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Targeting Rules Explained – Whom to show, Where to show and When to show?

The WebEngage targeting engine enables you to target your on-site campaigns towards specific user segments.

The targeting rules are divided into 3 broad categories, as seen on the Targeting page as well:

  1. Whom to show? (Traffic Segment Targeting)
  2. When to show? (Event Trigger Targeting)
  3. Where to show? (Session Level Targeting)

Listed below are all the targeting rules explained in detail:

Whom to show? (Traffic Segment Targeting)

Using WebEngage, build segments on clickstream information of users. You can use the clickstream data to create a segment of users and target them with specific messages.

These are the options within traffic segment targeting:

Whom to show WebEngage

1. Devices: You can target your visitors on any device (computer, mobile, tablet), they use. You can choose to target them on all one any combination of devices suited best for your campaign.


2. Operating Systems / Platforms: This targeting rule provides you the option to pick and choose your users on different platforms viz. Windows, Linux, Macintosh, Android, iOS and more.


3. Browsers: You can also choose to display or not display your web messages created using WebEngage, based upon the browser your user is on. We help you target on almost all famous browsers out there like, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Netscape and Opera.


4. Visitor Type: Choosing the visitor type gives you a flexibility to target either new or repeat visitors via WebEngage. You can left the option untouched if you want to target all.

Visitor Type

5. Geographic Location: You can also target your users based upon the geography they are in. The conditions are usual, ‘any’ or ‘none’ of the selected geographies and WebEngage would display web messages based on the satisfying rule.

There are three levels of targeting provided under geographic location viz. country, state and city, each having the option to select more than one option to target.


6. Traffic source – referring sites: This targeting rule provides you with an option to target the visitors that come to your website through different sources. These sources can include all major search engines, social networking sites and also direct traffic. You can even define your source and target visitors according to them.

Traffic Source

Where to show? (Session Level Targeting)

This category showcases all the options that can enable you to target a user who have expressed their intent in a certain way. It may mean they could have visited some pages, or have viewed more than a certain amount of products in a session, or have certain cookies planted in their browser and so on and so forth.

This is how the Session Level Targeting rules look like, when collapsed:

Where to show

1. Page URL targeting: You can specify on which page URL(s), the notification/survey to be displayed. You can add multiple page URLs as well as page URL patterns in regular expression format. You can also specify either inclusion or exclusion using “Group condition”.

Page URL


  • If you are using “equals to” or “starts with” as the operator in the drop-down, make sure that you specify that each page URL starts with either http:// or https://
  • If you have specified homepage of your website, make sure you add two URL(s) – one with trailing slash in the end (e.g. httpL//www.mysite.com/) and other without (http://www.mysite.com).
  • If you are specifying an exclusion rule with multiple page URL conditions, make sure you select group condition as “ALL Rules must satisfy”.

2. WYSIWYT (What You See Is What You Target): Through WYSIWYT, you can build dynamic rules without having to need their developers for any kind of data integration.

You can read in detail about it here: http://blog.webengage.com/2014/11/14/wysiwyt-what-you-see-is-what-you-target/


3. Number of page(s) viewed by a visitor in a session: Allows you to show a notification / survey to a visitor after (s)he has viewed pages in the current browser session reaches or exceeds the specified limit.

Number of pages

4. Cookie(s): For specified cookies, you can choose the survey or notification to appear only on those pages, on which the cookie related rules are met. You can add multiple conditions on same or different cookies. While doing so, you can either opt the group condition as ALL rules (all specified cookie related conditions) or ANY rule (any one of the cookie related conditions) to satisfy.


Note: Cookies with “HttpOnly” flag set, can not be used for targeting. They are inaccessible through JavaScript.

5. Custom Rules: Through custom rules, WebEngage lets you create rules on the basis of the data you choose to share with it. One can create complex business rules such as showing a survey to users who are signing in after 60 days, displaying an offer to a repeat visitor who abandoned the cart in last visit.

Custom Rules

You can refer to out blog post: Custom Targeting to know more about them.

When to show? (Event Trigger Targeting)

As the name suggests, this capability of WebEngage is based on top of understanding the events that happen on your website. These events are the occurrences on your website either caused by an user’s actions or otherwise. They can be the user ‘on a particular page’, ‘searches for a product’, ‘scrolls x% of the page’, ‘tries to leave the page’ and many more.

WebEngage keeps a track of all these and more events on the website and enables you to target your visitors based on such events.

1. Leave Intent Targeting: Through Leave Intent Targeting, the cursor movement of a visitor is tracked and you can target them with relevant messages just when they try to leave the page.

Leave Intent

2. Time delay on a page: Time spent by any visitor on a particular page is also a tracked event and you can choose to display your message after the passage of a particular time. For example, if you enter 5 seconds in the rule below, your message will be displayed only after the visitor has been on your page for 5 seconds.

Time Delay

3. Total time spent on your site by a visitor: The total time spent on your website in a session is also an event pre-defined for WebEngage and you can choose to target the visitors based on it.

Total Time Spent

4. Time of day: If you want to display certain messages only during a particular time period of the day, you can define that via this targeting rule. It also provides you the option to define the time according to your or the visitor’s timezone for better relevance.

Time Delay

5. Scroll: Page scroll percentage is automatically calculated by WebEngage and you can target your messaging for visitors based upon the percentage of your page they have scrolled.


6. Custom Events: The above mentioned events are the default events captured by WebEngage and you can directly target your visitors based on them. But events are not limited only on them. Custom events gives you the liberty to define events exclusive to your website and target users based on the occurrences, non-occurrence or conditional occurrence of such events.

Custome Events

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