Get started with Optimizely Personalization

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Optimizely Personalization lets you deliver targeted experiences to different visitors based on their behaviors in real time. Create a visitor experience that feels unique and relevant, increases conversions, and drives engagement.

How Personalization works  

Set up your site's key pages, events, and tags and provide data on your visitors’ behavior. You can use these behaviors with data from other resources to create audiences.

Define the audiences for whom you deliver personalized experiences and the relevant pages, then create campaigns for different audiences on each page.

After you run a campaign, you can measure how effective it is. The results page for Optimizely Personalization measures the lift of your primary metric and other events you track. You can view these results by campaign or audience.

Ideas for Optimizely Personalization campaigns

You can use Optimizely Personalization to customize a visitor's experience on the pages they visit. For example, if a visitor returns to the home page after viewing individual product pages, you can set up an experiment for a banner on your home page reminding visitors of the product they just saw and reinforcing the messaging on that product page.

You can also design campaigns that display custom content for people in specific geographic regions, or combine these ideas with different messaging for visitors in different markets.

See Inspiration for Optimizely Personalization and Personalization strategy roadmap for campaign ideas.

Set up Optimizely Personalization

  1. Implement the Optimizely snippet. The snippet is a single line of JavaScript code that you add to your site's <head> tag and lets Optimizely campaigns run on your site. See Snippet order of activation.
    You may see more than one snippet if your account uses custom snippets. Choose the snippet you want to use for your campaign.
  2. Prepare your site by setting up pages, events, tags, and audiences. They are reusable and always on. Set them up when you first start using Optimizely Personalization so you can passively collect baseline data, even before you run your first campaign. When you are ready to run campaigns, your pre-built components help you set them up quickly.
    • Pages are URL templates that let you choose where campaigns run. 
    • Events track people's actions on your site, such as clicks, pageviews, form submissions, and purchases.
    • Tags describe key parts of a page that visitors engage with, such as the product type and its costs. Combining tags and events provides important data on visitor behavior. 
    • Audiences are groups of visitors who see a personalized experience. You can use pages, tags, and audiences together to create behaviorally targeted audiences. For example, you can target a Luxury Traveler audience for visitors who purchased bags over $200 in the last 30 days using pages, events, and tags in tandem.
  3. Add collaborators and projects. In Optimizely Personalization, users are called collaborators. Each type of collaborator has a different permission level:
    • Administrators have full access to all projects and account billing information. Any user who is an administrator on one project is also an administrator on every other project in your organization.
    • Project owners can create, edit, publish, and pause campaigns. A project can have more than one project owner.
    • Editors can create and edit non-running campaigns. They can also view results.
    • Viewers can preview campaigns and view results.

    See Manage collaborators for details on the role of each collaborator.

    Projects let you divide your Optimizely Personalization account for different sections of a website, multiple sites, or different products. Projects act as an organizational structure. Each project has a snippet, a set of campaigns, and a set of collaborators.

  4. Create a campaign:
    1. Add pages to your campaign so Optimizely Personalization knows where to run.
    2. Choose your audiences and prioritize experiences for each audience. You can target a campaign to more than one audience simultaneously.
    3. Include a metric that best indicates whether your campaign is a success.
    4. Set a holdback; a control group that does not see the personalized campaign. This lets Optimizely's Stats Engine quantify your campaign's performance.
    5. Create personalized experiences in Optimizely's Visual Editor.
    6. QA your campaign and publish it when you are ready.

For a comprehensive list of resources that will help you prepare your site to run personalization campaigns and configure your account settings, see: