Tag Archives: customer segmentation

How to send geofenced marketing messages using Amazon Pinpoint

Post Syndicated from Zach Elliott original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/messaging-and-targeting/send-geofenced-marketing-messages-using-amazon-pinpoint/


Geofencing, which creates a virtual geographical boundary that triggers a marketing action to a mobile device when a user enters or exits that boundary, can be used in marketing messages to drive more traffic and increase conversions. Amazon Pinpoint, AWS’ multichannel communication tool, can be used to create mobile notifications using geofencing technology, so customers receive notifications about a business when they’re close by that physical location.

Ways retailers can use geofencing:

There are a number of different use cases that retail or location-based businesses can use geofencing to drive customer conversions:

  1. Target the customer with real-time offers and promotions when the customer is near the store: Detecting and establishing an interaction with the customer while in the store improves the customer experience. Using geofencing, retailers will be able to detect the presence and will be able to send coupon or promotional notifications.
  2. Improve product search in the store: As the consumer enters the geofenced store, activate the product search for the store to help the consumer to search and navigate easily within the store.
  3. Get more information about the customer in the store: Retailers will be able to collect more accurate consumer behavior inside the store by recording the interaction between the consumers and product search, and using geofencing and position to calculate the dwell time inside the store or how long the consumer is waiting in the queue.

In this blog we will talk about how you can use Amazon Location Service to trigger a notification using Amazon Pinpoint when a consumer enters a geofenced store.

Architecture Overview

Architecture Overview for Pinpoint and Geofencing Solution

Fig. 1: Geofencing and Pinpoint – Sample Architecture

Figure 1 depicts the solution architecture and resources deployed by the AWS CloudFormation Template, described in more detail in later sections. In the solution workflow:

  1.  Store Management defines a Geofence around store locations they wish to enroll using Amazon Location Service Geofencing and circular geofences.
  2. A customer who has opted into location tracking using the app will update an Amazon Location Service Tracker Resource. This tracker will be evaluated against the store geofences.
  3. If a geofence ENTER event is triggered, a message is sent to Amazon EventBridge.
  4. EventBridge will trigger an AWS Lambda function.
  5. The Lambda function looks up the Store Information in an Amazon DynamoDB table that matches the geofence ID in order to enrich the email.
  6. Event is sent to a Pinpoint Journey with information from the Geofence event as well as store info.
  7. Personalized email is sent to customer via Pinpoint

Configuring AWS Cloudformation

To deploy the Amazon Location Service resources as well as EventBridge, DynamoDB, and Lambda, we have created an AWS Cloudformation Template.

Use this link to launch the CloudFormation stack in the US-West-2 region. Selecting the button next to “I acknowledge that AWS CloudFormation might create IAM resources.” click Create stack

Fig 2. Cloudformation Console

Fig. 2: AWS CloudFormation Console showing stack options.

Once the stack is complete. We can begin configuring Pinpoint.

Configuring Pinpoint

Our project was created for us via the CloudFormation template, but we still need to configure some items in Pinpoint. First, we’ll set up our email identity to send and receive messages from; for the purposes of this blog, you’ll use the same email address for sending and receiving the email, but in a production environment, your sending identity could either be a specific email address you’ve verified for messaging, or an entire email domain you’ve verified via DNS.

Configuring email channel

Adding an email

  1. On the left-side Pinpoint menu, expand the Email option and choose Email identities
  2. Select Verify email identity
  3. Enter an email address you have access to for the confirmation step
  4. Select Verify email address
Fig. 3: Verifying email identity

Fig. 3: AWS Console showing email verification

Fig. 4: Email verification options

Fig. 4: Email verification options

Now, check your inbox for a verification email. It should look something like this:

Fig. 5: Email Verification message from Amazon Pinpoint

Fig. 5: Email Verification message from Amazon Pinpoint

Click the link to verify your email address. Now we can begin sending and receiving messages at this address.

Now that we have a verified email, we can configure the email channel.

