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Targeting new vs. returning visitors

Lisa Fockens Updated by Lisa Fockens

Wisepops makes it easy to target visitors who are coming to your site for the first time, or returning from a previous session.

Examples of use cases:

  • Show a welcome offer for first-time visitors
  • Welcome back returning visitors with a separate offer

In this article, you’ll understand how we define new/returning visitors, and learn how to target them with personalized campaigns in Wisepops.

What are new vs. returning visitors?

  • New visitors are visitors who have never been to your website, according to Wisepops tracking snippet.
  • Returning visitors are visitors who have visited your site before, according to Wisepops tracking snippet.

When someone starts browsing your website, Wisepops’s tracking snippet looks for a cookie on their device: wisepops_visits

  • If the cookie is not present, Wisepops considers this a ‘new’ visitor and creates the cookie.
  • If the cookie is present, Wisepops considers this a ‘returning’ visitor and counts a new visit in the cookie.  
There are cases where people have been to your site before. Still, Wisepops considers them ‘new’. Here are the most common scenarios:

• If a visitor came to your site before the Wisepops tracking snippet was installed, Wisepops doesn't know about it. They're considered as ‘new’ the first time they come back after the Wisepops snippet is installed.

• If a visitor accesses your site from multiple devices or browsers (for example, a laptop first and a smartphone later), Wisepops sees visits from each device as coming from a different user.

• Visitors using Incognito / Private Browsing Mode always appear as new users, since the browser doesn't save cookies.

• Every time the cookies are deleted or blocked, the visitor is counted as ‘new’ when they come back. With ITP 2.1, Safari deletes cookies after 7 days of inactivity. 

Targeting new vs. returning visitors in Wisepops

  1. Navigate to the Display Rules > Audience tab in the campaign builder.

  1. Under the frequency section, select New Visitors or Returning Visitors 

By default, most of our campaign templates show to all visitors (both new and returning visitors). You should only configure this rule if you would like to target new OR returning visitors. If you'd like to target both, select "All visitors"
  1. Optional: You can refine your returning visitors rule based on the number of times they have been on your site and, optionally, the timeframe of visits.


How do I test my campaign using these rules?

Testing New Visitors:

  1. Clear your browser’s cookies before testing any campaign configured to show only to new visitors, or open a private navigation session indicating to Wisepops that you are a new visitor.
  2. Visit your website or page where the campaign should appear.

Testing Returning Visitors:

  1. Go to your website by typing the URL in the browser. Wisepops counts the start of a new visit if the referrer of the page isn't your own domain.
  2. To count a new visit, close the tab and open your website again by typing its URL.
  3. Navigate to the page where your campaign should appear for returning visitors.

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