How to Target New or Returning Visitors

Do you want to create targeted campaigns towards new or returning visitors? With OptinMonster, its easy! Follow this guide to learn how to use OptinMonster’s new vs. returning targeting feature.

REQUIREMENTS: This feature requires a Growth subscription.

What is the New vs. Returning Rule?

The New vs. Returning rule lets you target your campaign to visitors who are either new and visiting your website for the first time, or who are returning and have been to your website before.

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.

How to Use the New vs. Returning Rule?

First, go to the Display Rules tab of your campaign.

Display Rules Tab


Show to New Visitors

To show your campaign only to new visitors, select visitor is new from the dropdown:

Visitor is New Rule

Show to Returning Visitors

To show your campaign only to returning visitors, select visitor is returning from the dropdown:

Visitor is Returning Rule

Looking for more information about advanced page targeting? See our article on how page-level targeting helps you generate more leads.


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

A: Excellent question!

Testing New Visitor:

Clear your browser’s cookies before testing any campaign 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.

Testing Returning Visitor:

  1. Visit a page of your site where a campaign 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 campaign 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)