With the release of Discover 2.9 a few months ago new functionality was introduced that makes it possible to create time based segments.  In this post I am going to try to address the business value of this new functionality with a few analysis examples.  These examples will be spread out among two posts, so look for my follow-up post within the next week.

Is campaign X driving loyal visitors?

There are so many different areas of analysis to get a clearer picture on the performance of campaigns.  If you are a business that values loyal visitors, then whether or not a campaign drives repeat visitors is an important measure of success.  For the purpose of this blog, we are going to use a simple definition for loyal visitors as visitors who return to the site

The following steps are how I would approach creating a segment to answer the question above.

1. Launch the Segment Builder.

2. Drag over the Visitor container.  Since our criteria will span multiple visits we want to use the Visitor container.

3. Drag over the Visit container so that it nests within the Visitor container.  The nesting allows us to identify that within a single visit several criteria occurred and that we want to see all that visitors data if they had at least one visit that fit the criteria.

4. “Click here” to define the Visit.

5. Select your company’s campaign or tracking code report and set it equal to the campaign you want to analyze.

6. Then “Add Segment Rule”.  In the second rule find “Date: Month” for the report and then select July 2010 for the month.  Make sure that you are matching ALL of the rules.  Once you have done this click “OK”.

7. Save your segment to your Favorites or another Custom folder.  Since the Date segmentation criteria is not compatible with SiteCatalyst, you will receive an error if you try to save a time based segment to the SiteCatalyst folder.

To answer the question “Is campaign X driving loyal visitors?” you would want to do the following:

1. Go to Site Metrics > Unique Visitors

2. Unhide “Chart Options” at the top of the report and find the Granularity option and select Month.  By changing the granularity we will now see Monthly Unique Visitors for each month and then the total at the bottom of the report are true unique visitors for the entire time period viewed.

3.   Find your segment in the correct folder in the Segments menu and drag it over to the Unique Visitors report.

Notice that the total Unique Visitors matches the total Monthly Unique Visitors in July and the total Monthly Unique Visitors in August is significantly less, just 6% of the total.  Therefore, 6% of visitors that entered on the campaign in July returned to the site in August.

Now that you have created this fabulous segment you can run any of the reports in Discover to try to understand what drove visitors back to the site and then utilize an optimization tool like Adobe Test & Target to encourage more visitors to return to the site.

More examples to follow in the next post…

Jessica P
Jessica P

I love the concept of time-based segments, but I really struggle with the execution side due to the fact that (1) the entire time period must be pulled in to make it work, which typically equates to sampling in Discover and (2) it's not compatible with SiteCatalyst, so I can't use Data Warehouse to get around the sampling issue. While there are times that sampling is acceptable for what I'm looking at, there are other times where I really need it to not happen.