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.