Configuring the email channel

  1. On the left-side Pinpoint menu, navigate to All projects and select CoffeeShop
  2. Navigate to Settings and select Email
  3. Select Edit next to Identity details
  4. Select the checkbox for Enable the email channel for this project
  5. Select Use an existing email address and select the address you verified in the previous step.
  6. Select Save
Fig. 6: Configuring the email channel

Fig. 6: Configuring the email channel

Configuring email template

Next, we need to define what our email looks like that is sent to our customers when they enter a geofence. We’ve provided HTML code for a basic Coffee Shop template here

Configure email template

  1. On the left-side Pinpoint menu, navigate to Message templates, select Create template
  2. Name the template CoffeeShopGeoTarget and set the subject to “We haven’t seen you in a while”
  3. Paste the contents of the HTML template into the Message field.
  4. Select Create
Fig. 7: Configuring the email template

Fig. 7: Configuring the email template

You can see multiple attributes are used in the template. These attributes come from our segment in the case of FirstName, and DynamoDB in the case of the store name and address.

Configuring email segment

Now we need to define who we are going to send an email to. For this, we need to set up our segment within Pinpoint. We’ve provided a sample segment file here. Download this file and open it in a text editor.

Fig. 8: Configuring the email segment

Fig. 8: Configuring the email segment

Replace all the values with your own information . The email needs to be the same email we verified in an earlier step. Create a UserID for the user that can be used to uniquely identify them. Leave ChannelType as “EMAIL” to indicate we are using the email channel in Pinpoint, and leave OptOut as “NONE” which indicates the user would like to receive all communications and has not opted-out of receiving notifications. Once the information is edited, save the file.

Importing the segment

  1. On the left-side Pinpoint menu, navigate to All projects, and select your CoffeeShop Project
  2. Navigate to Segments and select Import a segment
  3. Drag the downloaded csv file into the Drop files here box.
  4. Select Create Segment
Fig. 9: Importing a segment

Fig. 9: Importing a segment

Configuring Journey

In this post, we will be setting up a very simple Journey that sends an email anytime a user enters a geofence. If we wanted to go a step farther, we could add additional activities later in the Journey such as determining if the customer purchased something based on receiving the email, and sending them targeted emails based on the drink they ordered.
Now that we’ve added the email channel, we can set up our journey.

Configuring journey entry

  1. On the left-side Pinpoint menu, navigate to the CoffeeShop Project and select Journeys
  2. Select Create journey
  3. Name the journey “CoffeeShopGeoTarget
  4. Set the entry condition to “geofence enter”
  5. Select Save
Fig. 10: Journey event configuration

Fig. 10: Journey event configuration

Configuring journey activity

  1. Select the Add activity icon
  2. Select Send an email from the dropdown
  3. Choose the email template we created earlier
  4. Enter the verified email we configured earlier
  5. Select Save
Fig. 11: Journey email destination configuration

Fig. 11: Journey email destination configuration

Reviewing Journey

  1. Select Review
  2. Select Mark as reviewed
  3. Select Publish
Fig. 12: Reviewing the Journey

Fig. 12: Reviewing the Journey

Once we publish our journey, a 5 minute timer will start, which will give us time to set up our tracking environment.

Configuring Amazon Location Resources

Now that we’ve configured Pinpoint to send geotargeted emails, we need to set up our Geofences as well as emulate a person passing nearby our coffee shops. To do that, we will use the AWS CLI and AWS Cloudshell .

To open AWS CloudShell, select it in the upper right near the region selection.

Fig. 13: Location of AWS Cloudshell in the AWS Console

Fig. 13: Location of AWS Cloudshell in the AWS Console

AWS CloudShell will now open in the bottom half of the AWS Console , note it may take up to a minute on first launch. First, we’ll create our geofences. For this, we will use Circular geofences around a point location. In this case, we will create two geofences, one for a Coffee shop at Amazon’s Doppler office, and one for a shop at Amazon’s Nitro North office. These correlate with the DynamoDB store information table.

aws location put-geofence --collection-name StoreCollection --geofence-id store_1508 --geometry 'Circle={Center=[-122.33826293063228, 47.61530011310656], Radius=100}'

Successful Geofence creation will create output similar to the below:

"CreateTime": "2023-04-21T19:31:57.807000+00:00",
"GeofenceId": "store_1508",
"UpdateTime": "2023-04-21T19:31:57.807000+00:00"

