Customer Engagement


What Are Anonymous Users?

Mary Kearl By Mary Kearl May 6, 2022

Anonymous users—they're everywhere, and they have the potential to be as valuable than the known users that marketers tend to focus on. But while this audience is arguably one of the most significant pools of customers when it comes to customer engagement, they're often overlooked when it comes to developing marketing and customer engagement strategies and customer lifecycle campaigns.

To help brands better understand the potential that these individuals represent when it comes to their marketing efforts, let’s take a deeper look at anonymous users—who they are, why they matter for customer engagement, and how to reach them effectively.

What Are Anonymous Users, Anyway?

At the core, an anonymous user is someone who engages in some capacity with a brand’s app, website, or other digital property without logging in, rendering them “anonymous” from the point of view of the brand. If you've ever used a website or app without creating or logging into an account, then you yourself may have been an anonymous user at one time or another.

According to a Braze analysis of 2.5 billion active users of over 100 popular retail and eCommerce apps conducted between November 2019 and February 2021, we found that only 14% of shoppers were known users, the rest—86%—were anonymous users.

For brands that use the Braze customer engagement platform, all website visitors and app users start out as anonymous users. They may use a company's website or app using guest browsing and have some limited data points assigned to them but they won't become known users until they create an account and start using it when they engage with that brand.

Anonymous Users and Your Customer Engagement Strategy

It's a common misconception that anonymous users aren't worth spending time on because they aren't spending money. However, that perception isn’t borne out by our research, which found that:

  • 12% of retail and eCommerce purchasers are anonymous users

  • Anonymous users are 58% more likely to make a purchase within their first week of engaging with a brand, compared to known users

It's clear that retailers and eCommerce brands that can find ways to boost engagement, purchases, and repeat conversions among anonymous users have a competitive advantage. But according to findings we published in the Braze 2022 Global Customer Engagement Review, up to 80% of anonymous users receive zero marketing outreach.

With the bar for engagement so low, it's worth noting that using just one messaging channel to engage with anonymous users can lead to a 5.3X rise in likelihood to buy among this segment, according to our research. That’s a lot of upside with relatively little risk and effort, but you can only achieve it if you make anonymous users a priority.

Ready to Convert Your Anonymous Users to Known Users?

Download our Braze Inspiration Guide to get a customizable campaign template for encouraging your anonymous users to complete the account creation process. Inside, you'll also find insights on how to increase your anonymous users' likelihood to become buyers by up to 21X and how to drive spend by up to 20% among this key user segment.

Plus, unlock even more campaign ideas for guiding users through the key steps of activating a free trial, completing the process of account onboarding, and more.


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

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