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This topic is for administrators and developers with administration access rights in Optimizely Content Management System (CMS).

Personalization in CMS lets you target website content to selected audiences (formerly called visitor groups). The personalization feature is based on customized audiences that you create based on a set of personalization criteria. CMS provides a set of criteria, such as the number of visits and referring search phrases. You can also develop customized criteria.

See Set up audiences for personalization for user scenarios when working with audiences.

Manage audiences

You can manage audiences from the Audiences tab. When creating an audience, you select one or more criteria and define appropriate settings. Those criteria determine whether a user visiting the website is a part of that audience.

You can make the editor a member of VisitorGroupAdmins. This group provides access to the Audiences tab.

From CMS 12, this user interface has changed.

CMS 12 and later


CMS 11 and earlier

To see visitor group documentation for CMS 11 and lower, see an older version of the CMS User Guide.

Image: Audiences UI in CMS 11

Create an audience

  1. Select Audiences.
  2. Click Create Audience. The Create Audience view displays.


  3. Give the audience a unique name to separate it from other audiences.
  4. In Name, name the audience you are creating. When you select the content on a page, this name is displayed in the personalized content box.
  5. In Notes, type a descriptive text about your intended audience, for example, its purpose. This description displays as a tooltip when the editor adds an audience to a page's content.
  6. Select Enable statistics for this audience to track audience performance.
  7. Select the Make this audience available when setting access rights for pages and files check box if you want this audience to be available when setting access rights for pages and files in the admin view.
    Audiences only have read access.
  8. Click Add criteria to see a drop-down menu with available criteria. See Audience criteria.
  9. From the drop-down menu, select a criteria and adjust its settings as necessary. Add more than one criterion if needed.
  10. In the Match drop-down list, select one of the following.
    • All – Select this if you want all criteria met for a visitor to be included in the audience.
    • Any – Select this if it is enough that only one of the criteria is met for a visitor to be included in the audience.
    • Points – Use points if you want to set that some criteria are more important than others.
  11. Click Create Audience.

Edit an audience

  1. Select Audiences.
  2. Click the name of the audience you want to change.
  3. Add a criterion for the audience, change the value for an existing criterion, or click Optimizely image to delete an existing criterion.


  4. Click Save audience.
If you change the name of an audience available in the list for access rights, the settings for this audience no longer work.

Copy an audience

  1. On the audience you want to copy, select More > Duplicate.


  2. Confirm the copy action. The copy has the same name as the original but with the extension – Copy.
  3. Rename and change the criteria for the audience you have copied.

Delete an audience

  1. On the audience you want to delete, select More > Delete.
  2. Confirm the deletion.

Personalize content with an audience

When you have created an audience, you can use it to personalize content, target a discount, create Optimizely Visitor Intelligence segments, and so on. See Personalize with audiences.

Example: Site criteria and points

Using Points, you can set a value for how much an action is worth, such as a visited campaign page. In this example, a visitor who visits the page since a certain date matches the audience criteria.


  1. In the Match menu, select the criteria to match Points.
  2. Click Add Criteria and select Site Criteria > Number of Visits.
  3. Select More than > 1 > Since [date]. (To create an audience for visitors who have never visited the page, select Less than > 1 > Since [date].)
  4. Enter 2 points, and select whether or not the criterion is required.
  5. Click Add Criteria and select Site Criteria > Selected Language.
  6. Select Is > Svenska.
  7. Enter 2 points, and select whether or not the criterion is required.
  8. Select Threshold for the criteria you added to your audience. For example, the visitor must fulfill 1 of 4 criteria to be included in the audience.
  9. Click Create Audience.

Example: Referrer

The HTTP Referrer is based on pages like those used in a campaign. For example, you can target content to visitors who...

  • search for optimizely and cms on
  • from the search result page, click the Optimizely landing page link
  1. Click Add Criteria and select URL Criteria > Referrer.
  2. Select URL > Equals > the URL of the search engine result page, for example,


  3. Click Save.

Example: Form and form values

Optimizely Forms and the Optimizely Forms Samples package must be installed for the forms audience criteria to work.
  • You can base an audience on whether the visitor has (or has not) submitted a particular form or form value. For example, you can target content to a visitor who Has submitted a Job Application.
  • You can target content to visitors that give you a low rating on a Satisfaction Survey.
    • Selected form > Satisfaction survey
    • Selected field > Multiple/Single choice
    • Condition > equals
    • Value > 1

 Optimizely Customized Commerce audience criteria

Audience criteria specific to ecommerce include customer properties, markets, and order frequency criteria. See Personalization for Optimizely Customized Commerce.

 Optimizely Marketing Automation audience criteria

Audience criteria specifically designed for marketing automation.