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Assigning Mailing Groups in Business Central

July 6, 2020 | New View Strategies

Segments can be simple in Business Central

In my last blog, “The Contact Card in Business Central – Not Just a Depository for Names, Phone Numbers and Emails”, I discussed the six methods for segmenting in Business Central from the Contact Card.

Now that you’ve started capturing the contact information that’s crucial for successful marketing, I am going to show you how easy it is to select the right Contacts that you want to reach. Say you want to market to the individuals who purchased from you in 2018 but have not done any business with you since. Let’s use a “Segment” in Business Central to identify the Contacts associated with those inactive Customers.

What’s a Segment in Business Central?

Segments allow you to assemble a list of all the Contacts in your system that meet your specified criteria.  Segments can be reused so you don’t need a new Segment every time you want an ad hoc list of Contacts.  There is a lot you can do with a Segment, but today, I am only going focus on two functions:  adding Contacts and Apply Mailing Group.

Here’s a sneak preview:

segments in Business Central

Recall our challenge is to identify those Contacts who have not purchased from us since 2018.

Because we had not been tracking this data before, this is going to be a four-step process:


  1. Create a Segment for Contacts who purchased from us in 2018, and assign a 2018 Mailing Group to those Contacts
  2. Create a Segment for Contacts who purchased from us in 2019 and assign a 2019 Mailing Group to those Contacts
  3. Create a Segment for Contacts who purchased from us in 2020 and assign a 2020 Mailing Group to those Contacts
  4. Create a Segment that includes the Contacts in Mailing Group 2018 and then remove the Contacts in that Segment if they are also in 2019 or 2020 Mailing Groups, leaving those Contacts who have not purchased from us since 2018.

Create a Segment and Add Your Contacts

To start, on the Segment window select New to create a new Segment.  I recommend using default numbering for Segments.  Enter a Description for your Segment and you are ready to add Contacts.

Clicking Add Contacts on the top line of the Ribbon, or on Functions > Add Contacts opens the Add Contacts batch job page.  This page gives you the ability to filter your Contacts by Mailing Group, Interaction Log Entry, Job Responsibility, Industry Group, Business Relationship and Value Entry.  Based on today’s topic, I am only going to discuss the Business Relation and Value Entry Filter.

In the sample Add Contacts batch job page below, you see that I have filtered for only those Contacts who have a Business Relation Code of “C”, which in my database stands for Customer. I am using two fields in the Value Entry filter.  I am only interested in transactions posted between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018, and in transactions with Sales Amounts greater than $0.  These filters will yield all Contacts who purchased from us in 2018.  I am intentionally excluding returns.

segments in Business Central


In my prior company, we were more specific about what the Customers purchased in prior years, as we sold Items that came with a manufacturer’s warranty.  Those products were typically warranted by the manufacturer for a year and were eligible for an extended warranty when the manufacturer’s warranty expired.  By filtering on the specific Items that qualified for the extended warranty, this type of Segment allowed us to easily identify who might be interested in the extended warranty.

After clicking OK on the Add Contacts batch job page, Business Central will add the Contacts associated with 2018 Sales Transactions to the Segment.

segments in Business Central

Returning to the Segment in Business Central, you will see the Contacts that meet your filtering criteria.  There are two fields on the Segment Header that have been updated: No. of Lines and No. of Criteria Actions.  The former is the number of Contacts in the Segment.  The latter is the number of different criteria that were used to add the Contacts for this Segment.

segments in Business Central

You can drill into the hyperlink in No. of Criteria Actions to view what the criteria was.


Assign Your Segment to a Mailing Group

Now that you have the Contacts in your Segment, you can assign them to a Mailing Group.  As you will see in future blogs, there may be times when you use a significant number of criteria actions to fine tune your targeted Contacts.  By assigning these Contacts to a Mailing Group, you will be able to easily identify the same Contacts again in a future Segment by using this Mailing Group instead of going through multiple iterations of criteria.  But remember, this was just the first step and the first Segment.  You must clear the Contacts in this Segment and repeat the process three more times to pare your list of Contacts to inactive Customers.

Be sure to check out my next blog in which I discuss advanced functionality in Segments.

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The experts at New View Strategies are experienced Dynamics NAV and Business Central trainers and business process consultants who have walked in your shoes as former Corporate Controllers, Directors of IT, and Solution Architects, and believe increased utilization of your business systems is critical to the continued success of your company.
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