Next we create our second geofence:

aws location put-geofence --collection-name StoreCollection --geofence-id store_1509 --geometry 'Circle={Center=[-122.34051934099395, 47.61751544952795], Radius=100}'

Successful Geofence creation will create output similar to the below:

"CreateTime": "2023-04-21T19:32:41.980000+00:00",
"GeofenceId": "store_1509",
"UpdateTime": "2023-04-21T19:32:41.980000+00:00"

Now that our geofences are created, we can emulate a person walking by and triggering a geofence. We will do this using Amazon Location Service Trackers. In CloudShell, enter the following command:

aws location batch-update-device-position --tracker-name CustomerDevices --updates Accuracy={Horizontal=0},DeviceId=111,Position=-122.33811005706218,47.61541094771129,SampleTime=$(date +%s)

When this command is issued, a geofence is then evaluated which will trigger an event sent to Amazon EventBridge. This event then triggers a Lambda, which creates an event with Pinpoint. This triggers the Journey, which sends an email.

Now check your email, you should see a customized email with the store you were close to and your name . Note because we are not using domain verification, you may receive a warning on the email message. See our documentation on how to use domain verification.

Fig. 14: Email received from Amazon Pinpoint

Fig. 14: Email received from Amazon Pinpoint

Next Steps

For this blog, we used the default Journey configuration. However, we can further optimize our Journey by following Tips and best practices for journeys. You can also set up push notifications or in-app notifications to further optimize the customer experience to catch them in the moment they walk by, instead of when they may check their email next. You can read more about push notifications here.

Clean up

Deleting CloudFormation template

  1. In the AWS Console, navigate to the AWS CloudFormation console. Select the PinpointGeotarget stack
  2. Select Delete Stack

Deleting Pinpoint resources

  1. In the AWS Console, navigate to the Pinpoint Console
  2. Select Message templates
  3. Select the CoffeeShop template
  4. Select Delete then confirm you wish to delete it

Removing email identity

  1. In the AWS Console, navigate to the Pinpoint Console
  2. Navigate to Email, and select Email identities
  3. Select the radio button next to the verified email you configured
  4. Select Remove email identity
  5. Type Delete to confirm the removal


In this post, we explored how you can detect the presence of the customer whenever they cross near the geofenced physical store, using Amazon Location Service in which Amazon EventBridge receives the event, triggers an AWS Lambda function, and then triggers a Journey in Amazon Pinpoint to send a notification to the customer with a coupon.

Further more, integrating this solution with your customer data platform and with Amazon Personalize will help you to personalize the promotions and vouchers to fit the tastes and tendencies of customers

Zach Elliott works as a Solutions Architect focusing on Amazon Location Service at AWS. He is passionate about helping customers build geospatial solutions on AWS. He is also part of the IoT Subject Matter Expert community at AWS and loves helping customers develop unique IoT-based solutions.

Anshul Srivastava Headshot

With an illustrious track record as a technology thought-leader, Anshul joined AWS in 2016 and is the EMEA technology leader for retail. He is responsible for defining and executing the company’s retail technology strategy, which includes building retail-focused solutions with services like Amazon Forecast and Amazon Personalize, as well as experiences like Frictionless Shopping with AI/ML and IoT services from AWS. Anshul also works very closely with AWS global retail customers to help transform their businesses with cutting-edge AWS technologies.

Target your customers with ML based on their interest in a product or product attribute.

Post Syndicated from Pavlos Ioannou Katidis original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/messaging-and-targeting/use-machine-learning-to-target-your-customers-based-on-their-interest-in-a-product-or-product-attribute/

Customer segmentation allows marketers to better tailor their efforts to specific subgroups of their audience. Businesses who employ customer segmentation can create and communicate targeted marketing messages that resonate with specific customer groups. Segmentation increases the likelihood that customers will engage with the brand, and reduces the potential for communications fatigue—that is, the disengagement of customers who feel like they’re receiving too many messages that don’t apply to them. For example, if your business wants to launch an email campaign about business suits, the target audience should only include people who wear suits.

This blog presents a solution that uses Amazon Personalize to generate highly personalized Amazon Pinpoint customer segments. Using Amazon Pinpoint, you can send messages to those customer segments via campaigns and journeys.

