Article #9 - What are Smart Groups?
Smart groups are "saved searches." They are useful for keeping track of groups of contacts meeting certain criteria, for example "all members based in Europe." Creating a smart group is easy: you search based on your desired criteria and then choose 'Create smart group'. Once the smart group is created, each time you ask to see the contacts in a group, your CRM will carry out a search and show you contacts that meet the criteria you specified.
Smart groups are a really powerful and useful part of your CRM. They come in handy in many different situations. Spend some time making sure you understand smart groups and how you might be able to use them.
Creating smart groups
Smart groups can be created from the search results generated by many search forms. Let's say we wanted to create a smart group of all donors who have not yet been sent a thank-you letter to help us manage our work-flow for thanking donors. As we send letters, the donors receiving them will automatically leave the smart group, allowing us to have an always accurate list of people to send letters to.
- Go to Search > Find Contacts > Advanced Search.
- Scroll down to the Contributions section.
- Check Thank-you date not set? and choose Donation from the financial type drop-down menu.
- Click Search at the bottom of the page.
- Select all records
- From the Actions drop-down menu select Group - create smart group.
- Give the smart group a name and description and optionally designate it as a mailing list and give if a parent group. Click Save Smart Group.
Your smart group will now appear in all the usual places where you see groups.
Try editing the a contact in the smart group so that they no longer match the criteria. You'll see that they are removed from the smart group.
Changing criteria for smart groups
You may want to refine the criteria that your smart group uses to select contacts. For example, you may want to edit a smart group consisting of all current members to include new members as well. You can do this from the Manage groups screen.
Click Manage Groups. To edit the search criteria of a particular smart group, click Settings next to that group.
On the group settings screen, click Edit Smart Group Criteria at bottom left.
This will bring up the a screen similar to the one that you originally used to create the smart group with the search results displayed. Clicking on the bar at the top of the screen will bring up the criteria that you used to define the smart group. You can then update the criteria and once you're happy with the results, select all records and choose Update Smart Group from the Actions list.
Your smart group is now based on the new criteria.