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XM Directory Segments for Digital Intercept Targeting

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About XM Directory Segments for Digital Intercept Targeting

Attention: To use this feature, your Qualtrics brand needs to be on the new XM Directory infrastructure, and you must also have access to Website / App Feedback. To check your brand’s status and to request this feature, contact your Customer Success Representative.
Qtip: Segments can only be created and edited by users who have the permission Manage Directory enabled. Any user with Access Contacts enabled can distribute to existing segments.

XM Directory allows you to target the display of website and app intercepts to specific segments of users, as well as obtain segment- and journey-specific insights. With the combination of the XM Directory and Website / App Feedback, you can engage with your highest-value customer segments for specific experience measurements. An event in your visitor’s XM Directory touchpoint timeline will be created each time your intercept is displayed to your visitor.

Before you can use this feature, XM Directory automatic de-duplication should be enabled for the External Data Reference field to ensure each contact has a unique value.

Qtip: Each of those contacts will need the Reference ID (ExternalDataReference) field specified. This value will need to be available within the logged in session for visitors on your website and is used to determine if the intercept is displayed.

Setting up Segments for Intercept Targeting

Once you’ve created segments in XM Directory, you can use them across Qualtrics in many of the same places that mailing lists and samples can, including with Website / App Feedback.

Qtip: If you plan to implement this functionality on a website, make sure to work with your organization’s web development team. If you plan to implement this on an app, make sure you work with your mobile app development team in order to integrate with the latest version of the Qualtrics Mobile App SDK.
  1. Create an intercept on an existing or new Website / App Feedback project.
    Qtip: If, instead of creating a standalone intercept, you’d like assistance throughout the whole process, feel free to use our guided setup for Website / App Feedback projects. If you use the guided setup, you will be prompted to add a creative, connect your survey, and configure your intercept. For more information about the guided setup, visit Choose How You Want to Collect Feedback.
  2. Navigate to the intercept Options.
    the intercept options tab. the link to xm directory option is enabled and the default directory is selected

    Qtip: The steps are the same on mobile app intercepts, but you will see fewer intercept options.
    Mobile app options only include display sample rate, random action sets, and the link with xm directory options
  3. Enable “Link with XM Directory” by selecting the checkbox.
  4. Pick the directory that contains your segments.
    Qtip: You can also control intercept display frequency with the Contact Frequency Rules feature. To set this up, see XM Directory Contact Frequency for Digital Intercepts.
  5. Return to your intercept editor, and add targeting logic that contains your XM Directory segment.
    Example: For example, XM Directory Segment Is High-Value-Users.
    Qtip: On website intercepts, you can test the intercept using the bookmarklet both with contacts that are in the segment and with contacts that are not in the segment. During testing, you’ll have to mimic the setting of the External Reference ID within your browser so Qualtrics can identify the contact. See Testing the Use of Segments for Intercept Targeting for more information.
  6. The next steps differs based on whether you are implementing this functionality on a website or a mobile app.
    • Website: On your website where you will launch the intercept, specify the JavaScript expression that will be evaluated in the user’s logged in session to obtain the External Reference ID for the contact. This External Reference ID is used to look up the visitor in the XM Directory and track if they’ve seen your intercept. See the below section for more details on the JavaScript expression.
    • App: On the app where you will launch the intercept, you will need to make an update to your mobile app SDK in order to retrieve the reference ID. See the API documentation.
Qtip: If the intercept displays to your website’s visitor, then this touchpoint will also show in the XM Directory touchpoint timeline.

JavaScript Expression for Retrieving Reference ID on a Website

Attention: The following documentation requires programming knowledge to implement. We recommend passing this information to the team that will be implementing your deployment code. Our support team does not offer assistance or consultation on custom coding. You can always try asking our community of dedicated users instead. If you’d like to know more about our custom coding services you can commission, please contact your Qualtrics Account Executive.

To make sure your intercept is obeying your segment targeting, you will need to specify the JavaScript expression that is evaluated in the user’s logged in session to obtain the External Reference ID for the contact.

