How to create a personalization

In this guide, we will teach you about core features of Unless - how to use goals, audiences, and how to personalize a page or smart add-on.

Watch this video or read through our step-by-step setup guide to learn about core features of Unless. In this guide, we'll teach you how to;

  • define your use case
  • set up goals
  • create audiences
  • personalize a smart add-on
  • create an on-site personalization

Sign in

To get started, go to Unless.com and log in to your account. During your first signup, you'll be asked to provide some additional information (e.g. URL of your website) - adding this data will help us customize your onboarding.

Dashboard & Insights

The dashboard contains some insights into how your personalizations are performing. At first, it will be a bit empty but the more you use Unless, the more data you will have at your disposal.

unless-insights-setup-guide From the insights page, you can also add new websites, navigate between them, and access your account settings.

Define your use case

Before you start personalizing, take a moment to define your use case. You should think about three aspects:

  1. What goal do you want to achieve with personalization? Examples: get more leads, convert more visitors, upsell to existing users,...
  2. For whom are you personalizing? What differentiates each audience? Examples: set up audiences based on user persona/industry/location,...
  3. What data source can you use to populate your audiences? Examples: geo location, ads clicked, on-site behavior,...

For this setup guide, we’ll be using the website of Classtag, as an example. This is their use case:

  1. Goal: get more signups
  2. Audiences: parents/teachers/school leaders
  3. Data source: ad campaigns

To get started, navigate to the Goals tab.

Goals

Personalization is all about optimizing your KPIs. So before you do anything else, set up a goal so you can measure what impact personalization has.

Another benefit of using goals is that they help train the machine learning algorithm that powers Unless. Basically, a goal helps the algorithm better understand what’s important to you - for example, scheduling more demos, getting more conversions, or increasing revenue.

unless-set-up-goal-onboarding For ClassTag, we added a goal that tracks how many people viewed the signup form. First, we gave our goal a name, set the URL path (→ /users/sign_up) and defined the objective as “key page view”. Setting an objective tells Unless what value you assign to different goals and actions. Lastly, don't forget to save your goal.

By the way, if you ever get stuck, remember that for any feature inside Unless, you can find a short explanation by clicking Get Help at the bottom left corner.

For the next step, switch to the Audiences tab.

Audiences

An audience, or better yet, an audience segment, is a group of visitors who have something in common. The hardest part about creating an audience is to define who should be part of it. With 30+ data points to choose from, this step can be a bit overwhelming, so instead of building your own audience, you can also get started with one of the default audiences.

unless-set-up-guide-audiences-tab-onboarding When you first log in, your Audience tab will contain a few default audiences, such as “mobile visitors” or “returning visitors”. The account pictured above contains 7 audiences, including two custom audiences called "Teachers" and "School leaders.

You can get really creative when building up your audiences. You can create audiences based on location, for example, “visitors from the US”. You can use time and set up a “morning vs. evening” audience. You can use device, weather, behavior. You can connect additional tools such as Clearbit or upload your own data - the options are endless. To learn more, take a look at our audience guide.

unless-set-up-guide-audiences-tab-create-audience-onboarding For ClassTag, we created a new custom audience and named it “User Persona = Parent”. A visitor will become part of this audience if they clicked on a marketing campaign - like an ad or email - targeted at parents. Or, if they were referred by a website for parents. Or, if they entered the website through the parents’ landing page.

Audience Membership

The membership duration tells Unless for how long you want visitors to remain part of an audience. If you click Longer Period Unless will drop a browser cookie and identify a visitor as a member of this audience until the cookie expires. The membership duration can be defined in minutes, hours, or days.

It's an extremely powerful feature since it gives Unless a memory. For example, if a ClassTag visitor is identified as a parent today and organically comes back to the website in a week, Unless will remember that this person is a parent. Another example would be lifecycle stages. If you send your users different emails based on lifecycle stage (or lead value, or other criteria), Unless could pick up this information and create audiences around it (learn more).

Once you have defined your first audience, you can personalize your website for it. For this, switch to the tab Personalization.

Personalization

unless-Onboarding personalization choose type Clicking on the "New Personalization" button will open an overlay. Here you can choose what kind of personalization you want to create - either a smart add-on or an on-site personalization.

Smart add-ons

Smart add-ons are overlays, CTA bars, pop ups, and all kinds of personalized messages that appear on top of your website. You can think of them as the low-key version of on-site personalization - they're easier to set up, require less planning, and bring results quickly.

unless onboarding personalized widget templates To get you started quickly Unless offers a wide range of templates to choose from. Those templates are fully customizable so you have full control over their design to match the look of your website.

unless-Onboarding personalization define smart add on For ClassTag, we used an awareness template and created a popup targeted at parents. We named the add-on “Popup - Promote Parent Blog”. It will be displayed on the homepage and we selected “Parents” as the target audience. The popup will trigger on Exit-Intent and since we don’t want to be too intrusive we’ll only show it once per session. Finally, a quick save and we can now open the add-on editor.

The editor is where you can design your add-on and change its content.

unless onboarding personalized widget styling For ClassTag, the add-on promotes the latest blog post (“How to help your child get a head start in STEM”).

To learn more about how to style your smart add-on, take a look at this guide.

As the last step, click save and use the preview or the eye icon to check how the add-on will look on your website and you are good to go.

On-site personalization

As the name suggests, on-site personalizations allow you to make changes directly on the page. You can, for example, adjust the content, buttons, images, move or delete page elements and more.

unless onboarding personalized onsite Here's an example of a personalization for ClassTag. First, we gave it a name (→ “Parents Homepage”). Next, we added the URL of the to-be-personalized page (→ homepage) and defined the audience (→ Parents). After saving, you can open the design editor to make your changes.

If you aren’t sure which pages to personalize, your homepage, landing pages, and checkout pages are always good choices. You can also take a look at your analytics data to find some more inspiration. If you're wondering what to personalize, headlines, images, the value proposition, and the call-to-action are a good way to start.

Editor

Now, it’s time to edit our personalization. At first, the page will look exactly like the original one. Through the editor, you can start changing it.

The basic premise of personalization is that your visitors have different needs and expectations and with personalizations, you can tailor your website to each of them.

You can edit text, swap out images, or change CTAs. You can also delete, add, or move page elements. Finally, you can use advanced editing features to add custom Javascript and CSS as well. We created a separate guide that explains all the features of the design editor.

unless-Onboarding personalization editor With this personalization for ClassTag we kept it simple - we only changed the headline to make it more relevant for Parents. When you're finished editing the page, hit the ‘publish’ icon, and click the "back" arrow to switch back to the Unless dashboard.

Live view

Before you put your personalization live, use the preview (→ eye icon) to make sure everything looks good.

And that’s it. Everything there is to know about your personalization projects inside Unless. First, we defined a goal, then we created an audience, and finally, we set up two personalizations. Ready to create a campaign yourself?

Frequently asked questions

With audiences, you can group website visitors based on their similarities (e.g. "Returning Visitors"). You could also think of audiences as your user personas. Once you have an audience, you can connect it to one (or multiple) personalizations.