Back to Insights

What are Custom Floodlight Variables

newsJanuary 2, 2020

Capturing crucial audience data

In our previous blog post, we outlined the role of a floodlight tag within Campaign Manager and what data they are able to capture. To recap, with a standard floodlight tag, this captured data is split into two basic main categories:

  • Sales – tracks the number of sales or the number of items purchased per sale
  • Counter – counts the number of times a user visits a particular webpage

However, to fully understand how an audience interacts with a brand, there are extra pieces of information that can be captured beyond the basics, giving a more in-depth insight into the user journey. This process requires the use of custom variables.

You can create up to 100 custom variables per floodlight configuration, giving you the option to record 100 pieces of additional information when a floodlight tag fires. The variables use keys (u1, u2, u3 etc...) that record any values that you assign to them. The below is an example of a tag that would typically be placed on a confirmation page:

Src=;src=3180580;type=sales123;cat=flood790;qty=1;u1=[Colour];u2=[Product_ID];u3=[Country];u4=[City];cost=[Revenue];ord[orderID]?”width=”1”height=”1”frameborder=”0”style=”display:none”></iframe>Sit amet congue lorem leo a risus

In this occasion, the tag has been set as a Sales tag, recording the total amount this customer spent on their order. They have also set 4 custom variables (also knows as u-variables). This can be seen by the section of the tag highlighted in bold.

In this case the variables have been set to record:

  • U1 – Colour
  • U2 – Product ID
  • U3 – Country
  • U4 – City

By recording this additional data, a user can then utilise Campaign Manager’s Report Builder to report on these custom variable values and determine which of their products are best sellers in a specific country, and even city.

Other creative ways to use custom variables are:

Loyalty: Is this user a new or returning customer? Are they part of a rewards program?

Products: Record the products SKU, name and even the shipping amount paid by the customer

Travel: How many nights has the customer booked for their hotel? What are their route and fare details for travel?

It is crucial to remember that when using custom variables, capturing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is strictly not allowed. If you are unsure on what constitutes as PII, please visit Best practices to avoid sending Personally Identifiable Information for further guidance.

Build an audience list

Audience lists can be created directly from users who have completed a specific floodlight activity in a designated time frame, for example ‘homepage visitors within the last 30 days.’ This audience list can then be directly targeted with a specific advertising message, enticing them to return to the site. 

With the use of custom variables, you can filter this audience list to be more defined by building a set of custom floodlight variables, only adding members to the list that meet certain criteria. For example, creating a variable to capture homepage users that live in a certain city or region, allowing them to then be targeted with an ad detailing a flash sale at their local store.

Want to know more about Campaign Manager and custom floodlight variables? Get in touch via our Contact Us page.