Basic vs. Smart Segments

In practice, Basic Segments and Smart Segments do the same thing. Both types of Segments group panelists, can be used to limit content visibility, and can be used as filters. The difference lies in how panelists get added to them.

Basic Segments: Panelists must be added to Basic Segments manually, via a bulk import, assigned by a response to a screening question, or assigned by a response to a prompt or poll choice that has a Segment configured.

Smart Segments: Panelists are added to Smart Segments automatically when they meet pre-established criteria. In other words, they are not assigned manually but rather assigned via advanced filtering rules you define. Recollective updates to add and remove panelists from Smart Segments automatically.


  • I am preparing to bulk import my panelists. How do I know if my columns data should be a Basic Segment or a Smart Segment?
  • If your data looks like this, you can assign panelists to a Basic Segment:

    If your data looks like this, create a New Custom Field when you import the sheet, then create Smart Segments: 

    The Custom Field you create will be added to your available Smart Segment criteria.

  • I want to create a Smart Segment, but the custom tab says that there are no fields to choose from. How do I add criteria?
  • To create Smart Segments using custom criteria, you must first add Custom Profile Fields. Click here to learn more about creating Profile Fields.
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