The logic below passes the externalReference ID of the user to Qualtrics to associate the website visitor with a contact in XM Directory. Put this code snippet on page load, making sure that the value of the ID has been retrieved at this point:

if(typeof QSI === "undefined") {

    QSI = {};

    QSI.config = {

      externalReference: extRef


Attention: Make sure that instead of extRef you specify the JavaScript expression that needs to be evaluated to obtain the appropriate External Reference ID (for example “UserID”). This expression may be as simple as a JavaScript variable or a JavaScript expression to evaluate a specific cookie.
Qtip: If an end-user logs on to your site with an External Reference ID that is not currently in XM Directory (i.e., this user’s record is not yet in XM Directory), then the intercept will not appear for this user.

Testing the Use of Segments for Website Intercept Targeting

Before launching your intercept on your website, you should test it to make sure the display based on segment targeting has been implemented correctly.

In your real deployment, your site visitor’s External Reference ID will be available in the context of their logged session through a JavaScript expression or a cookie.

The below steps allow you to perform an end to end scenario using test data and web browser workarounds.

  1. In your XM Directory, create a new contact and specify a unique Reference ID for that contact.
    Example: We’ll be using aaa123 as our example Reference ID. Any time you see the ID number in these steps, replace it with the Reference ID you specified.
  2. Follow the steps in the Setting up Segments for Intercept Targeting section to configure an intercept to follow segment targeting.
  3. Go to Test Intercept.
    Test Intercept section of the intercept with the bookmarklet indicated
  4. Drag the bookmarklet to your browser’s bookmarks bar.
  5. Go to a web page that you want to use for testing.
  6. Go to the Developer Console. Depending on your web browser, you’ll reach it differently:
    • Google Chrome: In the Chrome menu bar, go to View → Developer → Developer Tools. In the window that appears, go to the Console
    • Apple Safari: Ensure the Develop menu is enabled for Safari. To do this, go to Preferences → Advanced → Show Develop menu in menu bar. Click Develop in the Safari menu and select Show Web Inspector. In the window that appears, go to the Console
    • Mozilla Firefox: Click the menu icon and then select Web Developer. In the Web Developer menu, select the Console
    • Microsoft Edge: In the menu bar, go to Tools → Developer → Developer Tools. In the window that opens, go to the Console
    • Internet Explorer: Click the Gear icon and select Developer Tools. In the window that opens, go to the Console
  7. In the Console menu, type this expression and then press Enter:
    entering the userID in the console tab of the website the intercept is on

    Qtip: aaa123 is our example Reference ID value and should be replaced with the value you assigned to the contact in step 1.
  8. Paste the JavaScript snippet below to set up the externalReference JavaScript variable to be your JavaScript expression.
    entering the javascript expression to retrieve user ID

    if(typeof QSI === "undefined") {
        QSI = {};
        QSI.config = {
            externalReference: UserID
  9. Press Enter.
  10. Click the bookmarklet and you will see that the segment targeting will be appropriately honored to determine if the intercept should or should not be displayed.
    Qtip: For security purposes, the targeting logic line that includes the segment will only include the segment ID. To match a segment ID to a segment name, navigate to XM Directory and edit your segment. The URL will have the segment ID, which is bolded in the following example URL:

To repeat these steps for additional testing, please do the following between tests:

  1. Refresh your browser each time.
  2. Set up the JavaScript expression within your Console.
  3. Run your bookmarklet again.

Retrieving Reference ID on an App

In order to retrieve the Reference ID for a mobile app intercept, you will need to make an update to your mobile app SDK. See the API documentation.

Troubleshooting Tips

A new user was added to segments, but doesn’t see an intercept that was targeted at their segment.

Segments are rebuilt daily in XM Directory. Therefore, there is a possibility the new user was not yet accounted for as a member of the segment.

The intercept debugger window does not show segment names.

For security reasons we do not show the segment name in the debugger window for any targeting logic that has segments. We will show the segment ID. To map a segment ID to the segment name, edit your segment in XM Directory and look at the URL. The URL will have the segment ID, which is highlighted in the following example URL:

Alternately, you can directly open up an Intercept and examine the targeting logic to see what segments are being targeted.

The intercept is slow to show up for first time users.

For performance reasons, we temporarily store segment membership in-memory and only update it as needed. If a user is not yet in our temporary storage, then that user’s intercept may take a bit longer to display initially.