Cut Your Audience in Half to Double Your Conversion Success

Not all types of visitors respond to web content in the same way. For example, visitors coming from an email campaign may react to a landing page differently than visitors coming from a paid search ad; mobile visitors may react to a homepage differently than non-mobile visitors. Understanding the difference between these behaviors is the first step towards delivering an optimal experience specifically tailored to each visitor type.

We’re excited to announce a powerful new feature called visitor segmentation that enables Optimizely customers to view test results for specific visitor segments to understand how those types of visitors reacted to each variation.

Segmentation is available to Optimizely customers with Gold or Platinum plans. Customers with Gold plans have access to default segments: browser, mobile visitors, and source type (i.e., Direct, Referral, Search). Customers with Platinum plans have access to default segments as well as campaign and custom segments.

Why segmenting visitors is exciting:

Visitor segmentation expands the opportunities to explore different site variations and then quickly refine those variations with specific types of site visitors in mind. Seeing data on how any two segments of visitors performed for a given variation – for example, mobile visitors versus non-mobile visitors –  you have a very granular understanding of how those people like to interact with your website.

Imagine your company has just produced a new product video. You want to measure how including the video on the homepage impacts sign-up conversions. You run an A/B test across all of your visitors pitting the original homepage without a video, against a variation with the video prominently on the homepage. You measure whether the presence of a video increases, decreases or has no effect on sign-up conversions. The test results say that overall conversions increased in the video variation. Win! In the results dashboard, you use segmentation to view how specific segments of visitors reacted to the video variation. You notice that conversions from visitors on non-mobile devices increased, however conversions from visitors on mobile and tablet devices actually decreased. Maybe the video didn’t resonate with mobile visitors? Maybe the video file format failed to play on mobile devices?

Using targeting you can run follow up tests on just your mobile visitors to test your hypotheses about why the video underperformed for mobile visitors. This is the refinement and iteration stage to find the optimal video treatment for mobile visitors.

Through a cycle of exploration and refinement with segmentation and targeting, you are able to take a huge pool of website visitors, slice them up into segments and deliver a unique experience to each type, personalized to the ways each of them will be most likely to convert.

How to use segmentation:

While viewing the results for a given experiment, segmentation will appear in the left column:

Segmentation on Results Page

Expand a segment type and select a given segment to filter results to display only visitors in that segment.

Segmentation on Results Page - FF Browser

lightbulbPro Tester Tip:

Optimizely automatically detects which advertising campaigns brought in which visitors by looking at the utm_campaign and gclid query parameters for inbound visitors. If either of those query parameters are present, visitors are bucketed into a corresponding campaign segment. By expanding the “By Campaign” visitor segment group, you can tie conversion rates to specific advertising campaigns.  Not yet using the utm_campaign query parameters in your advertising campaigns? Get started here.

Creating a custom segment:

Platinum customers can create custom segments from the dashboard.


Choose the particular conditions that need to occur for a visitor to be placed in a visitor segment.  These conditions are the same as those found in experiment targeting. When you create a new visitor segment, it will apply to all your visitors going forward, but not retroactively

Creating Custom SegmentsFor more information on visitor segmentation, visit our Knowledge Base.