Enabling Cross-Domain and Sub-Domain Funnels

 Cross and Sub Domain Funnels

Conversion experiment funnels most typically occur under a single domain, e.g. www.metropolclothing.com. Sometimes, they span across multiple sub-domains, e.g. www.metropolclothing.com and secure.metropolclothing.com. In other cases, the funnel may span across completely different domains, such as www.metropolclothing.com and www.metropolclothingecommerce.com

While cross-sub-domain funnels have long been supported by Ascend by setting the "data-domain" attribute in the Ascend javascript snippet tag placed on site pages, enhancements have been made to the funnel page editor UI to make it more explicitly clear what sub-domain a page URL applies to, and support has been added for completely cross-domain funnels. 

Following is an example of the option to include all subdomains in a URL matching pattern. This can be found under "Advanced Options" in the Add Page modal:

Benefits of the new feature

  • Cross and sub-domain funnels are supported without requiring any Sentient Ascend assistance. 
  • Experiment setup behaves no differently for cross, sub, or single domain funnels -- Ascend will resolve cookie domain scoping automatically.

How it works

By default, Ascend tracks users within experiments through the use of 1st party cookies. When a user returns to a page they have previously visited, Ascend recognizes them, as well as the experiment and candidate ids they had previously participated in. However, 1st party cookies do not support cross-domain funnels.

To this end, for those experiments which cross domains, the same information is stored in a 3rd party cookie accessible by all sites participating in the funnel, regardless of the domain. Same-domain experiments will continue to use first party cookies.

Page Editor UI

To support cross-sub-domain and cross-domain funnels, the page editor UI has been updated as follows:

Rather than having the site sub-domain and domain being statically hard-coded in the UI, a funnel page URL may simply be copied/pasted directly from a browser window URL field. If it differs from the domain of the experiment, a notification is displayed:

The same approach is taken with adding a conversion goal:


Cross sub-domain and domain funnels are an important feature, empowering sophisticated CRO experiments. Please reach out to your Sentient customer success representative or contact support@ascend.ai regarding any related questions or requests.


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