Unless review

Unless is the new kid on the block. It's a personalization engine that allows you to create tailored experiences for your website visitors. It lets you show variations of a page to different visitors based on targeting conditions such as behavior, time, location, weather, device etc. The goal is to serve visitors a page that is more relevant specifically to them, improving their experience.

When they launched in 2016, they focused purely on symmetric messaging for AdWords campaigns. Recently, they pivoted into full funnel personalization. With many newly added features, they are much more powerful than before.

After a two-week trial, starter pricing begins at 9 USD per month, and then goes up to 99 USD per month for the Professional plan. The plans have mostly the same features, but are restricted on the number of impressions.

Implementation

This is where Unless shines. Google Optimize solved the "get started fast"-issue with their Chrome plug-in (which is already very clever), but Unless took it a step further and allows you to start without code access directly - using some sort of reverse proxy solution. Basically, you can submit your website URL and start personalizing from within the Unless dashboard. Once you are satisfied, you can add a script to your web page and "flip the live switch".

You don't need to do that, though. Your draft can be used in campaigns directly if you don't mind a short Unless.com URL. You can share that intermediate URL in ads or on social media, or just for social proof to let your colleagues check it out in a corporate workflow.

Customer support

Unless is very responsive through chat or email. Chances are that you will get in touch with the founders, because it appears that the entire team does support shifts.

Features

  • Quick setup: install a script, or don't.
  • Personalization: target your visitors based on conditions.
  • Inline and code editor: edit page variations visually or through code.
  • Campaigns: personalize on a campaign-based level.
  • Analytics: track how your variations are performing.
  • Google Analytics integration: see how your variations are performing, right in GA.
  • Simple testing: use a control group to compare your variations with the original page.
  • Email and other 3rd parties: use your existing data to personalize more effectively.

Pros

Our respondents were particularly happy with the following.

  • You can immediately start using it, even without code access.
  • Overall little to no code knowledge needed.
  • It is a very affordable deal when compared to competitors.
  • You can use Unless on unlimited domains with one subscription.
  • The same goes for unlimited collaborators and unlimited personalizations.
  • You can broaden into full funnel personalization with only a snippet.
  • The solution protects your SEO efforts, by allowing only the Ads Bot to index your variations.
  • Very responsive, helpful team.
  • The performance of the service (loading times and such) is really good. No FOUC issues.
  • Great solution for agencies, with its unlimited domains, users etc. on offer.

Cons

The following caveats were mentioned in the survey results.

  • The solution is very specific and useful for personalization only - unlike the bigger players, who have a very broad feature palette. Don't use it for broad A/B testing.
  • In particular their WYSIWYG editor is a bit basic and is useful for content (text and images) only.
  • At first, the difference between their "all traffic" feature (a way to personalize for all incoming traffic, including organic and direct) and "campaigns" (landing pages for one-off marketing campaigns, like Google ad campaigns or social ads) can be a bit confusing.
  • Their UI changes often, because of the frequent updates. This can be a bit suprising.
  • Although pricing is based on unlimited domains, users and personalizations, it is capped at impressions - so at some point you will have to move up to a more expensive plan.

The verdict about Unless

Although the solution is very specific, Unless is an interesting contender in the SME market for personalization. In a very short time, they have managed to become quite popular.

In particular, respondents were happy with the performance of the service (i.e. the absence of FOUC - no flash of unrendered content) and the speed at which they pump out new features and improvements. Also, the really simple implementation procedure was mentioned.

There are many other companies that can help you create tailor-made experiences on your website! Take a look at our other favorites here.