Target: External Site Referral

Use this target in web activities to target customers who have just entered your site from a link on a specific external site.

Introduced in Feature Pack 2You can also use this target in and search rules.

External sites can refer customers to your site, either through a link on a search results page or a direct link on a page. Use this target to personalize web activities for these referred customers. There are two different scenarios for using this target, depending on how the customer was referred to your site:

Scenario 1: Customer performed a keyword search on an external site

Customers can enter your site following a keyword search for an item on the web search sites, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. If you can predict which search keywords customers will use on these search sites, you can display marketing content in e-Marketing Spots that is relevant to what customers are searching for.


Your store sells electronics, including computers and televisions. When a customer views the e-Marketing Spot in the store header:
  • If a customer enters your site following a Google search for "television" or "TV," display an ad for televisions.
  • If a customer enters your site following a Google search for "computer," display an ad for computers.
  • Otherwise, display a general store ad.

The web activity looks like this:

Example of Target: External Site Referral

Scenario 2: Customer clicked a link on a page of an external site

If you know of external sites that contain links to your store, you can display marketing content in e-Marketing Spots that is relevant to these referred customers. The external site can provide clues about the customer's interests or affiliations with your store.


Your store sells sports equipment. You know that the web site for an international golf club contains a link to your store. Whenever a customer clicks that link, you want to display an advertisement for the latest golf equipment in your home page e-Marketing Spot.

The web activity looks like this:

External Site Referral target example

Specifying parameters in external site referral URLs

A referral URL is the URL of the page on an external site that contains a link to your site. Here is an example of the search results page URL from a popular search site following a search for tablet:

Page URLs can contain parameters. In the previous example, q=camcorder is a parameter with the name q and the value camcorder. When using the External Site Referral target, you can specify that the referral URL contains a certain parameter. These parameters can indicate which search keywords the customer used on the external site that resulted in a link to your site, among other things. Specifying parameters is optional.

Prerequisite for using this target

Make sure your site is configured to support the Management Center marketing features.