Choosing the right optimization strategy

Dialogue optimization is defined by four main aspects:

  1. How. The time period within which the optimizer is active, the channel on which it is active and advanced settings like the variants strategy, optimization goal and evaluation criteria.
  2. Who. The visitors at whom optimizer is targeted.
  3. Where. The URL(s) within which the optimizer is active.
  4. Variants. The variants that the optimizer uses to engage visitors.

While most settings are pretty straightforward, given the multiple combinations possible when mixing Variants Strategies and Optimization Goals, deciding which to use can sometimes pose a challenge.

Rotating

The "Rotating" strategy serves the defined variants in a rotating order. For example, if you have three variants (A, B, and C), they will be served to each visitor in the same order each time the variant is triggered within the optimizer. For example, the first time the visitor triggers a variant they will be served variant B. The next time they trigger a variant, they will be served variant C. The following time, variant A. Each successive time, the order B-C-A will be used again. This strategy applies to all visitors.

The "Rotating" strategy is best used when:

  • The messages contained within the variants are seen as equal when compared to each other.
  • You want each visitor to see all the messages in order to maximize the chance that one of them will catch the visitor's attention.
  • You want to spread more than one message to each visitor in the likelihood that two or more messages will complement each other and lead to stronger engagement.
  • You want to target the visitor with more than one type of interaction in order to see which is most effective (banner, lightbox, content, etc.).

When using the "Rotating" strategy, the variants are definitive and you typically will not add any more to the optimizer during the evaluation period.

For example, the following three banner variants have been added to an optimizer and will be shown on a rotating basis at the same position on the web page:

 

The messages contained in these three variants are all different selling points but at the same time they are equal and do not conflict with each other. Because you do not know which selling point will be most effective, you want each visitor to see all three variants in order to spread all messages equally. Are visitors more influenced by the ability to enhance their website through personalization, comply with online privacy regulations or create long lasting relationships? Or are they influenced by the fact that they can both add personalization and comply with online privacy laws using your product? The "Rotating" strategy makes it possible to engage your website visitors with a differing message for each visit.

Exclusive

The "Exclusive" strategy selects a variant at random from the optimizer and serves the same variant to the unique visitor from then on each time they visit your website. This strategy is best used when:

  • You want to divide your website visitors into separate groups in order to be able to directly compare the effectiveness of each variant with the other variants.
  • The messages contained within the variants conflict with each other and you only want each visitor to see one of them and not all of them.
  • Seeing more than one of the variants could lead to an inconsistent visitor experience.

Consider the following example: you are offering a discount on the sale of an item but don't know whether it is better to offer an exact monetary savings value or a discount based on a percentage of the full price. Which is better?

Variant A

 

 

Variant B

 

Variant A offers a 20% discount off the full price of an item while Variant B offers the concrete amount of $15. By serving each message exclusively to two groups of website visitors, you can determine over time which of the offers is more appealing. Another example: You have three variants containing messages that range from formal, to informal, to highly personal:

Formal

 Informal

Highly Personal

Some visitors will be more engaged by the formal, some by the informal and some by the highly personal. However, if the tone of the message that the visitor receives varies with each visit, this could lead to confusion or a degraded experience that could lead to disengagement. Using the "Exclusive" variant, the experience of the visitor remains consistent.

Automatic optimization

Using the "Automatic" optimization, you let BlueConic perform the optimization for you. This strategy is based on a self-learning mechanism that continuously monitors historical data gathered from all variants and serves to visitors more often the variant(s) that are achieving the Optimization Goal at the highest rates at the given time. Over time the performance of variants can vary and the "Automatic" strategy will change the variants it is serving based on the current situation. The "Automatic" strategy is best used in the following scenarios:

  • You want to maximize clicks and conversions.
  • You want to limit the loss of conversions during the evaluation period.
  • You want to continue to modify, add or remove variants during the evaluation period.
  • You don't know how long you need to test the variants in order to achieve significant results.
  • In all situations where the "Rotating" and "Exclusive" strategies are not effective or desired.