Let's say you have a list that has a large number of contacts and you would like to, for example, send to only 25% of the list each day, for 4 days. Or, alternatively you may want to only send one campaign to 20% of your list.
Although Pinpointe does not have a feature to do this directly, this can be accomplished quite easily by using a custom field and segments. The steps below take about 5 - 10 minutes.
Step 1: Set Up A Custom Field
To randomly select a percentage of your contacts to send an email campaign to, you must create a custom field called RandomID (a 'number' field). This will populate with a random number between 1 and 1000. We can then use segments to select contacts with a Random ID between x and y.
For example, selecting contacts with a RandomID between 0 .. 250 will select 25% of the list. Selecting 500..599, will select a different 10% of the list. So if your list has 5000 contacts, selecting a RandomID between 0..250 will send to the first random 1,250 contacts. To send to all the contacts in 1,250 increments, next select a RandomID between 251..500, then 501..750, and finally 751..1000.
The instruction below will first cover the steps assuming you have *not* yet uploaded your contacts to Pinpointe. Then the article will explain how to modify an existing list in Pinpointe if you have already uploaded contacts.
To begin you must create the custom field 'RandomID', type number, and associate it with your list (or lists).
Go to Resources tab -> Custom Fields.
On the next screen, click the "New Custom Field" button.
Next to 'Custom Field Type' select 'Numbers Only' and name your customer field RandomID. Click the 'Next >>' button.
In the next screen, make the:
'Field Length' 4
'Maximum Length' 4
'Minimum Length' 4
Then click the 'Next >>' button.
On the next screen, click the checkbox(s) next to the list(s) you would like to add the custom field to, then click the 'Save' button to finish.
Step 2: Prepare/Save Your Excel File
Now that you have your custom field set up, you'll need to edit your list in Excel to include a column called 'RandomID' in Excel.
- With your list open in Excel, create a column and name it 'RandomID.' In my example the column is column A.
- Click in the first cell underneath - in the example it is A2. Here you want to insert the formula =RANDBETWEEN(1,1000) in the box next to fx.
- Hit the "Enter" (or "Return" for Mac Users) button. A random number should appear in the cell.
- Click on the lower right corner of cell A2 and drag it down to all of the contacts in your file that you want to give a random number to.
- Now save your Excel spreadsheet. *Remember to save in .CSV file format.
Import your list into Pinpointe as you would normally do (you can see the video on uploading contacts in our knowledgebase).
Step 3: Import Your List Into Pinpointe
If you need help with this, please refer to article Importing Your Contacts From a Spreadsheet.
Step 4: Import Your List Into Pinpointe
Now that the list is imported, you can now create a segment or do an "on the fly" selection of email segments.
For example, if you want to send emails to the first 25% of your list, you can create a segment as follows:
(If you need a refresher on how to create and use a segment, review the article "How do I create and utilize segments?")
Create and save a segment with the following criteria:
RandomID ... IS BETWEEN 0 .. 250
This will select 25% (250 /1000) of the list.
You can then send your email campaign to this segment.
Updating an Existing List:
If you have already uploaded a list into Pinpointe and you now want to segment it as above, you need to add the
additional field to the list and update the contacts. Do the following:
- Create the field in Pinpointe called RandomID as noted earlier and add this field to your list.
- Export the active contacts from your list, and edit the list in Excel.
In the exported file, you can delete all columns except the column with an email address.
Now add the column called 'RandomID' as noted above.
- Finally, we will re-upload the spreadsheet contacts into Pinpointe to update your current list:
When importing, select the option 'Yes, overwrite existing contact details.'
This will then update / add *only* the RandomID field.
- Now you're ready to go.
Managing your New Contacts:
You can create a segment called "No Random ID - [Database Name]" to monitor as a check for contacts imported that were not assigned a RandomID.
To do so:
- Go to Contacts => Manage Segments.
- Create a new segment.
- Select the correct Database.
- Set the Criteria to:
Activity Status ... is ... active
RandomID ... is empty
Save and exit.
- From time to time, or especially after importing new contacts, look at the contact count for this segment at: Contacts => Manage Segments. IF the contact count is not 0, then those contacts need to be exported, assigned RandomID values, and re-imported using the steps outlined above.