Set up audiences for personalization

  • Updated

Personalization customizes content for specific individuals or target groups.

A simple way of personalizing content in Optimizely is to use audiences (formerly called visitor groups), which uses information such as cookies and device IDs to group website visitors in audiences. You can use audiences to determine which content to display.

Administrators manage audiences in Optimizely Content Management System (CMS) to personalize other parts of the Optimizely platform, such as Optimizely Commerce.

The following sections describe scenarios to set up audiences that you can use in the Optimizely platform.

Create an audience

You can create an audience based on many types of criteria such as number of visits to a specific page, and so on. Several criteria are included by default in Optimizely CMS, see Audiences. Developers can also create their criteria through code, see Create custom audience criteria.

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Apply audiences to content

You can apply audiences to content such as a block, which then is displayed only to visitors matching the defined criteria. For example, you can show one price for visitors browsing to your website from the UK, another price for visitors from the US, and a third price for all other visitors:

Image: Example of personalized content

You can preview your page as it would look to different audiences.

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See Personalize with audiences in the Optimizely Recommendations section for how to apply audiences to content.

Target audiences for discounts

You can also use audiences for targeted discounts in Optimizely Commerce campaigns. You can create an audience called Returning customers, and set the audience criteria to Order Frequency: Ordered at least 2 times within the last 45 days.

You can then use this audience in the Personalization part of the Edit Campaign view when creating a campaign. This will make the campaign only available to customers who have made purchases at least twice within the last 45 days.

Image: Edit campaign view

Personalize recommendations

One way you can personalize a digital experience with Optimizely Recommendations in Optimizely Content Management System (CMS) is to create an audience (formerly called visitor group) with criteria for that group. See Personalize with audiences.

For example, you can design a product banner specifically for first-time visitors, or for visitors from a geographic region or market. See Audiences and Audience criteria.

In CMS, you can personalize any type of content in the rich-text editor and a content area; personalize part of a text, an image, or a block in the CMS rich-text editor, or personalize an image, a block or a page in a content area, if you have these in your web pages.

If you have multiple audiences, a visitor may match more than one audience. You then can use personalization groups to group content to avoid displaying the same content twice and display fallback content to visitors who match no audiences.

The preview option in the top menu lets you preview the personalized content as the audiences will see it, before publishing.