How to Target New or Returning Visitors

OptinMonster makes it easy to target your optins to new or returning visitors! Follow this guide to learn how to use OptinMonster’s new vs. returning targeting feature.

REQUIREMENTS: This Display Rule requires a Pro Subscription.
  1. Create or Edit an Optin
  2. Configure the New vs Returning Display Rule
  3. Embed the Optin

Step 1 – Create or Edit an Optin

To begin, create an optin or select one to edit that you would like to configure the new vs returning Display Rule for.

Step 2 – Configure the New vs Returning Display Rule

Next, navigate to the Display Rules screen in the optin builder to begin configuring new vs. returning display rule for your optin.

OptinMonster display rules make targeting offers easy.

In the Display Rules screen, scroll down to the Visitors who are new vs. returning section and select it to expand the view. Once expanded you’ll be able make the rule active.

You can activate the new vs returning visitor rule by expanding the section and selecting the Active toggle.

You’ll be able to configure the optin to show to either New OR Returning visitors.

Show to New Visitors

To show your optin only to new visitors, select ‘is new’ from the dropdown:

Select 'is New' from the dropdown to show your optin only to new visitors.

Show to Returning Visitors

To show your optin only to returning visitors, select ‘is returning’ from the dropdown:

Select 'is Returning' from the dropdown to show your optin only to returning visitors.

Step 3 – Embed the Optin

Finally, select the Embed button at the top of your builder window to grab the embed code. You can then copy and paste that embed code wherever you want your optin to appear.

Check out our platform guides for more details.


Q: How does this feature work?

A: OptinMonster uses specific cookies set in the browser to determine if a visitor is new or returning to your site. Specifically, two cookies are set in the browser that we use to determine the visitor type:

  • _omappvp — is for visitor persistent
  • _omappvs — is for visitor session

If neither cookie exists, we know the visitor is new. If only the _omappvp cookie exists, we know the visitor is returning.

Q: How do I test my optin using these rules?

A: Excellent question!

Testing New Visitor:

  • Clear your browser’s cookies before testing any optin configured to show only to new visitors. This will be sure that neither the _omappvp or _omappvs cookie exist in the browser, indicating to OptinMonster that you are a new visitor.
  • Alternatively you can open a new Chrome incognito window in place of clearing your browser cookies.

Testing Returning Visitor:

  1. Visit a page of your site where an optin is embedded to appear, allowing OptinMonster to set both cookies in the browser.
  2. Next, quit your browser program completely which will end the session and clear one of the cookies that OptinMonster sets.
  3. Finally, re-open your browser program and navigate back to your site to test the appearance of any optin configured to show only to returning visitors.

What can I expect when testing from Mobile devices?

A: Due to browser inconsistency, you may experience inconsistent behavior when testing the Returning visitor rule from various mobile devices. You can expect the following when testing on mobile:

  • On iOS with Safari the session cookie will expire whenever you switch apps.
  • On Android with Chrome the session cookie doesn’t expire when you close the browser.

Reference: When does a cookie with expiration time ‘At end of session’ expire? (StackOverflow)