With Sailthru’s Overlays, engage site visitors with targeted messaging as they browse.

Sailthru Overlay Builder Example

You can create Overlays on your site with an easy-to-use interface in My Sailthru. Display user signup forms, special offers, and more–each as a modal window or a bar at the top of the page.

  • Target users based on their Sailthru lists or onsite activity
  • Restrict messages to specific pages or page types
  • Create content with a simple WYSIWYG, uploaded images, or custom HTML

Overlays require Site Personalization Manager (SPM). If you do not see the SPM menu at the top of My Sailthru, please contact us to inquire about adding these features.

Overlay Types

Each overlay can be displayed as a modal window that the user can close or interact with, for example, by entering information and clicking a “submit” button. An additional option to display the overlay as a bar that appears at the top of the page is coming soon.

You can select from two types of overlays, each including your own custom message and design:

  • Announcement – A simple message without any interactive elements.
  • User Signup – Include a form for the user to enter their email address.

Overlay List and Metrics

You can view details of all existing overlays when you open the Overlays section of My Sailthru. For each overlay, the following information is displayed:

  • Name – Internal name you have set for the overlay. Click to view or edit its settings.
  • Status – Active or inactive.
  • Schedule – The start and end time for the display of the overlay, or “Indefinite”.
  • Goal – The type of challenge to solve for with the overlay: Announcement or User Signup.
  • Audiences – The targeted users: Lists, Anonymous, Known, or All users.
  • Views – Number of times the overlay was displayed.
  • Exits – The number of site visitors who have closed the overlay by clicking the close button or pressing escape.
  • Exit Rate – The number of exits divided by views.
  • Conversions – The number of users who successfully completed the overlay goal. For example, successfully submitted their email address for the User Signup goal.
  • Conversion Rate – The number of conversions divided by views.

Create an Overlay

The Overlay Builder

On the Overlays page, when you click New Overlay or click the name of an existing overlay, the Overlay Builder opens.

    • The Top Bar displays the editable Overlay Name and Status (Active or Inactive), its Last Saved Date/Time, and a Save button to commit your changes. The overlay will not be displayed to any visitors when set to “Inactive.”
    • The Side Bar offers the tools for creating and editing your overlay, with three tabs, Basics, Content, and Targeting. Note that different options may be displayed on each tab depending on the type of overlay you have selected.
      • Basics – Set the overlay type, position, color, and background opacity.
      • Content – Enter the overlay content, including an optional image and HTML code.
      • Targeting – Select which pages, users, or user activity should launch the overlay, with an optional frequency and time period.
    • The Preview pane shows the current appearance of your overlay.
      • The Web Address bar at the top allows you to load any page beneath the overlay for a realistic preview of how the overlay will look on your site.
      • From the Device drop-down, you can switch to a mobile view of the overlay and the underlying web page, if loaded. (This device-switching feature is not currently available in Beta.)

For more information about any of the individual settings within the builder, see Overlay Settings, below.

Overlay Settings


Setting Options Availability
Overlay Type
  • Modal – Overlay is displayed as a pop-up in your page (in the same browser window as your page).
  • Bar (Coming Soon) – Overlay is displayed as a bar located at the top of your page.
All Overlays
Vertical Position Select whether the modal should be located near the top, middle, or bottom of the browser window. The modal will always be centered horizontally on the page. Modals
Background Color The background color for your overlay.

  • Use the color-picker tools, or manually enter a 6-character HTML hex code or set of R/G/B color values. Manually entering either of these is recommended if you are attempting to match your brand color.
  • The last slider, which corresponds to the “A” box, specifies the overlay’s opacity on a scale of 0 to 100.
All Overlays
Background Screen Opacity The percentage visibility of the page behind the overlay when the overlay is displayed. All Overlays
Destination Lists The lists to which the user should be added. User Sign-Up
Enable Confirmed Opt-In If disabled, the user is added to the Destination Lists immediately upon their submission of their email address. If enabled, the Confirmed Opt-In template is sent. User Sign-Up


Setting Options Availability
Headline Headline text. Use the editor options to change the font, size, color, and other attributes. HTML is supported but not required. To disable this text entirely, click the toggle to the right of the word “Headline”. All Overlays
Detail Detail text. Use the editor options to change the font, size, color, and other attributes. HTML is supported but not required. To disable this text entirely, click the toggle to the right of the word “Detail”. Modals
Image You can use this feature to upload an image to display in the overlay. The image can be displayed above, below, or alongside text, or as a background image.
Note: It is also possible to display an inline image that is instead hosted on your site or elsewhere by embedding it with HTML, for example:

To upload an image, click the toggle next to the word “Image”. Then:

  1. Click “upload image” and select an image from your computer.
  2. Under Position, select whether you want the image to show:
    • Above other content
    • Below other content
    • To the left of other content
    • To the right of other content
    • Behind other content. When this option is selected, additional “Background Image Options” are displayed.
      1. None – Retain the default appearance of the image
      2. Scale to fit – Scale the image to fit the size of the overlay
      3. Tile – Repeat the image to fill the overlay.


Setting Options Availability
Where You can select to display the overlay “Sitewide” or only on “Specific Page(s)”.

When you select “Specific Page(s)”, additional options are displayed for selecting those pages.

Click “Add URL” to add at least one URL or URL pattern. A field for the URL/pattern is displayed, and it will be treated based on your chosen type of matching below: Simple, Exact, Contains, or Regex. (See URL Targeting Details.) If you add multiple URLs/patterns, they are treated with ‘OR’ logic–the URL must match only one of your entries in order for the overlay to be displayed.


All Overlays
Who Display the user to:

  • List(s) – Only those visitors who exist on one or more of your Sailthru Lists
  • Everyone – All visitors
  • Logged in visitors only
  • Anonymous visitors only
All Overlays
Display After
Display the overlay to a given user only after your chosen number of:

  • Pageviews (during the current session)
  • Minutes active (during the current session)
  • Minutes inactive (during the current session)
  • Dollars in cart
All Overlays
Frequency Capping
Limit the number of times that the Overlay may be displayed for the user:

    • Once per visit – Once per site session. A session is is considered to have ended when the user’s last pageview is more defined as ending 30 minutes past the user’s last pageview.

Once ever – Only once for this user. (If the user visits again in a new browser or with cleared cookies, the user may see the overlay again.)

All Overlays
Optional: Schedule
  • Run Indefinitely – Display indefinitely as long as the overlay is set to “Active”.
  • Date Range – Display only during the selected date range.
All Overlays

URL Targeting Details

Targeting allows you to specify which of your site’s URLs will display the overlay. Four types of targeting are available:

Type Definition Examples
Simple Enter a URL and Sailthru will disregard any query string and protocol, matching only those URLs that contain the same domain and path or file extension. Enter:
example.com/category or
Matches Include:
http://example.com/category?item=456Does Not Match:


Matches Include:

Does Not Match:

Exact Matches the entered URL exactly. Trailing slashes will be ignored. Enter:
https://example.com/Matches Include:
https://example.com/Does Not Match:
Contains Matches only URLs that contain or exactly match the entered text Enter:
apparelMatches Include:
http://example.com/blog/check-out-our-apparelDoes Not Match:


Matches Include:

Does Not Match:

Regex Matches URLs according to the entered regular expression. Enter:
/category/(apparel|toiletries|snacks).*Matches Include:
https://www.example.com/category/snacks/Does Not Match: