Bound Blog

To Include or to Exclude? New Ways to Think About Targeting Your Audiences.

Picture of the author, Jessica Cameron
By Jessica Cameron
M10 15, 2019

So you’ve decided you’re ready to start personalizing your website for visitors. That’s great! Do you know who you’re going to personalize for? Determining which visitors are going to see personalized content is a key first step, but sometimes it can feel like the hardest.

There are a few tried & true segments you can always start with, such as big geo markets (and if so, make sure you check out these 5 geo-targeting strategies), first time versus repeat visitors, and interest-based segments. Another easy way to think about it is to think in reverse – who do you not want to see your personalized content?

That’s right, sometimes it all comes down to excluding certain types of visitors. Here are 4 examples of when to think through your personalization based on exclusions:

When a Visitor Is Already on the Destination Page

This is a pretty straightforward case, but often overlooked. Content promoting specific events or articles is becoming more and more common as a way to engage visitors. If you are using overlay campaigns to promote a specific page, whether it be a blog, article, or event, you should always start by excluding anyone who is currently on the page being promoted.

When a Visitor Has Already Been to the Destination Page

Similarly, if a visitor has already been to blog, article, or event page you’re promoting, they probably don’t need to see it again. This situation comes up frequently for hero campaigns as well. Many destinations will use their homepage hero to promote big upcoming events or key promotional landing pages. Unless there is a specific reason you want visitors to frequent these pages multiple times, excluding anyone who has already viewed the page is a targeting no-brainer and frees up personalization opportunities to promote other goals.

When the Content or Call to Action Doesn’t Apply

This can go hand in hand with geo-targeting. Visitors who are already physically in your area aren’t looking for hotel deals or content promoting why they should plan a visit. Similarly, if you’re using banners to keep visitors in the loop on local road closures or current beach conditions it’s not going to be relevant to visitors who are halfway across the country. 

When a Visitor Has Completed the Action

Promoting goal-based content is key to your site, whether it’s to get visitors to download or request materials like a visitor guide, or sign up for a newsletter. If you’re using a personalization campaign to promote a goal, start by excluding everyone who has already completed it. 

Have questions about targeting visitors with exclusions? Contact us to discuss more!

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