2017: how Unless became a personalization engine

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  • 2017: how Unless became a personalization engine

With 2018 approaching, it’s time to look back at the milestones reached. Read about our journey from Content Management to Personalization.

Q1 2017: Moving towards CRO

In 2016 we started out as a Content Management Service that could be installed on top of any website, regardless of the tech behind it. The idea was well-received and the media praised our unique approach that didn’t impact site speed.

We were known as the first serverless startup but we struggled with a low retention rate. The pain the service was solving just wasn’t big enough to keep users engaged. We learned that good content goes beyond occasionally editing some text, so we transformed our solution into a content optimization tool.

We introduced two new features — Content Variations and Dynamic Keyword Insertion. The goal was to help users leverage the power of content to improve conversion rate.

Q2 2017: Symmetric Messaging

From now, it was a service for symmetric messaging, a CRO technique focused on aligning marketing campaigns with the associated landing pages. The basic premise was that visitors who click on an ad should land on a page that perfectly mirrors said ad.

Using the tool, our users could create and edit “copies” of their landing pages, and then connect them to a campaign. For customers with a big AdWords budget, it was the perfect solution. However, our most active users were the ones who spun the idea of content optimization a little further. We knew they were on to something and thus project “Sirza” was born.

Q3 2017: Project Sirza

By talking to our users we learned that they know plenty about their target audience but lack the tools to leverage this information. What our users really wished for was the possibility to personalize content.

food and stuff

So, we started working on project Sirza — personalization for marketing campaigns. Building upon what we already had — the page variations — we added a rules engine. Without having to install a script, users could now define which variation to show, based on who’s viewing.

To highlight the significance of the newly rolled out features, we decided to do a rebranding. From now, Instant.cm would be known as Unless.com.

Q4 2017: Unless — Smart Personalization

Since Q3 our users have been able to add personalization to their marketing campaigns. Yet, there was one important thing missing; the option to personalize for any traffic source. Enter the “on your own domain” setup. From now, users could install Unless on top of their own website to personalize for all traffic channels — campaigns, organic search, direct, and so on.

Now, the URL remains unchanged and you can choose from 20+ targeting conditions to segment your audience.

Outlook 2018 — what we have in our pipeline

It’s been an amazing ride so far and we are already full of ideas for 2018. Not to give away too much but you can look forward to even more targeting conditions, better editing options, and more powerful personalizations.

We would like to thank everyone who has accompanied us on our journey so far. Your feedback , your ideas, and your support have helped us shape this product. Rest assured that we will work hard to become an industry leader, so that one day you can tell your friends; “I used Unless before it was cool”.