What is the difference between Marketing Segments and Lists in Microsoft Dynamics 365?

As Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing users, you have most likely encountered various ways to query contacts to plan and execute marketing campaigns. I think some of us can even admit that at one time you’ve selected the one that seemed correct without knowing for certain. We’re here to help you determine which to use and in which situations throughout your Microsoft Dynamics CRM Solution.

Let’s start by breaking down a Dynamic versus a Static query.

Within Dynamics 365 a Dynamic query means it will continually update and run the query again to constantly add or remove contacts as they get added into the CRM. A Static query runs once and will not change until you manually refresh the query.

Users that don’t have Dynamics Marketing and may only have Dynamics Sales or other apps within the system would only recognize Dynamic and Static Marketing Lists. This is because the use of Dynamic or Static Marketing Segments are exclusive to D365 Marketing.

Some key features that Marketing Segments have, that Marketing Lists do not are:

  • Available for use in a customer journey
  • Only live upon selecting to activate and “Go Live”
  • Runs on marketing-insights services

Alternatively, Marketing Lists have a few features that Marketing Segments do not:

  • Can be used in a campaign/quick campaign
  • Can be created with Contacts, leads, or accounts (Segments can only use Contacts)
  • Specifically Static Lists show on subscription center

For an even more detailed look at the differences between segments and lists, take a look at the table Microsoft created.

The best use of a marketing segment would be in a customer journey. You can use a dynamic or static segment to target contacts that follow certain criteria in a customer journey. Whereas the best use for marketing lists in D365 Marketing, is when creating Subscription lists. Subscription lists are unique as in the only type of lists that the contact can add or remove themselves from various marketing lists by themselves.

Have additional questions about how to best use all the features Dynamics 365 Marketing has to offer? Speak with one of our experts today.