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Create a campaign in Optimizely Web Personalization

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Set up your first campaign in Optimizely Web Personalization and deliver personalized experiences to behaviorally targeted audiences. Optimizely Web Personalization lets you deliver targeted messaging to visitors to your site in real-time.

A campaign is the framework that organizes your personalization strategy. It takes a piece of your site, like the promotions on the homepage, and swaps that content out for different behaviorally targeted audiences. You can create a campaign for each section of the site where you want to deliver targeted experiences.

Set up pages, events, tags and audiences before creating campaigns. You can then reuse those elements to build campaigns.

Start a campaign

To create a personalization campaign, first, create a web project or reuse one that you already created.

To create a web project, select Projects > New Project... > Create Web Project. Give the project a helpful name. For information on creating web projects, see managing projects in Optimizely Web Experimentation.

Next, create the personalization campaign. Go to Experiments > Create New... > Personalization Campaign.


Then, name your campaign based on the type of targeted message you deliver. For example, if you want to personalize the messaging on the product page of an expensive duffel bag, you can name it Premium Duffel Bag Campaign.


You can create a campaign in six steps: 

  1. Target your campaign.
  2. Choose your audiences.
  3. Add a metric.
  4. Set a holdback.
  5. Create experiences.
  6. Test and publish.

Target your campaign

  1. Set where the campaign runs. Pages are the places on your site where you deliver targeted experiences.
  2. Click the Target By drop-down list and select Saved Pages to add an existing page to your campaign or click + Create New Page. You can also select URL to manually enter a URL. exp-2.png

You can choose a single page or add multiple pages to create seamless messaging across a funnel.

Choose your audiences

  1. Decide who sees your campaign. Later, you can create a personalized experience for each audience with the editor.
  2. Select Search for Audiences and click + to add any existing audiences to your campaign. Or click Create New Audience. exp-3.png

Prioritize experiences for each audience

  1. After you add your audiences to the campaign, rank them by priority. Drag your audiences in order so that the most important ones are at the top. 
    If a single visitor qualifies for multiple audiences in Web Personalization, they see only one experience by default. For example, in the image below, a visitor from Belgium who is also a non-Optimizely account holder sees the Belgium Visitors experience first because the Belgium Visitors experience ranks higher than Non-Optimizely Account Holders.experiences-ranked-personalization-campaign.png
  2. Click Prioritize Experiences to re-prioritize your experiences after you save your campaign.prioritize.png
  3. Drag and drop the experiences to control which visitors bucket into which experiences. You can also group experiences together by dragging one on top of another. When you group experiences, Optimizely Web Personalization randomly selects one of the two to bucket visitors into.experience-priorities.png

Target a campaign to multiple audiences at once

To target a campaign to multiple audiences at once, follow these steps:

  1. Create your campaign and save it. Use one of the audiences that you want to target in your campaign.

  2. After you save your campaign, the Manage Campaign window displays. Select More (...) > Settings.

  3. Campaign builder displays. Under Audiences, add each of the audiences you want to match at once. From the Match drop-down list, select all audiences who you want to be able to see this experiment.

  4. Click Save.

Match any of the following audiences is the default setting and Match all of the following audiences lets you use multiple audiences to target a campaign. You can also use the Advanced code editor to create a custom audience using JSON.

Create a multi-armed bandit personalization campaign

For information on multi-armed bandit (MAB) campaigns, see Maximize lift with multi-armed bandit optimizations.

To create a multi-armed bandit personalization campaign:

  1. Create your campaign and save it.
  2. After you save your campaign, the Manage Campaign window displays. Select More (...) > Settings.
  3. Under Variations and Distribution Mode, click Manual, which is the default distribution mode. Select Multi-armed Bandit from the dropdown.
  4. Click Save Experience.

Add a metric

Add metrics to measure the success of your test. Choose the events that best capture how your experiences perform. In personalization, events attach to your page and track all the time. After you add them to a campaign, they are called metrics.

  1. Select the Search and add metrics dropdown to choose one primary metric and up to five secondary metrics.exp-4.png
  2. Select the action that your campaign is most likely to impact as the primary metric. Optimizely's Stats Engine uses false discovery rate control to ensure your most important metric reaches statistical significance with full speed and accuracy.

Set a holdback

Every personalization campaign has a holdback. Holdback is the percentage of your visitors who do not see the personalized experience. This lets Stats Engine measure how well your campaign performs.

Personalization sets the holdback at 5% by default.

  1. To change the holdback, click the field and enter the percentage of visitors you want to show the original experience. See Holdback: Measure overall impact in Personalization to learn more.holdback-size-personalization-campaign.png
  2. Then, click Create Campaign.exp-5.pngYour campaign displays. campaign-page.png

Create experiences

Use the editor to create your personalized experiences. An experience is the intersection of an audience and a page, where you deliver a targeted message.

  1. In Experiences, click a variation to customize it in the editor.


  2. To make a change, click an element on the page. A pane displays that shows you the HTML and CSS code for the container you select.
  3. Modify these elements to create a personalized message. Click Undo to return to the last saved version.


  4. Click Save to keep your changes.
  5. Preview your experience to ensure it looks and works the way you want it to.


  6. Repeat these steps to create a personalized experience for each audience.

Test and publish

Test your campaign after you create your experiences. Use the Preview tool to view the campaign live without showing it to your visitors.

When the campaign is ready, click Start Campaign to release it to your customers.


A window displays to confirm that you are ready to start your campaign. Click Start Campaign to confirm your decision.


Experiment with your personalization campaign

After you complete your campaign, you can test different variations of an experience for a specific audience. See Experimentation in personalization campaigns for more information.