Using Segment with Courier: A No Code Sweet Spot

Posted by Danny Douglass on September 8th, 2020

A few weeks ago, we recorded a Courier Live on how to use Segment to send notifications with Courier. We thought we'd dive a little deeper since there was a lot of interest.

Segment is a customer data platform that allows anyone building web and mobile applications to easily track user behavior. You can track when a user signed up, when an account was created, when a password was changed, and many other user events. Having a birds-eye view of customer data allows you to better understand how users are interacting with your applications, make data-driven product improvements, and ultimately convert those insights into more revenue for your business. We use it internally for a handful of different things: we take user events from inside of our application and send them to Intercom in order to send helpful messages to new users, to Fullstory in order to help resolve bugs, and, naturally, to Courier in order to send notifications. Since a lot of companies use Segment for tracking these events, we set up an integration so any Segment user can send notifications using Courier without writing a single line of code. 

Segment works with Courier by simplifying the process of collecting data and integrating that data with Courier. You can configure various user events from your applications once, customize the properties that you want to collect about your users, and send that information to Segment. Segment then fans out different configurations that you’ve set up as destinations, including Courier or other types of centralized data pipelines focused on triggering actions based on events.

If you’re already a Segment user, setting up with Courier is a fast and easy no-code integration. On our platform, we use a web-based UI that allows you to toggle on “I’m also sending this to Courier.” We support Segment events coming into Courier by allowing you to configure a destination for your application’s events, see the events coming into the data pipeline, and map those events to a notification. It’s that quick: once you have the notification set up with incoming data, you’re able to send that notification out to your users via Courier and see instant results. A few weeks ago, we did a livestream where we built an example application that used Segment + Courier and we finished 30 minutes early because it was so much easier than we expected!

If you’re not already an existing Segment user, it’s not necessarily worth signing up for Segment just to use Courier, since the amount of code required will be the same either way (one line for every tracked event), but it may be relevant for other use cases. Many companies prefer having one data pipeline in their application so they can fan it out to other places that need that data. 

One example of an existing client who’s found success integrating Segment with Courier is a technology company we’ve worked with that had a Segment-first approach to data collection. They were collecting user-level and system-level behavioral data that they wanted to track and report on through Segment, and because they already had us integrated into their ecosystem, they were able to hook up the destination to Courier and immediately see their data pipe in. 

Once their data started appearing, they were able to verify that it was all coming in without any code on their end. All they had to do to finish integration was set up their notification templates and create a map—which took a matter of seconds—to map the incoming events to a user-related Segment event. They were able to use these different events to send different types of notifications via Courier, and they were very happy with the results. The whole thing took less than 30 minutes from start to finish on their first notification.

The other thing you can do with a Segment integration is send user data to Courier. While we don’t require user contact information beforehand in order to deliver a notification since you can pass it along in the send request itself when the event occurs, sometimes it’s easier to tell us a user’s email address, phone number, etc. so you don’t have to look it up every time. Segment can keep track of that info and send it to Courier without additional lines of code on your side. You can also take advantage of user data to manage Brands if you want to customize templates depending on which product is sending the user a notification, or if you have a B2B2C model and want to let your customers control the content in your notifications to end recipients.  

Overall, we take a serious approach to keeping the amount of coding required to take full advantage of Courier to a minimum - our customers are able to massively reduce their notifications related code, but if you happen to already be a Segment customer, you can combine two powerful platforms to send notifications over any channel without any code at all.

If you’re interested in learning more about our integration, check out our Segment + Courier livestream or hit the button below to get in touch!