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Groups vs Contact Types

Many of the same database segmentation goals can be achieved by using either Contact Types or Groups. At the end of the day, the goal is to have your database segmented in a way that makes sense so you can send targeted marketing messages to the right people. We have found that most people have a tendency to try to over-use Contact Types in situations where using groups probably makes more sense. Below are a few things to keep in mind when trying to decide if you want to use a Group or a Contact Type to achieve a specific goal:

  • Each contact in your Surefire database can only have a single Contact Type and a single Secondary/Custom Contact Type. However, each contact can be a member of as many groups as you like.
  • Contact Types are company/account-wide, meaning all users/LOs on a specific company Surefire account use the same set of Contact Types. This allows for company admins to send company-wide emails to out to targeted audiences on behalf of their users/LOs. Groups are managed user by user.
  • You should use a Contact Type to identify generally “who” a contact is in your database. This person is a client, this person is a prospect, this person is a realtor, etc. The more specific means of segmentation are probably better suited as Groups.
  • One example scenario is if I wanted to identify people in my database who are on my tennis team. It probably doesn’t make sense to do this via a custom Contact Type, because each of these contacts can probably have a more general description, meaning they are also probably either friends or clients. And since you can only use a single Custom Contact Type you probably want to reserve that for something broader. So for this scenario a Static Group that I manually move my teammates in and out of each season probably makes the most sense.