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Recency and Frequency

In Segment Builder, recency and frequency let you segment visitors based on actions that occur or repeat over a set daily interval.
Audience Manager defines recency and frequency as follows:
  • Recency: How recently a user viewed or qualified for one (or more) traits.
  • Frequency: The rate at which a user viewed or qualified for one (or more) traits.
Recency and Frequency settings help you segment visitors based on their real (or perceived) level of interest in a site, section, or particular creative. For example, users who qualify for a segment with high recency/frequency requirements may be more interested in a site or product than users who visit less often or less frequently.

Location of Recency and Frequency Settings

In Segment Builder, Recency and Frequency settings are located in the Basic View section of the Traits panel. Click the clock icon to expose these controls.

Limitations and Rules

Review and understand these limits and rules when you want to apply recency and frequency to traits in your segments.

Recency

Limit or Rule Description
Minimum Value
Recency must be greater than 0.
Trait Types
You can apply recency controls to rule-based and folder traits only.
Third-Party Traits
You cannot set recency rules on individual third-party traits or trait groups that contain third-party traits. Recency and frequency applies to your own traits only.

Frequency

Limit or Rule Description
Third-Party Traits
You cannot set frequency rules on individual third-party traits or trait groups that contain third-party traits. Recency and frequency applies to your own traits only.
Trait Types
You can apply frequency controls to rule-based and folder traits only.
Recency Requirements
You can configure frequency requirements without configuring recency requirements. Just set a frequency value and leave the recency field blank.
Profile Merge Rules

Recency Examples

Here are two examples of how recency works, depending on your selection in the UI:

Using a less than or equal to operator (<=)

In this example, you select the <= operator, as shown in the screenshot. This qualifies your user for the segment if they qualify for any of the three traits a minimum of three times within the last five days. The timeline below shows the segment qualification at the time the segment is created, on October 1st, and ten days later.

Using a greater than or equal to operator (=>)

In this example, you select the => operator, as shown in the screenshot. This qualifies your user for the segment if they qualify for any of the three traits a minimum of three times anytime between their first qualification on the Audience Manager platform and the cut-off time five days ago. The timeline below shows the segment qualification at the time the segment is created, on October 1st, and ten days later.

Frequency Capping Examples

Frequency-capping expressions include all the users whose number of trait realizations is below a desired value. Here are a few Right and Wrong examples:
  • Wrong - The expression frequency([1000T]) <= 5 includes all users that have realized the trait with the ID "1000" a maximum of five times but also includes users who have not realized the trait. Therefore, Audience Manager does not validate this expression for performance reasons, as it would qualify too many users for the segment.
  • Right - If you want to include all users that have realized the trait with the ID "1000" a maximum of five times, add another condition to the expression, to make sure the users have qualified for the trait at least once: frequency([1000T]) >= 1 AND frequency([1000T]) <= 5
  • Right- When you need recency/frequency requirements to be less than a specific number of times or days, join that trait to another with an AND operator. Using the example in the first bullet point, this expression becomes valid when joined with another trait as shown here: frequency([1000T]) <= 5 AND isSiteVisitorTrait .
  • Right - For advertising frequency-capping use cases, you could create a segment rule similar to this: (frequency([1000T] <= 2D) >= 5) . This expression includes all users that have realized the trait with the ID "1000" in the past 2 days at least five times. Set frequency capping by sending this segment to the ad server with a NOT set on the segment in the ad server. This approach achieves greater performance in Audience Manager while still serving the same purpose for frequency capping.