Personalizing Pinpoint segments

Marketers first need to understand their customers by collecting customer data such as key characteristics, transactional data, and behavioral data. This data helps to form buyer personas, understand how they spend their money, and what type of information they’re interested in receiving.

You can create two types of customer segments in Amazon Pinpoint: imported and dynamic. With both types of segments, you need to perform customer data analysis and identify behavioral patterns. After you identify the segment characteristics, you can build a dynamic segment that includes the appropriate criteria. You can learn more about dynamic and imported segments in the Amazon Pinpoint User Guide.

Businesses selling their products and services online could benefit from segments based on known customer preferences, such as product category, color, or delivery options. Marketers who want to promote a new product or inform customers about a sale on a product category can use these segments to launch Amazon Pinpoint campaigns and journeys, increasing the probability that customers will complete a purchase.

Building targeted segments requires you to obtain historical customer transactional data, and then invest time and resources to analyze it. This is where the use of machine learning can save time and improve the accuracy.

Amazon Personalize is a fully managed machine learning service, which requires no prior ML knowledge to operate. It offers ready to use models for segment creation as well as product recommendations, called recipes. Using Amazon Personalize USER_SEGMENTATION recipes, you can generate segments based on a product ID or a product attribute.

About this solution

The solution is based on the following reference architectures:

Both of these architectures are deployed as nested stacks along the main application to showcase how contextual segmentation can be implemented by integrating Amazon Personalize with Amazon Pinpoint.

High level architecture

Architecture Diagram

Once training data and training configuration are uploaded to the Personalize data bucket (1) an AWS Step Function state machine is executed (2). This state machine implements a training workflow to provision all required resources within Amazon Personalize. It trains a recommendation model (3a) based on the Item-Attribute-Affinity recipe. Once the solution is created, the workflow creates a batch segment job to get user segments (3b). The job configuration focuses on providing segments of users that are interested in action genre movies

{ "itemAttributes": "ITEMS.genres = \"Action\"" }

When the batch segment job finishes, the result is uploaded to Amazon S3 (3c). The training workflow state machine publishes Amazon Personalize state changes on a custom event bus (4). An Amazon Event Bridge rule listens on events describing that a batch segment job has finished (5). Once this event is put on the event bus, a batch segment postprocessing workflow is executed as AWS Step Function state machine (6). This workflow reads and transforms the segment job output from Amazon Personalize (7) into a CSV file that can be imported as static segment into Amazon Pinpoint (8). The CSV file contains only the Amazon Pinpoint endpoint-ids that refer to the corresponding users from the Amazon Personalize recommendation segment, in the following format:


The mechanism to resolve an Amazon Pinpoint endpoint id relies on the user id that is set in Amazon Personalize to be also referenced in each endpoint within Amazon Pinpoint using the user ID attribute.

State machine for getting Amazon Pinpoint endpoints

The workflow ensures that the segment file has a unique filename so that the segments within Amazon Pinpoint can be identified independently. Once the segment CSV file is uploaded to S3 (7), the segment import workflow creates a new imported segment within Amazon Pinpoint (8).


The solution uses an artificially generated movies’ dataset called Bingewatch for demonstration purposes. The data is pre-processed to make it usable in the context of Amazon Personalize and Amazon Pinpoint. The pre-processed data consists of the following:

  • Interactions’ metadata created out of the Bingewatch ratings.csv
  • Items’ metadata created out of the Bingewatch movies.csv
  • users’ metadata created out of the Bingewatch ratings.csv, enriched with invented data about e-mail address and age
  • Amazon Pinpoint endpoint data

Interactions’ dataset

The interaction dataset describes movie ratings from Bingewatch users. Each row describes a single rating by a user identified by a user id.

