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How are you using personalized experiences (Audiences) for your tests?

Amanda 08-06-14

How are you using personalized experiences (Audiences) for your tests?

The new Audiences feature gives you the ability to deliver a personalized experience that resontes with each visitor. It also provides huge opportunities for taking your Conversion Optimization tactics up a level. 

 

How are you using the new audience features? Or, how do you envision using Audiences in the future? 

 

Optimizely

adzeds 08-07-14
 

Re: How are you using personalized experiences (Audiences) for your tests?

I have only set up a couple of very simple audiences so far however I can see me using this a lot going forward.

It will be interesting to see what sort of audiences some people have created though.
David Shaw
Level 11
AdamA 08-07-14
 

Re: How are you using personalized experiences (Audiences) for your tests?

Some really common ones I've seen are targeting logged-in or not logged-in users (based on a cookie), or targeting visitors who arrive from a certain PPC ad campaign (based on a query parameter like utm_campaign) or organic search (based on a referrer source like Google, Bing, or Yahoo).

 

These simple audiences are great for testing, but they're also good for running personalized content. For instance, right now we're geotargeting content to users in cities where we have an Optimizely Experience roadshow. We're actually not testing anything here -- just using Optimizely as a platform to quickly serve targeted content to these customers, and to help them find more information.

 

I've also worked with customers and partners who are really excited about using targeting based on other platforms like BlueKai. For instance, when a visitor is in a certain audience in BlueKai, that information can be used to determine whether a visitor will be served content through Optimizely. The same thing is possible with platforms like Qualaroo, where you can custom target experiments based on feedback a visitor has left previously.

 

I'm really excited to hear what everyone is using Audiences for -- I'm sure the Optiverse will come up with a lot of really cool ideas!

Optimizely
Hudson 08-07-14
 

Re: How are you using personalized experiences (Audiences) for your tests?

Hi, one way that I advocate for a use case for delivering personalized experiences using Audiences is by targeting cookies.

Setting custom cookies can be time consuming and difficult. But for some businesses, 'remembering' info about a user that isn't available by default, for instance a preference for discounted goods, consumption of a certain product information without purchasing, or simply spending a certain amount of time, can be a very actionable piece of information. Imagine taking that information, and delivering that visitor a highlight of a discounted product that meets their preference? That's creating an amazing experience that makes their life easier. Ultimately, there's no better way to improve your own business results.
Optimizely

Re: How are you using personalized experiences (Audiences) for your tests?

A great use of personalization I saw was using Facebook data to personalize landing pages for their visitors.

The site has Facebook as a login option on their site. They then used that data to target experiments to people that liked specific competitors. This allowed them to have different messaging on their landing pages depending on what Facebook pages they have liked.

I thought it was a really cool way to use the Facebook data they were getting in the login to run creative experiments.
Optimizely
MJBeisch 08-08-14
 

Re: How are you using personalized experiences (Audiences) for your tests?

I have an "experiment validation" audience that I use to do live experiment testing/validation. I wrote a quick bookmarklet that I can use to set or expire a unique cookie on a site. Then I have an audience set up that restricts experiment display to the presence of that cookie. Thus, I can have an experiment be active but am the only person that sees it. It's particularly useful when working on an experiment that affects some complex scripting, AJAX function or doesn't easily load into the editor. I can also leverage the "Disable the force variation parameter" project code setting for added security.

 

Since adopting this method, I generally prefer it for validation because I'm looking at the actual, live experiment. I get a 100% accurate user experience that matches what a bucketed visitor will get rather than something simulated or temporarilly triggered.

 

I previously used the "optimizely_x" query string method to preview variations. Whenever I would pass around a preview link with that query string, someone would invariably say "well, it doesn't work if I (do something that ends up stripping out the query string)". That doesn't happen any more.

Matt Beischel - E-Commerce Optimization Specialist CohereOne

Level 2
Amanda 08-08-14
 

Re: How are you using personalized experiences (Audiences) for your tests?

@MJBeisch - this is a wonderful example, and a use-case I hadn't thought of.  As a side note, would you mind sharing the bookmarklet you wrote for the unique cookie and a screenshot of the audience condition you set up on the developer board? I am sure many others can benefit from this as well. 

Optimizely
AdamA 08-08-14
 

Re: How are you using personalized experiences (Audiences) for your tests?

Agreed, @MJBeisch , this sounds like a great complement to the "test cookie" technique that many of our customers use. People who already use the test cookie for QA would really benefit!

Optimizely
ben 08-14-14
 

Re: How are you using personalized experiences (Audiences) for your tests?

We use audience on almost all of our desktop tests. The reason is that our site is in French and English and using audiences provides a clear way to get good results as to which language a user prefers. We target the language preferences in our dataLayer instead of sniffing the browser language as we find it is more accurate.
Also we have started to target UTM campaign strings from emails and testing different landing pages this way.
Ben Cole
Optimization Co-ordinator at Widerfunnel

ben
Level 2
ben 08-14-14
 

Re: How are you using personalized experiences (Audiences) for your tests?

I forgot to mention we also do the test cookie thing. I agree it is a much better way to test then just using the force variation parameter.
Ben Cole
Optimization Co-ordinator at Widerfunnel

ben
Level 2