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Upload custom criteria

Upload a CSV file to customize your recommendations in Adobe Target.

There are multiple ways to reach the Create New Criteria screen. Some screen options vary depending on how you reach the screen.

  • On the Recommendations > Criteria library screen, click Create Criteria > Create Criteria. Criteria you create here are automatically made available for all Recommendations activities.
  • When you are creating a Recommendations activity using the Visual Experience Composer (VEC), you are immediately taken to the Select Criteria screen after you select an element on your page and click Replace w/ Recommendations, Insert Recommendations Before, or Insert Recommendations After. You can then select an available criteria or you can click Create Criteria. If you create a new criteria, you can save your criteria for use with other Recommendations activities. For more information, see Create a Recommendations activity.
  • When you are editing a Recommendations activity, click in a Recommendations Location box on your page, and select Change Criteria. On the Select Criteria screen, click Create Criteria. You can save your new criteria for use with other Recommendations activities.

The following steps assume you access the Create New Criteria screen by using the first method: the Recommendations > Criteria library screen.

  1. Click Recommendations > Criteria.

  2. Click Create Criteria.

  3. Fill in the information in the Basic Information section.

    1. From the Select Algorithm Type drop-down list, select Custom Criteria.

    2. From the Algorithm drop-down list, select Custom Algorithm.

      note note
      The preceding steps cause the Upload CSV section to display at the bottom of the Create New Criteria dialog box.
  4. (Conditional) Fill in the information in the Backup Content section.

  5. (Conditional) Fill in the information in the Inclusion Rules section.

  6. In the Upload CSV section, select the Location of your CSV file.

    Upload CSV section

    The CSV file must be formatted correctly to upload successfully. Click Download the CSV template to get a correctly formatted CSV file.

    You have two location options:

    • FTP: To upload your CSV file from an FTP server, select FTP, then enter the required information. You can use SSL, which uses the FTPS protocol to transfer your CSV file securely.
    • URL: To upload your CSV file from a URL, select URL, then enter a feed URL.
  7. Click Save.


  • Custom criteria entities (rows) can contain up to 1,000 recommended items (columns).

  • Custom criteria updates are by default “cumulative.” New key-value pairs specified in the CSV upload file overwrite existing key-value pairs. Existing key-value pairs that don’t have keys specified in the CSV upload are still available for delivery and expire in 31 days from the time they are last uploaded as part of the CSV file.

    Contact Client Care to enable the setting to discard the existing results that aren’t included in the next CSV upload. If this setting is enabled, only the keys present in the custom CSV feed file are available for delivery. This setting applies to all custom criteria.

  • Custom criteria feeds update once every 24 hours.

    You can see the upload and sync status of your custom criteria upload at the bottom of each criteria card on the Recommendations > Criteria page. You can also see the status in the Edit dialog box when editing custom criteria.

  • The flow for an error-free upload should be Scheduled > Downloading Feed File > Importing > Successful.

  • The following are possible error messages you might receive if Target encounters a problem with the upload:

    table 0-row-2 1-row-2 2-row-2 3-row-2 4-row-2 5-row-2 6-row-2
    Error Message Details
    Unknown Error Indicates an internal technical error.
    Parsing Error There is likely an issue with the feed file format. Correct the file format and resave the algorithm, which restarts the file download process.
    Server Not Found Provide an IP or Host Name that is visible on the internet.
    Credentials Error Provide a valid user and password for an active account on the server.
    Directory Not Found Provide a directory that exists on the server.
    File Not Found Provide the name of a file that exists on the server in the directory indicated.

Training video: Create criteria in Recommendations (12:33) Tutorial badge

This video contains the following information (details about uploading custom criteria begins at 11:43):

  • Create criteria
  • Create criteria sequences
  • Upload custom criteria