Targeted Chat helps automate decisions about how and when to interact with your visitors.

When you are online and chatting, there are a number of common rules which you might find useful listed below. (We have also included some common issues to help you troubleshoot)

When chat is offline, you can use targeted chat to show, hide, expand or minimize the chatbox. Learn more on our offline options page.

On a free plan, you can create one rule, but you can't hide the chatbox. If you would like to be able to hide the chatbox or make more rules, we recommend upgrading. You can see the differences between our plans on the Olark plan features page. You can check which plan you are on the Olark billing page.

Common Issues
  • Cached Cookies
  • Matching At Least One Condition vs Matching All Conditions
  • Per Page Load vs. Per Session vs. Per Unique Visitor
Targeted Chat Rule Examples
  • Send a message to a visitor on a specific page after X seconds
  • Hide the widget on specific pages
  • Show the widget on specific pages
  • Message visitors on a specific page
  • Rename employees to better stand out in the buddy list
  • Block unsavoury visitors from chatting with you permanently
  • Show chat only to USA visitors
  • Hide chat for Canadian visitors

Targeted Chat is quite powerful, and allows you to use 20 different conditions to fire 10 different actions based upon the logic that you define in a rule. Targeted Chat rules will evaluate over and over again on each page, and if you have rules that conflict, keep in mind that it is possible for more than one rule to match if your conditions are too "loose".

With this in mind, I'd like to introduce a few of the most common problems people have with making Targeted Chat rules.

Common Issues


Cached cookies

Olark stores a lot of your custom settings in cookies that we deliver to the visitors. Should you make a new rule, and wish to test it right away, we recommend that you check your pages in an incognito session of your browser, or by clearing your cookies.

Matching at Least One Condition vs Matching all Conditions

any vs all example

When making any rule, you are given two options:

  1. Execute the rule if just ONE of the conditions matches
  2. Execute the rule if EVERYTHING matches.

Be extra careful when selecting these, as many issues we see result from customers using the incorrect option when creating rules with more than one condition.

Per Page Load vs. Per Site Visit vs. Per Unique Visitor

per page load, site visit, unique visitor example

For the Actions section, we give you 3 different choices in regards to how often we should fire these rules. They are:

  • Per Site Visit - Should the conditions match correctly, this rule will execute only once per visit that this visitor makes to your site.
  • Per Unique Visitor - Should the conditions match correctly, this rule will only ever execute one time for any unique visitor to your site, regardless of how many visits they make to your site.
  • Per Page Load - Should the conditions match correctly, this rule will try to execute on every single page.

Targeted Chat Rule Examples


Send a message to a visitor on a specific page after X seconds

TC Rule Example

In the above rule, you can specify which page you would like a message to be sent on after a time delay. Please note the Seconds spent on current page is set to use Is More Than, and the conditions says "If EVERYTHING here matches" instead of "If ONE of these conditions matches".

Hide the widget on specific pages

TC Rule Example

In the above rule, we are hiding the widget on any URL on your website that correctly matches the word "blog". You can use the contains clause whenever you want to match just part of the URL, or use the is clause when you want to match a URL exactly.

Show the widget on specific pages

TC Rule Example

Just like the Hide rule above, we follow the same format for showing the widget, we just change the action to match what we want to do. You would usually use a rule like this in combination with Invisible Olark, found on the Olark advanced settings page

Message visitors on a specific page

TC Rule Example

This rule shows you how to message a visitor on a specific page, in this case, the checkout page. You can also add a time delay to this rule should you wish, just add in Seconds spent on current page is greater than X, where X is your desired time delay.

Rename employees to better stand out in the buddy list

TC Rule Example

Some customers wish to have their in-office employees to show up on their buddy lists differently than the other visitors. This rule will rename all employees that are connecting to your website from the same office/IP address.

Should you have more than 1 IP address, you can use the contains method, like the one above, and just define the first 3 octets of the IP address.

Block unsavoury visitors from chatting with you permanently

TC Rule Example

Most customers know of our !block command, but that will only work for 24 hours at a time. If you have a constant annoyance who keeps on trolling you, you can set up a rule like this. We store the visitors IP address in your transcripts, and with that info, you can block the trolls from chatting with you in the first place!

Show chat only to USA visitors

TC Rule Example

Sometimes you want to only show visitors to your website, from the country that you are in. This above rule shows you one way of accomplishing this. There are multiple options for a lot of the rules in this guide, and this rule, along with the one below it, illustrate single methods of accomplishing these tasks.

Hide chat for Canadian visitors

TC Rule Example

You can also use Targeted Chat to hide the widget from specific countries. This above rule shows how you can block a single country, but you could also change the condition to If ONE of these conditions matches and add in more Visitor's country conditions, should there be multiple countries you would prefer not to chat with you.