Dynamics 365 Marketing

Creating segments requires Dynamics 365 Marketing app. It is not available without it.

Marketing segments run directly on the marketing-insights services and therefore have access to this data so you can create a segment that, for example, finds all contacts who registered for a specific event, or opened a specific email, or visited a specific website – this information isn’t available to marketing lists.




As Customer Journey is based on segmentation, in Dynamics 365 Marketing you can find a tab called “Segments”. In this tab, you can create a segment for which you define all sorts of characteristics (conditions):

  • Demographic
  • Firmographic
  • Behavioral
  • Static
  • Combined audiences

Or create a new segment based on conditions chosen by you.


How can you segment your audience?

  • Visits to your website
  • Industry
  • Email clicks
  • Job function
  • Products interests
  • Information in custom fields
  • Organization type
  • Email opens
  • Subscription submitted
  • Form submitted
  • Survey responses
  • Link clicked

More questions about Dynamics 365 Marketing?

Contact us to ask questions or get started with Dynamics 365 Marketing.

Contact us

Marketing lists in Dynamics 365 Marketing?

Static lists should be used when you don’t want members to be automatically updated and you want to do it manually instead – add or remove a member of the list. Static lists do not ever change, unless you update them manually.

In Dynamics 365 Marketing static marketing lists are used to create subscription lists, enabling contacts to sign up for mailing lists like newsletters – those can only contain contacts and can be used in a Customer Journey.

Dynamic lists are used when there is a need to update a list of members dynamically, based on the set criteria.


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