Let’s continue on the journey and replace one more plugins with DTM goodness.
I even get to introduce an almost hidden feature!
I was slightly disappointed last time because I couldn’t find an easy way of replacing
getVisitNum. This plugin keeps track of how often someone comes to the site. Very useful for segmentation purposes.
The plugin really does two things: maintain the number of visits in a cookie (which means increasing the number at the start of a visit), and providing the current number so we can track it into a “variable” of our choice.
I knew that reading the visit number from a cookie was easy: just make a Data Element based on the cookie.
But would I have to add some custom logic to manage the visit number? Where exactly?
Turns out the answer is no! I don’t have to! DTM provides everything I need, although it is hidden away a little bit.
When you make a rule, you can add a condition based on the number of visits. Oh. So DTM actually does keep track of visits for me? Cool!
Can I read that value somewhere? I couldn’t find it.
Then my colleague Anna pointed me the right way: the visit number is only handled by DTM if I actually have a rule with a condition based on “Sessions” (aka Visits) in my setup. Otherwise it doesn’t care.
But if I do have a rule with such a condition, it will write a cookie (“_sdsat_session_count”)! Heureka!
So, let’s set up a rule with a condition, like so:Now if we push that live or use the “DTM Switch plugin” to check the staging version, we should see a new cookie on our site. Success!
All we need now is a Data Element that reads that cookie:Use that Data Element with the Analytics variable that you currently use with the getVisitNum plugin: And Bob’s your uncle!
s_code.js file, I was assigning the prop like so:
getVisitNumplugin means that the plugin will store the visit number in a cookie called “s_vnum”.
So all we need to do is read that value from the “s_vnum” cookie and write it into the “_sdsat_session_count” cookie before DTM uses that cookie for the first time to populate our variable.
Don’t forget to delete the “s_vnum” cookie! You want to transfer the visit number once only.