Introduction to Conversion Variables (eVars)

Last update: 2023-05-31
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In this video, get an introduction to conversion variables, also known as “eVars”. Also learn the difference between traffic and conversion variables and how they relate to conversion events.


Hey everybody. This is Doug. In this video, I want to give you an introduction to conversion variables, and you might also hear the word eVars and that’s the same thing. And so the first thing I want to talk about is the fact that conversion variables, like traffic variables, are considered dimensions. They are the which one type of variable. Right? So, which day, which person, which thing? It is not the number. So you can see on this website here, where we kind of try to distinguish between metrics and dimensions as an example here for this weather site, we can see that the numbers on the right are, you know, the temperature, and the precipitation, the wind speed, and humidity and stuff. Those things are metrics. And then the day is a dimension. Right? So which day is giving this hot, or that cold, etc., or having this much rain. So those are the dimensions. So a day is a perfect example of a dimension and a variable is a dimension. So a conversion variable, a traffic variable, those are dimensions. So this just gives you an idea. Now we can also have segments on this, and we’ll talk about that on another video which can actually further, then limit which dimensions and metics you’re seeing, etc. Now here’s a really good example of eVars, because this marketing cloud report is showing how people got to your site. You can see that the metrics are visits, online orders, and online revenue. Right? So those are the metrics. Well the dimension is the marketing channel. Like which marketing channel? In this case, email, or direct, or social campaigns, page search, etc. Now if I back up so we can see that a little bit better. The reason why this is so good for an eVar, and we’re going to find it out on the next slide, is that these conversion variables or eVars, they are persistent. And so when you come in on a marketing channel, like you come in from an email, or you come in from a social campaign, it retains the memory, if you will, of the fact that you came in from that marketing channel and then later on in the visit when you do have some online orders or a certain amount of online revenue, it can attribute that back to that specific marketing channel. That is how that works with these metrics and we will learn about events. And events are very closely tied with conversion variables, and those are dimensions, of course. Okay. So a few facts about eVars or conversion variables. Again, they’re used to capture data during a session of the attributes of the visitor, or other kinds of things that you’d want to be able to be persistent. Right? These variables are unique because of their ability to persist for a period of time. And in fact, not only can it be across pages on one visit, but it can also persist over days, weeks, months, etc., or even forever. And so you get to decide how long these values persist. You can see their values can persist until it’s either overwritten by another value, or if it expires based on a time period, or based on an action. Okay, so, you can have it expire in seven days. You can have it expire when people make a purchase, or they sign up for an offer, or whatever it is.

So, these are the most commonly used variables. Okay? If you’ve watched the traffic variables video, then you’ll know that those are mostly used for your basic traffic metrics, and your pages, your page names, and site sections and those. But most everything else is captured in an eVar. And in fact, I do like to capture the page name in an eVar as well, and the site section and those things. So we typically put pretty much any kind of a dimension into these conversion variables, or eVars. And another video when we look at our business requirements, and we then scope that out, and do our solution design, and decide what kind of data to put in different variables, we will use eVars a lot more than props. And they will be our main variable that we will use.

So you’ll see here when a page loads, or when somebody does an action, or something like that, you can set an eVar. So when somebody logs in, you can set it to logged in status. If they tell you something about themselves, maybe they’re male or female, or loyalty level, or you know about their demographics and you can set that into an eVar, or they are searching on something, or they click on something, or they do something like that, or they even look at a product, these things can be placed in an eVar so that later on in their visit when they perform a certain conversion activity, we can tie that conversion back to that eVar value. So those are probably a couple of the most important things to remember that they persist, and that it can expire at some point. So here’s kind of a funny, little, analogy, but you know, it’s effective. So we have this guy, and on page one, we see that he has a hat, sunglasses, rolled sleeves, shorts, loafers and no accessory. And so these values can persist across time. So on page two, nothing has changed. So you don’t have to set everything again on page two because again, eVars do persist. So if there was something that happened on page two, like a sign up, we could still attribute that sign up back to the items that were set on page one, because again, it’s persistent. But on a subsequent page, like page three when he takes a hat off to no hat, anything after that now that happens, that you’re looking forward to them happening, like maybe a sign up that you’re trying to get them to do, like a sign up, or a registration, or a form completion, or whatever, can give the credit for that completion to the no hat headware. So anyway, kind of a funny, little, analogy here, but you can see how when things happen on certain pages, then they persist across the other pages, and again they could persist even across visits, and across days if you want them to. And so, eVars persist and wait for an event, a conversion event to happen. So, by all means, if you are watching this video, please do look for the other video that talks about conversation events because they are so closely tied to conversion variables, or eVars.

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