Visitor Groups and Personalisation

Econsultancy's 2016 Digital Trends Intelligence Briefing identified Targeting and Personalisation as the top priority for all organisations surveyed in both 2015 and 2016 (30% and 31% of respondents respectively). Even in the year between these surveys being taken, personalised marketing has evolved rapidly. It has come a long way from adding the users name to a salutation in your email marketing campaigns.

Our visitors are telling us a lot about themselves and their interests with their onsite behaviour, we just need to make sure we are listening and using this to our advantage to reach the right customer at the right time with the right message and reap the many rewards:

  • Increase in conversions
  • Improvement of customer retention
  • Getting the most out of your marketing and marketing tools

The most important factor, after making the decision to use personalisation on your website content, is to have the right software. With Episerver's powerful personalisation manager you can tailor content for your visitors and present contextualised information that is relevant.

Personalisation on Episerver happens in two stages: defining the expected audience on your site to create a Visitor Group AND adding personalisation to blocks to determine which content will be seen by which group.

Visitor Groups

Firstly, once your audience is defined, you need to create visitor groups using a number of criteria within Episerver. Visitor group criteria are the basic building blocks of a visitor group, each criterion defining a condition that is evaluated to determine if a visitor is part of the visitor group. If a sufficient number of criteria in a visitor group are fulfilled the visitor is considered to be a member of that group.

The standard available criteria on Episerver are:

Site Criteria
  • Number of visits
  • User profile
  • Visited category
  • Visited page
Time and Place Criteria
  • Geographic coordinate
  • Geographic location
  • Time of day
URL criteria
  • Landing URL
  • Referrer
  • Search keyword

It is also possible to create your own custom criteria which your Episerver certified developer can do for you.

Before you start

Before you start the process of creating your Visitor Groups and adding personalisation on site I would always recommend having a clear laid out table of the following:

  • The segments of customers you would like to reach
  • What message you would like to reach them with
  • Where you will present them with this message

By doing this you make sure you have all your key segments and messages covered and you can be sure you are reaching the right people, at the right time with the right message

Creating Visitor Groups

To create your first Visitor Group you need to follow these simple steps:

1. Log in to Episerver CMS and select the Visitor Groups tab. Or, you can right-click and select 
Visitor Groups instead. 


2. Click Create

3. In the Criteria section, click to add one or several criteria for each visitor group as follows:

- In the Match drop-down list, select the criteria to match All, Any or Point. What you select here will affect all criteria for the visitor group. Using points is a way to set a value for what a desired action on the website is worth. 


- Drag the criteria you want from the pane on the right and drop it into the Drop New Criterion here area. 


4. Make the settings for the criteria

5. In Name, name the visitor group you have created. This name will be displayed in the personalised content box when you select the content on a page. 


6. In Notes, type a descriptive text about the visitor group you have created, for example, its purpose. This description will be displayed as a tooltip when the editor is adding a visitor group to the content on a page. 


7. In Security Role, select the check box if you want this visitor group to be available when setting access rights for pages and files in admin mode. Note that visitor groups will only have read access. 


8. In Statistics, keep the check box selected to enable statistics for the visitor group (this check box is selected by default). 


9. When you are done, click Save. 


Examples of Visitor Groups

You can see some examples of built Visitor Groups below.

Personalising Content

Once you have created your Visitor Groups it is time to personalise your content, showing different content to e.g. new visitors v's return visitors, to visitors at a certain time of the day i.e. during a flash sale, to visitors from a certain source i.e. those who reached your website from an email campaign or any number of groups of people. In order to target your visitor groups with the right content you need to add personalisation to images, blocks or pages on your site.

We recently used contextual, demographic and behvioural visitor groups to target specific groups with different content for our customer, the Irish Greyhound Board.

Contextual Targeting

We wanted to greet the Go Greyhound Racing Leisure consumer with a different message at different times of the day. We created three visitor groups for the morning visitor, the afternoon visitor & the evening visitor using the time of day criterion.

We then created a number of duplicate blocks which we could personalise with a different message for each visitor group. All the blocks were added to a content area and then we clicked to apply personalisation.

For each block select the visitor group you would like it to appear to. Remember to always have a default block to show to anyone who doesn't fit in to your visitor groups. Mark this block with Everyone Else sees.

Demographic Targeting

As there are a number of stadiums throughout Ireland we also wanted to direct people landing on the homepage to their nearest stadium. We created visitor groups for each of the 9 stadium locations & surrounding areas using the Time & Place - Geographic Location criterion. As people land on the site from each of these visitor groups they are presented with a personalised telling them where their local stadium is and directing them to that stadium's offer pages.

Behavioural Targeting

As we are able to identify people who visited the /confirmation page on site, i.e. people who have completed a purchase, using the Site Criteria - Visited Page, we decided to use this to offer this group a secret deal which would only be visible to them.

Again a banner was created and using personalisation we chose to only show this to our Online Bookers visitor group making them feel appreciated & part of an exclusive, valued group whilst encouraging repeat purchases.

For any of you looking at taking the next leap in digital marketing, personalisation is the way to go. Without it you'll be lagging behind your competitors. Web visitors have come to expect a personalised experience as standard and with Episerver's personalisation manager getting started couldn't be easier.

Have your own personalisation problem that needs solving? Request an Episerver Demo and see how it can help you achieve your online objectives.

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