Smart Groups are a great tool to organize and structure your company. They allow you to map and segment your company exactly how you imagine while working with automation. This allows you to easily distribute the relevant content to the relevant people which is key when running a business.
Time-based Smart Groups create groups based that are calculated based on relative dates, rather than concrete filters. Time-based Smart Groups are any smart groups that contain at least one filter that is "Time-based.”
Before getting started on creating groups let’s talk have a refresh on what are filters, and which filters are time-based.
In this article we will go over:
What are Filters?
Filters are Custom Fields in the User Profile. There are two time-based custom fields that can be set as filters. These are the Birthday field and the Date field. The date field can be renamed be anything you like such as Employment Start Date or Certification Renewal Date and anything else that fits your company’s needs.
To add a time-based custom field, navigate to the Users profile, click on the settings icon in the top right hand corner. This will bring you to the employee details menu.
Then press the + Add field button, and add either a Birthday or Date Field or Both.
Take a look at how this looks below:
Now that you have created based Custom Fields, you won't need to do that again! You will only need to go to your User's profile and update the relevant custom field.
In the example below I have gone to my user Rebecca Lawrence profile and updated the Time-based Custom field Birthday to be her birthday on June 24th, 1973
How To Create a Time-Based Smart Group and What Can Be Filter For?
Before going over how we create the Time-based Smart Groups let’s go over what we can filter for.
What Can I Filter For?
Time-based filters are dates filters set when creating smart groups. These allow you to filter for yesterday, today, tomorrow, last week, this week, next week, last month, this month, last week, and so much more!
Below you can see all the available filters.
Now that you know what you are able to filter for let's go over how to create a Time-based Smart Group
Creating a Time-Based Smart Group Step by Step:
Step 1: Navigate to the smart group's category on the left sidebar
Step 2: First, add a Segment
Step 3: Use the + Add a group button from inside the Segment to create a group and then name the group.
In the example below you can see I created a Segment Birthdays and inside a smart group named Todays Birthday.
Step 4: Set the Filter. First, choose the relevant Time-Based Custom Field, and then finally select the criteria that the group will be defined by. This is done by choosing the option which filters the group.
In the example below you can see I set the filter to be Birthday (Custom Field) is Today (Filter) This created a time-based Smart Group containing all the people whose birthday always falls on today. Notice how the list of participants includes only those whose Birthday is the date of Today (April 6th)
Below you can see the complete process we went through when creating the time-based smart group.
KEEP IN MIND - the members of the groups are not permanent and get recalculated very often (daily/weekly/monthly depending on the filter), so users within the group today are not necessarily there tomorrow, and on some days your group may not include anyone.
Time-Based Smart Groups Use Case
Now that you have learned how to create a smart group using the birthday field. Let's go over an example of creating a smart group using the Date Time Custom Field as mentioned above. In this example, this field will be called Employment Start Date.
Take a look at how this field looks in John's Profile below.
Great! Now let's say once our employees reach one year at the company they receive a certain benefits package, and we want to create a time-based smart group for all our users who have worked for the company for more than 1 year.
As done above we will navigate to the smart groups on the left sidebar, and create a segment called Seniority. Inside the segment Create a smart group named 1-year Seniority.
Then, we will set the filter. In this case, the filter will be set to be Employment Start Date is within the range of the last (days) 365 to 20,000. This will gather all the users who have worked at the company for more than one year.
As you can see in the example below the list only includes those whose start date was more than 365 days ago
How are these Time Based and How are They Updated automatically?
Great, we have successfully created two time-based smart groups. That's Amazing! At this point though you might be asking how is it time-based? Well, the group is automatically updated based on the relevant users on the filter set!
Let's keep working with the example we used above when we created a time-based smart called 1 Year Seniority. Remember the filter here is set as Employment Start Date is within the range of the last (days) 365 to 20,000, and it contains all the employees who have worked at the company for more than 365 days (1 year).
Now let's take our user Mary. Mary was hired on April 5th, 2021. If we looked at the smart group participants list on April 5th, 2022 Mary is not on the participant's list. Why not? Because she doesn't meet the TIME-BASED criteria set. She has not been working for the company for more than 365 days (1 year). If we look at the Group on April 6th, 2022 however we see that Mary was added, because she now meets the group's time-based criteria. Tomorrow and the next day more people may be added when they meet the criteria.