The EVENT_VALUE describes the actual rating from 1.0 to 5.0 and the EVENT_TYPE specifies that the rating resulted because a user watched this movie at the given TIMESTAMP, as shown in the following example:


Items’ dataset

The item dataset describes each available movie using a TITLE, RELEASE_YEAR, CREATION_TIMESTAMP and a pipe concatenated list of GENRES, as shown in the following example:

1,Toy Story,1995,788918400,Adventure|Animation|Children|Comedy|Fantasy
3,Grumpier Old Men,1995,788918400,Comedy|Romance

Users’ dataset

The users dataset contains all known users identified by a USER_ID. This dataset contains artificially generated metadata that describe the users’ GENDER and AGE, as shown in the following example:

1,Female,[email protected],21
2,Female,[email protected],35
3,Male,[email protected],37
4,Female,[email protected],47
5,Agender,[email protected],50

Amazon Pinpoint endpoints

To map Amazon Pinpoint endpoints to users in Amazon Personalize, it is important to have a consisted user identifier. The mechanism to resolve an Amazon Pinpoint endpoint id relies that the user id in Amazon Personalize is also referenced in each endpoint within Amazon Pinpoint using the userId attribute, as shown in the following example:

1,EMAIL,Female,[email protected],21
2,EMAIL,Female,[email protected],35
3,EMAIL,Male,[email protected],37
4,EMAIL,Female,[email protected],47
5,EMAIL,Agender,[email protected],50

Solution implementation


To deploy this solution, you must have the following:

Note: This solution creates an Amazon Pinpoint project with the name personalize. If you want to deploy this solution on an existing Amazon Pinpoint project, you will need to perform changes in the YAML template.

Deploy the solution

Step 1: Deploy the SAM solution

Clone the GitHub repository to your local machine (how to clone a GitHub repository). Navigate to the GitHub repository location in your local machine using SAM CLI and execute the command below:

sam deploy --stack-name contextual-targeting --guided

Fill the fields below as displayed. Change the AWS Region to the AWS Region of your preference, where Amazon Pinpoint and Amazon Personalize are available. The Parameter Email is used from Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) to send you an email notification when the Amazon Personalize job is completed.

Configuring SAM deploy
        Looking for config file [samconfig.toml] :  Not found
        Setting default arguments for 'sam deploy'     =========================================
        Stack Name [sam-app]: contextual-targeting
        AWS Region [us-east-1]: eu-west-1
        Parameter Email []: [email protected]
        Parameter PEVersion [v1.2.0]:
        Parameter SegmentImportPrefix [pinpoint/]:
        #Shows you resources changes to be deployed and require a 'Y' to initiate deploy
        Confirm changes before deploy [y/N]:
        #SAM needs permission to be able to create roles to connect to the resources in your template
        Allow SAM CLI IAM role creation [Y/n]:
        #Preserves the state of previously provisioned resources when an operation fails
        Disable rollback [y/N]:
        Save arguments to configuration file [Y/n]:
        SAM configuration file [samconfig.toml]:
        SAM configuration environment [default]:
        Looking for resources needed for deployment:
        Creating the required resources...
        Successfully created/updated stack - contextual-targeting in eu-west-1

Step 2: Import the initial segment to Amazon Pinpoint

We will import some initial and artificially generated endpoints into Amazon Pinpoint.

Execute the command below to your AWS CLI in your local machine.

The command below is compatible with Linux:

SEGMENT_IMPORT_BUCKET=$(aws cloudformation describe-stacks --stack-name contextual-targeting --query 'Stacks[0].Outputs[?OutputKey==`SegmentImportBucket`].OutputValue' --output text)
aws s3 sync ./data/pinpoint s3://$SEGMENT_IMPORT_BUCKET/pinpoint

For Windows PowerShell use the command below:

$SEGMENT_IMPORT_BUCKET = (aws cloudformation describe-stacks --stack-name contextual-targeting --query 'Stacks[0].Outputs[?OutputKey==`SegmentImportBucket`].OutputValue' --output text)
aws s3 sync ./data/pinpoint s3://$SEGMENT_IMPORT_BUCKET/pinpoint

Step 3: Upload training data and configuration for Amazon Personalize

Now we are ready to train our initial recommendation model. This solution provides you with dummy training data as well as a training and inference configuration, which needs to be uploaded into the Amazon Personalize S3 bucket. Training the model can take between 45 and 60 minutes.

Execute the command below to your AWS CLI in your local machine.

