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  • Jessica Ramirez

Does Time Really Matter?

Updated: May 19, 2023

As marketers, we are always on the lookout for the best ways to reach the right customers at the perfect time. In Braze, building customer segmentation is essential to achieving this goal. However, there are a couple of quirks to be aware of when building a segment in Braze using the time attribute. Consider this a time-based cheat-sheet, we took the time to wrestle with these quirks, so you don’t have to.

What happened that one day?

Most notably, there's no "equal to" option to identify a specific date. Having worked with a few other marketing tools, this is a bit of a gap in their date-based segmentation building. If you want to target users who opened your message exactly 31 days ago, you'll need to apply two distinct filters: one for more than 30 days and the other for less than 32 days ago (see the screenshot below). This may seem counterintuitive, but once you get used to it, it's pretty straightforward.

Like it was yesterday!

The same goes for targeting users who logged an event "yesterday.” You'll need to apply the filters for less than 2 days ago and more than 0 days ago to create an upper and lower bound for the timeframe.

It's a bit annoying, but, as shown above, it does get the job done.

Seconds do matter.

As you begin to make your own calendar-based segments, you may note that in Braze, when you enter "7 days ago," "14 days," "21 days," etc., it automatically translates those day counts to "1 week," "2 weeks," "3 weeks," etc. This is because the data type is detected in seconds (can you imagine having to calculate that on one hand!?), and the system automatically makes that translation, which is the expected behavior for Braze.

Let’s talk about the past.

It's important to keep in mind that Braze sits on a Unix operating system. Why does this matter, because dates in Braze are stored as EPOCH Unix dates. Therefore, dates prior 01/01/1970 are read as “0.” Depending on the context of these older dates (birthday, subscription start date, etc.) there are different approaches to this calendar constraint… but that’s a post for another time.

With a little bit of practice and support from your Braze friends (like us), you'll be a pro on using date-based logic!


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