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“Internal Click Rate Reports Rock” or “Rocking List Variables”

September 27, 2013

If you want your analytic systems to rock, like guitars, you need to know how to “tune” them. For that reason, I’ll stray from addressing the more philosophical aspects of analytics and get technical.

Many companies use multiple promotions (internal banner ads) on their sites and want to understand their performance.

You can use things like internal tracking codes and path analysis to do this, but these methods can be time consuming, error prone and often don’t work well when you are dynamically serving promos.

When dynamically serving promos, displaying multiple promos on one page or when tactics like carousels are used, the number of impressions a promo gets will significantly affect the number of clicks and successes.

What we need is and automatable, internal “Click Rate” report or as media calls it, a Click Through Rate report. Click “Through” is misleading, as the fact that a user clicks doesn’t mean they made it through. We’ll save that topic for another time.

To create a Click Rate report, we’ll use a list variable.

There is a lot of confusion related to variable types in Adobe Reporting and Analytics (Omniture, SiteCatalyst).

When it comes to Reports and Analytics, it can be difficult enough to understand the intricacies of s.props and eVars, let alone specialized variables like the list variable. The fact that there is more than one type of list variable further complicates things.

What is a list variable? It’s a variable that allows you to pass in multiple delimited values (separated by a comma for instance) and run reports on each value separately.

In the early days of SiteCatalyst there was only one variable that would accept a list (s.products). Today I’m going to focus on s.list1, s.list2 and s.list3.

List variables persist like eVars (conversion variables) but with one major difference, how they persist.

If you set and eVar on a page and then set it again on a subsequent page, the subsequent page will “overwrite” the value set on the first page. When an event variable is set, the last value set in the eVar will get credit for an event. This is not the case with the s.list variables. Each value set in a list variable persists until its persistence expires.

Less talk… more rock.

To set up an internal click rate report, do the following:

Set up the variables

  • Have support enable a list variable (s.list1, s.list2 or s.list3).
    • You only have three so use them sparingly
    • NOTE: If you want to change the list variable’s name to something like “Promos”, you’ll have to do it in admin where the menu is customized.
    • Have support set the persistence expiration to “on page”.
      • This essentially means that the variable does not persist
      • Have support set up the delimiter you want to use for that List Var (I like to use a comma)
      • Set up an event variable for “Impressions”
      • Set up an event variable for “Clicks”
      • OPTIONAL: Set up a “Clicked Promo” eVar

Tag your site

  • On the page containing the Promos, pass all the promo names to the list variable and set the “Impression” event variable
    • s.list1=”Promo_Name_1, Promo_Name_2, Promo_Name_3”
    • When a promo is clicked, pass the clicked promo name into the list variable and set the “Click” event variable
      • s.list1=” Promo_Name_2”
      • OPTIONAL: s.eVent17=”Promo_Name_2”

Set up the reporting.

  • Create a calculated metric called “Click Rate” (or whatever makes sense to you)
    • Click Rate =Clicks/Impressions
    • Run the ListVar1 (Promos) report
    • Select your “Click Rate” calculated metric as your metric.

If you set up a “Clicked Promo” eVar you will also be able to calculate conversion to other events as the eVar will persist (through the visit unless otherwise specified)

The last and most important step is to use the data to optimize your promos.

A basic 12 bar blues tune is in 4/4 and has 3 cords. This project is more like a jazz tune in 9/8 with 3 key changes in each phrase. Don’t hesitate to hit me with questions if you have any.

Rock On – Matt Coen

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2013 11:07 pm

    Hi, why would you set the expiry to page level and not visit?

    • December 2, 2013 11:22 pm

      Yes, it has to expire on the page. Otherwise, all prior values from the visit would get “credit” for each subsequent event. That’s the tricky thing about these variables.
      Rock on…

  2. anju permalink
    June 20, 2015 11:45 am

    Thank you so much for this post informative

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