The command below is compatible with Linux:

PERSONALIZE_BUCKET=$(aws cloudformation describe-stacks --stack-name contextual-targeting --query 'Stacks[0].Outputs[?OutputKey==`PersonalizeBucketName`].OutputValue' --output text)
aws s3 sync ./data/personalize s3://$PERSONALIZE_BUCKET

For Windows PowerShell use the command below:

$PERSONALIZE_BUCKET = (aws cloudformation describe-stacks --stack-name contextual-targeting --query 'Stacks[0].Outputs[?OutputKey==`PersonalizeBucketName`].OutputValue' --output text)
aws s3 sync ./data/personalize s3://$PERSONALIZE_BUCKET

Step 4: Review the inferred segments from Amazon Personalize

Once the training workflow is completed, you should receive an email on the email address you provided when deploying the stack. The email should look like the one in the screenshot below:

SNS notification for Amazon Personalize job

Navigate to the Amazon Pinpoint Console > Your Project > Segments and you should see two imported segments. One named endpoints.csv that contains all imported endpoints from Step 2. And then a segment named ITEMSgenresAction_<date>-<time>.csv that contains the ids of endpoints that are interested in action movies inferred by Amazon Personalize

Amazon Pinpoint segments created by the solution

You can engage with Amazon Pinpoint customer segments via Campaigns and Journeys. For more information on how to create and execute Amazon Pinpoint Campaigns and Journeys visit the workshop Building Customer Experiences with Amazon Pinpoint.

Next steps

Contextual targeting is not bound to a single channel, like in this solution email. You can extend the batch-segmentation-postprocessing workflow to fit your engagement and targeting requirements.

For example, you could implement several branches based on the referenced endpoint channel types and create Amazon Pinpoint customer segments that can be engaged via Push Notifications, SMS, Voice Outbound and In-App.


To delete the solution, run the following command in the AWS CLI.

The command below is compatible with Linux:

SEGMENT_IMPORT_BUCKET=$(aws cloudformation describe-stacks --stack-name contextual-targeting --query 'Stacks[0].Outputs[?OutputKey==`SegmentImportBucket`].OutputValue' --output text)
PERSONALIZE_BUCKET=$(aws cloudformation describe-stacks --stack-name contextual-targeting --query 'Stacks[0].Outputs[?OutputKey==`PersonalizeBucketName`].OutputValue' --output text)
aws s3 rm s3://$SEGMENT_IMPORT_BUCKET/ --recursive
aws s3 rm s3://$PERSONALIZE_BUCKET/ --recursive
sam delete

For Windows PowerShell use the command below:

$SEGMENT_IMPORT_BUCKET=$(aws cloudformation describe-stacks --stack-name contextual-targeting --query 'Stacks[0].Outputs[?OutputKey==`SegmentImportBucket`].OutputValue' --output text)
$PERSONALIZE_BUCKET=$(aws cloudformation describe-stacks --stack-name contextual-targeting --query 'Stacks[0].Outputs[?OutputKey==`PersonalizeBucketName`].OutputValue' --output text)
aws s3 rm s3://$SEGMENT_IMPORT_BUCKET/ --recursive
aws s3 rm s3://$PERSONALIZE_BUCKET/ --recursive
sam delete

Amazon Personalize resources like Dataset groups, datasets, etc. are not created via AWS Cloudformation, thus you have to delete them manually. Please follow the instructions in the official AWS documentation on how to clean up the created resources.

About the Authors

Pavlos Ioannou Katidis

Pavlos Ioannou Katidis

Pavlos Ioannou Katidis is an Amazon Pinpoint and Amazon Simple Email Service Specialist Solutions Architect at AWS. He loves to dive deep into his customer’s technical issues and help them design communication solutions. In his spare time, he enjoys playing tennis, watching crime TV series, playing FPS PC games, and coding personal projects.

Christian Bonzelet

Christian Bonzelet

Christian Bonzelet is an AWS Solutions Architect at DFL Digital Sports. He loves those challenges to provide high scalable systems for millions of users. And to collaborate with lots of people to design systems in front of a whiteboard. He uses AWS since 2013 where he built a voting system for a big live TV show in Germany. Since then, he became a big fan on cloud, AWS and domain driven design.