While setting up your ad campaigns, Facebook lets you tab into their endless pool of data. Typically, you'd use this data to create targeted ads. Most likely, you'll even set up a dedicated landing page but that's it - once a visitor moves past the landing page, all targeting data Facebook provided is lost. Not with Unless.
By creating audiences based on your ads, you can store the Facebook data in form of audience memberships. This way you can personalize the entire website experience - including later web sessions.

Ideas for ad-based personalization:

  • Dynamic landing pages:  Ad and landing page should form a perfect union. But creating one landing page per ad can quickly turn into a herculean task. With Unless, you can automate the process. Create one landing page per category and dynamically inject the AdWords search query into the headline - guaranteed to maximize relevance. 
  • Gender-specific offers: You run different ads for men/women? Set up audiences for that. Based on the ad a visitor clicks on, they'll join the "men" or "women" audience. Next,  you'll be able to personalize the entire website for each group - different product suggestions, different discounts, different testimonials. In later web sessions, the visitor will still be correctly identified as a member of the men/women audience - again, experiencing a personalized website. 
  • Website tailored to interest: Your product portfolio caters to different interests or tastes and you run interest-specific ads? Take it one step further with audiences. You sell concert tickets? Create different versions of your website tailored to audiences' taste in music. You sell women's shoes? Show a coupon for sport shoes to runners and inform party-goers about your discount on high-heels.  
  • Highlight the right features: Your ad targeting is set up based on industry or job title? Typically, this means that business background influences what a potential customer cherishes in your product. So, create audiences based on industry or job title. Next, highlight the features that are important to each group (mainly on your homepage and features page).

The accounting software Xero does a great job at creating industry-specific landing pages. But, once you leave the landing page, the messaging becomes very generic, which hurts conversion. 

How to set up AdWords-based personalization: 

What are parameters?

Parameters are little snippets of information, added to a URL. They transfer information between places and are great for creating a personalized website experience. The information can either come from ad networks (e.g. Facebook, AdWords) or your own data sources (CRM or ESP).

Targeting options for parameter-based audiences:

  • UTM source: Show a specific variation based on the utm_source attached to the URL. Example: utm_source=AdWords
  • UTM medium: Show a specific variation based on the utm_medium attached to the URL. Best practice suggest to use "medium" to define the traffic channel. Example: utm_medium=Paid Search
  • UTM campaign: Show a specific variation based on the utm_campaign attached to the URL. Best practice suggest to use "campaign" to define a marketing activity. Example: utm_campaign=shoe_promotion
  • UTM content: Show a specific variation based on the utm_content attached to the URL. Best practice suggest to use "content" to describe the ad/newsletter/post, which allows for identifying individual promotions. Example: utm_content=red_shoes
  • UTM term: Show a specific variation based on the utm_term attached to the URL. It is typically used to identify keywords for paid ads. 
  • Hash: Hash marks (#)  introduce an optional fragment near the end of the URL. They're typically used in eCommerce and affiliate marketing.  
  • Query String Parameters: Query string parameters are used for sending information through the URL (e.g. example.com/?search=dresses). This is one of the most powerful targeting condition, so we dedicated a separate article to it

Here we selected "city" as the query parameter key. So, that matches mysite.com/?city=Amsterdam, ?city=Paris, ?city=London,...To target a specific key value (e.g. Amsterdam) you would have to change the trigger to "city=Amsterdam".

Tips and best practices:

  • The triggers "is empty" and "is not empty" are particularly useful here to set up audiences that trigger if no (or any) parameter is set. 
  • When applicable, try to use the "contains" trigger instead of "equals". This is especially true for triggers based parameters. For example, if you used "utm_source equals adwords" but the link is "mysite/?utm_source=adwords/", the variation wouldn't trigger correctly. The / at the end of the link wouldn't be an exact match.
  • Unless checks your audiences in descending order. If the visitor doesn’t match the first audience, it checks the second audience, then the third, and so on. And if a visitor doesn’t fit into any audience you created, they’ll see the unpersonalized, default version of your website. 
  • Remember to correctly use the AND/OR function. For example: You can target visitors from two UTM campaigns but a person can only view one campaign at a time. So, use the "OR" function to combine those triggers. 
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