Customer Engagement


Building Your Anonymous User Engagement Strategy

Mary Kearl By Mary Kearl Jun 7, 2022

Anonymous users—that is, app or web visitors who engage without identifying themselves—have the power to become incredibly valuable, highly engaged customers, but most marketers simply aren't engaging these individuals. In fact, according to data published in the Braze 2022 Global Customer Engagement Review, up to 80% of anonymous users receive zero marketing outreach. This, when as many as 86% of retail users are anonymous, according to a Braze analysis.

The good news is that just as customer engagement strategies and customer lifecycle campaigns can deepen relationships among new, loyal, and lapsing users, similar technologies and approaches can be used to better reach and foster connections with unknown users, too.

Here's how to get started building your anonymous user engagement strategy.

4 Steps to Creating a Customer Engagement Strategy for Your Anonymous Users

#1: Get to know your anonymous users better

You may be wondering, How can I engage my anonymous users if I don't even know who they are?

With the right technology, such as the Braze customer engagement platform, it's possible to keep track of and learn more about all of your customers, even your anonymous users.

Our SDks allow brands to collect and act on real-time customer data, including information associated with anonymous users. In fact the Braze platform:

  • Automatically collects key information about anonymous users, including details about sessions and devices

  • Standardizes attributes for anonymous users

  • Allows brands to create custom events and attributes that can be tracked, such as key browsing behaviors and purchases defined by your team

For customers that have implemented a Braze SDK in their app, website, or other digital platform, the following types of data are automatically collected about your users through your implementation:

  • Usage information: Total sessions and sessions over a given period

  • Campaign data: Date a customer last received or clicked on a campaign

  • Device details: Most recent location, device location, language, country, app version, device model, OS version, device resolution, wireless carrier, and device time zone

  • Custom events and attributes (as set by your brand): Any event/action a user can perform on your website or app, such as adding an item to a cart or wish list or completing a purchase

  • Event properties: Data associated with a given custom event, such as the date and time

#2: Know when it makes sense to capture information about your anonymous users

In general, you should only be collecting data on your user base if you have a clear picture of why you want that information and what you plan to do with it. When it comes to anonymous users, it can be helpful to have a picture of what’s possible before building out your data collection strategy in earnest. Here are some of the benefits of anonymous user data collection when it comes to customer engagement:

  • Personalize messages to encourage users to create an account or finish filling out their user profile

  • Assess which messaging channels a given anonymous user would prefer to be reached on, minimizing outreach that they find disruptive

  • Identify pages or products that a given anonymous user is signaling interest in, supporting more successful promotional campaigns in the future

#3: Put your anonymous user data to use

Once you have relevant data flowing in about your anonymous users (such as their browsing activity, user location, or attribution source), you can use these insights to:

For instance, imagine that you know that a specific anonymous user:

  • Clicked on 5+ products or 3+ pages during their first session

  • Clicked on "email sign up," "create an account," "wishlist," or your company's loyalty page

Then, you can follow up with in-browser messages (IBMs) or in-app messages (IAMs) that reach anonymous users when they visit your app/website and explain the advantages of creating an online account or signing up for your brand's loyalty program.

#4: Activate your anonymous users and convert them into known users

There are lots of different ways to convert unknown users into known users, including:

1. Prompting anonymous users to take a survey

    2. Encouraging anonymous browsers to opt into hearing from your brand via their preferred channels, such asSMS marketing, email marketing, and web push notifications

      3. Incentivizing users to activate a special offer in order to encourage deeper engagement

        4. Spell out the reasons why creating an account or signing up for your brand's loyalty program will benefit your anonymous users, encouraging them to take action

        Be sure to treat your activation program differently than your current onboarding efforts. It's easy to confuse onboarding with activation, but there is a major difference: Onboarding is an approach that focuses on educating your customers about a company's products or services, whereas activation is about understanding how a product or service solves a user's problem or fulfills their wants and needs, and then highlighting that value to deepen their engagement.

        With activation, the goal is to encourage customers to form a ritual, routine, or habit with your brand by putting the users' needs first. Focus on how the user can get the most value out of engaging consistently with your app or website, not how the user can make your brand the most money. Prioritizing your users' goals makes common sense, but it's often something brands overlook. Just think: How many times have you been encouraged to go premium with a brand before you've even completed your first transaction?

        Get Campaign Templates to Engage Your Anonymous Users

        Looking for step-by-step examples for building effective campaigns. The Braze Inspiration Guide (BIG) provides targeted guidance on use cases for encouraging customer activation, monetization, and retention, including ways to nudge your anonymous users to:

        • Create accounts

        • Activate free trials

        • Complete the account onboarding process

        • …and more

        Get the full Braze Inspiration Guide and take your customer engagement to the next level. Your anonymous users—and your bottom line—will thank you.


        Mary Kearl

        Mary Kearl

        Mary Kearl is a writer and digital strategist, who has led email, social media, and content marketing for several brands. She has helped launch six mobile apps and one niche social network and is always up for a good Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime binge recommendation or travel tip

        Related Content

        Customer Engagement

        How Customer Loyalty Can Future Proof Your Business

        Read More

        Customer Engagement

        How Financial Services Brands Can Drive Stronger Engagement and Retention

        Read More

        How Technical Teams Can Support Anonymous User Campaigns

        Read More

        How Real Brands Are Using Braze to Meet Their Orchestration Goals

        Read More