The Customer List Builder

Harry Brett-Jones
Harry Brett-Jones
  • Updated

Customer Lists allow you to curate lists of people in your database, based on the criteria you provide – whether that's the date they made a donation, when their customer record was created, or anything else that's held at the customer level. Once you've created a List, you can easily send integrated or standard mailings to these people, output an Excel document of their details, report on them, create Opportunities for them in the Opportunities Interface, or bulk update them with Tags and Attributes.

In this article, we'll explain how to use the Customer List Builder and cover the following areas:

Creating a Customer List

The Customer List Explorer can be found in Insights & Mailings > Customer ListsYou can create a new Customer List by clicking New Customer List, or edit an existing Customer List by clicking the name of it in the Customer List Explorer.

You can arrange your Customer Lists by dragging and dropping them into the folders in the left-hand pane, in exactly the same way as you can arrange reports in the Report Explorer. To see all your folders, click the plus (+) sign next to the Customer List Explorer folder:


To create a new folder, you'll need the Insights & Mailings Administrator role (see this article for more information on user roles in Spektrix). To create a new folder, just click the New folder button in the bottom left-hand corner, give your folder a unique name and choose who has permission to edit the Lists within it:


  • All usersanyone with access to the Insights & Mailings Interface
  • Same as parent folder: when making a sub-folder, permissions will mirror that of the parent folder
  • Insights & Mailings administratorsanyone with the Insights & Mailings Administrator role

To create a sub-folder, select the folder you wish to make its parent, then click the New folder button.

Defining who's in your Customer List

By default, a new Customer List will contain everyone in your database. You then whittle down the number of people in the List by dragging Segments from the left-hand pane into the dotted criteria section marked drop criteria here in the right-hand pane.

There are two kinds of Segments available: Global Segments and Local Segments. To learn more about these and how to build them, please refer to this article.

At any time, you can use the Update Count button at the top of the screen to see how many people you currently have in your List. Please note that, if you add, remove, or edit any Segments whilst the count is running, you'll need to run the count again to get an accurate number.

The AND, OR and NOT rules

The AND and OR rules

In any Customer List, you can combine multiple Segments to find specific groups of people in your database. Dropping a Segment into the same dotted area as another Segment will set an AND rule, meaning your List will contain people who fall into all of the Segments in that area. In this example, customers in this List will meet the combined criteria of having agreed to email AND having booked for Macbeth:


After adding Segments, you'll see an additional dotted drop criteria here area appear below them. Dropping a Segment into this new dotted area will set an OR rule, meaning your List will contain people who fall into all of the Segments in one area OR all of the Segments in the other. In this example, customers in this List will meet the criteria of having agreed to email OR having booked for Macbeth:


Here's another example – arranging the Segments as below would pull people who have agreed to email AND booked for Macbeth OR people who have agreed to email AND booked for Hamlet into our Customer List:

You can add in as many AND or OR rules as you like, just bear in mind:

  • Each AND you add will make your criteria stricter and decrease the amount of people in your List
  • Each OR that you add will make your criteria wider and should increase the amount of people in your List

The NOT rule

Once you have dragged a Segment into your List you'll also see a NOT check box appear against it:


Ticking this box reverses the logic of the Segment, meaning you'll get everyone who does not meet the criteria of it. In this example, we've got our Booking Segment that finds everyone who has booked for Macbeth. By ticking the NOT check box, this Segment will be highlighted in red and now look for everyone who hasn't booked for Macbeth:


If we combine it with another Segment, we'll now get everyone who has agreed to email AND has not booked for Macbeth:


NOTE: ticking NOT on a Segment will capture everyone who is not included in that Segment; for example, ticking the NOT box on a Segment looking for people who have come to exactly three shows this year would find everyone who has come to 1, 2, or 4+ shows this year.

The Pre-filter & Main filter

In the top left corner of the Customer List Builder, you'll see that a Customer List is divided into three sections: the Pre-filter, Main filter, and Output.

The Pre-filter and Main filter are provided to make it easier to manage your lists. Any Segments you drop into the Pre-filter will always apply before any Segments you drop into the Main filter; this means that, by using Segments to include or exclude customers in the Pre-filter, you can be certain you're only working from a specific pool of customers when you perform your further segmentation in the Main filter.

For example, when creating a Customer List to send an integrated marketing email, you'll want to ensure that it only includes people who've agreed to email before you begin to add more specific criteria to whittle the List down further. By putting a Customer Segment looking for anyone who's agreed to marketing emails into the Pre-filter, Spektrix will first find everyone who has agreed to email and then, out of those people, it will find customers who meet the criteria in your Main filter:

Using the Pre-filter like this means you can be absolutely sure that, regardless of how complex your segmentation might become in the Main filter, an integrated email sent to this List will only go to people who you've permission to email.

Outputting your Customer List

The final section of a Customer List lets you set which details to export if you choose to extract the customer list as a CSV or an unformatted Excel file (see the Performing actions on a Customer List section of this article for more information on this).

By default, you'll see the most commonly used Output Columns, but you can untick the Only show commonly used columns check box to see more options. Then, you simply drag your desired Output Columns from the list at the top into the dotted areas beneath to add them.

To place an Output Column before or after one you've already added, you can drop it in the dotted area either side of it. The order in which you place these Output Columns represents the order they'll appear in the CSV/unformatted Excel file. You can also drag Output Columns into the Sort By area to sort the outputted information as desired.

As an example, here we've selected Output Columns that will give us the Customer ID of all the customers in this List, along with their title, first and last name, and email address. By also adding the Last Name Output Column to the Sort By area, the CSV/unformatted Excel file generated will sort the customers alphabetically by the Last Name column:


It's a good idea to always include the Customer ID in your output, as this is a really quick and easy way of identifying customers in your Spektrix.

NOTE: you only need to set output fields if you are extracting a CSV or an unformatted Excel file – all other actions will ignore the outputs here and instead use the fields required to complete your request.

If you wish to, you can set default Output Columns for Customer Lists and Standard Mailings by going to Insights & Mailings > Mailings > Mailings Settings and scrolling down to the Output Template section.

Audit trails

You can see who last made changes to a Customer List in the Date modified and Last modified by columns in the Customer List Explorer, allowing you to easily check whether a List has been altered since you last used it:


You can also see who made changes and when to individual Segments – see this section of our article on Global and Local Segments.

NOTE: within your Customer Lists, Segments may not remain 'static' – the number of people in your Lists can change over time as more customers meet or fail to meet the rules in your Segments.

Performing actions on a Customer List

Once you've set up your list, there a number of things you can do with the data – all of which are accessed from the Choose an action dropdown:



  • Output as CSV/Output as unformatted Excel file: choosing either of these options will give you a list of all the customers in your customer list. The information included will be based on the Output Columns you chose in the Output tab of your Customer List

NOTE: if you extract a CSV or an unformatted Excel file in order to send a mailing or email via a third party, Spektrix will not be able to provide you with any return on investment reporting, or information on open rates and clicks in integrated emails. You should instead select the Use in standard mailing or Use in integrated email options (see below for more information).

  • Run through report: allows you to run the customers in your List through any of your reports, adding an extra layer to the reporting criteria (since you know that anyone represented in the report will also have to have met all the criteria in your List)
  • Use in standard mailing: starts the Standard Mailing wizard, allowing you to record the fact these people were sent a mailing in Spektrix. You can use this information for future segmentation or to get return on investment information about the mailing
  • Use in integrated email: starts the Integrated Mailing wizard, allowing you to schedule the sending of a dotdigital campaign. Sending integrated emails in this way ensures that you can track open rates and click throughs in Spektrix and use that information in future segmentation, as well as running return on investment reports
  • Apply or remove tag: allows you to add or remove Normal Tags to everyone in a Customer List; for example, you might create a List of prospects and apply a Normal Tag to mark them as potential donors
  • Apply or remove contact preference: can only be used by members of the Spektrix Support team; if you need to change Contact Preferences for the customers in a List, please contact us at the Support Centre, letting us know the name of the Customer List, the name of the Contact Preference you wish to change, and what response you want it changed to
  • Attach attribute: allows you to add complete an existing Customer Attribute against all the customers in a List

The final two options are only available if you're using the Opportunities Interface:

  • Bulk create opportunities: opens the Opportunities wizard to create identical Opportunities against all the customers in the List
  • Bulk create invitations: opens the Invitations wizard, allowing you to select which Event Instance to mark customers in this List as being invited to

NOTE: in order to appear in the Invitations wizard, the Event Instance must be marked as being available for sale in the Opportunities Interface.

Along with these actions, you can also use a Customer List as part of a Customer List Schedule; these can be used to deliver a Customer List on a rolling or on demand basis, or to power automated emails. For more info on these, have a read of this article.

Further reading

Hopefully this guide has given you a better understanding of how to build Customer Lists in Spektrix. We'd also recommend having a read of these articles:

  • Global and Local Segments: a guide to creating and editing Segments to define which customers should be included in a Customer List
  • Customer List Schedules: a guide to using Customer List Schedules to automate the running of Customer Lists, to deliver a Customer List or send automated emails


If you have any further questions about Customer Lists, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Spektrix Support team.