Anonymous People and Identified People

In this article: 

Anonymous people are all people in your account without email addresses and userId.

Conversely, identified people are the ones with email addresses or userId. An identified person doesn't need to both have an email address and userId — one or the other is enough to identify a person.

A userId is a field that we use to map the people that you send from your app to Encharge using the API. Read the section on IDs for more info.

Anonymous people

People in your account that neither have an email address nor a userId.

Why are we keeping records of anonymous people?

There are a few reasons why Encharge keeps a record of anonymous people and collects anonymous user activity:

  • To match the anonymous activity with the identified person once an email is recorded. This will help you built a complete activity profile of the person from their very first touchpoint with your online presence.
  • To enable you to build marketing automation campaigns that don't require the email address of the person. For instance, to automatically show a pop-up or in-app message to people who visit a specific page.
  • To enable you to create segments of anonymous people. For instance, if you run an anonymous survey on your website and send the survey data to Encharge, you can build a segment of all the people that have responded with a specific answer.
  • To provide you with additional data points that can be collected before an email address is collected. Like the pages they have visited, the first page they have landed on, the referrer, their country, IP address, and so on. You don't need to wait to collect their email address to review and act on that data.

How is an anonymous person displayed in Encharge?

Anonymous people in Encharge are displayed with random names like "Anonymous Sapphire Baboon" and automatically generated profile pictures.

They always show under the All People tab on the People's page simply because the All People tab includes, as the name suggests, all people in your account (I.e., both identified and anonymous.)

An anonymous person's profile can be viewed as a regular person. You can see their anonymous activity and fields collected thus far:

Note that a person with a name but no email address and userId is still considered an anonymous user. Their profile picture is generated based on their name, but the person is still anonymous:

How do anonymous people enter my account?

There are four ways that anonymous people can enter your account.

Through JavaScript Site Tracking

Once you install the Encharge JavaScript Site Tracking code on your website, Encharge will start tracking any people that visit the pages that the code is installed on. Website visitors with neither an email address nor a userId will show as anonymous users in your account.

Through integration

Calls sent from Segment to Encharge with neither an email address nor a userId will create anonymous people in Encharge. A typical example is the page call that is recorded whenever a user sees a page of your website.

Through the Encharge API

Calls sent from the Encharge Ingest API to Encharge with neither an email address nor a userId will create anonymous people in your account.

When manually adding people

Encharge allows you to manually add a person in your account that doesn't have an email address and userId.

When importing people without email addresses or userIds

If you import a list of people that doesn't contain email addresses or userIds, Encharge will import the contacts as anonymous people. To avoid this ensure that you map the email addresses from your CSV or Excel file to the default Email Address field in Encharge.

How to hide anonymous people in my account

Go to the People's page and click on the filter icon at the right. Then select "Hide anonymous people".

You might need to refresh the browser window for changes to take effect.

This feature hides anonymous people from all segments and from the "Activity Stream" in the Dashboard.

Note that anonymous people can still enter Flows and are counted in step metrics ("Were here" / "Are here").

Id, userId, and Encharge Anonymous ID

There are a lot of IDs in Encharge, so this might seem overwhelming at first. Fear not! We'll explain each one below.


Every person in Encharge has an Id. It's impossible for a person to exist in your account without an Id. Both anonymous and identified people have it, and it's essentially used to identify people in Encharge, even when they are anonymous. 


The userId is used to match users from your product (web or mobile app) to people in Encharge with the API. When you bring users from your product to Encharge through the API you would map the user IDs in your app with that field. 

When a person receives an userId they become identified, even when they don't have an email address. People with recorded userId count towards the subscribers on your billing plan.

Encharge Anonymous ID

Encharge Anonymous ID is a field used when a person is tracked through the JS Site Tracking in Encharge. It's a technical field required for Encharge to track people with the site tracking. Generally, you shouldn't be concerned with it.

A person with the Encharge Anonymous ID is still considered anonymous.

Other IDs

When connected, other apps like Segment and Salesforce could create additional IDs for people in your account. For instance, people brought from Segment will have the "Segment Anonymous ID". 

Generally, you shouldn't be concerned with these IDs. A person with any of these IDs is still considered anonymous unless they have an email or an userId.

Cookies and tracking people

If you have the JavaScript Site Tracking code installed on your website, Encharge will be able to track user activity on your site and match it to people in your account. For that purpose Encharge uses cookies.

How Encharge handles multiple devices and browsers

Because Encharge uses cookies, if a person opens your website from a different device, a new browser, or an incognito window, Encharge won't be able to automatically match that session activity to the person's profile. In that case, the anonymous session will create a new anonymous person in your account. 

The newly created anonymous person (and their anonymous activity) will be matched with the identified person (and the identified activity) once the email address or userId of the anonymous person is recorded. See the section below on how this happens.

How an anonymous person becomes identified?

Encharge has a sophisticated User Identity Resolution. The system uses an algorithm to match a person on the front-end (e.g., your website) with a person on the back-end (i.e., the Encharge system).

There are a few ways an anonymous person can be identified.

When a user submits a tracked form

Every time a user submits a tracked form on your website, and they enter their email address in the form, their anonymous activity will be identified and they will become an identified person.

When a user clicks on an email

Whenever a person clicks on a link from an email sent by you. any anonymous sessions associated with that email click will be matched with identified person's profile.

For example, John visits your website on his desktop computer and leaves his email on a signup form. Later that day John receives one of your emails on his phone and clicks an email link from the phone. His phone sessions and the activity generated in these sessions will be matched to his existing profile and previous desktop activity.

If the JavaScript Event Tracking identify method is used

You can use the identify method of the JavasScript Event Tracking to uniquely identify the person on the front end and send that user information to us, so Encharge can identify the person.

When you enter the email of the person manually

You can always manually change the email address of an anonymous person. 

Note that if a profile with that email address already exists, the anonymous person's profile and their activity will be merged with the identified profile. This action is irreversible. 

Do anonymous people count toward my billing plan?

Anonymous people count toward your billing plan only when they enter at least one Flow. 

Can anonymous people enter a Flow?

It depends. For a person to enter a Flow in Encharge they must have at least one of the following:

  • Email
  • userId
  • Encharge Anonymous ID
  • Segment Anonymous ID
  • Another type of ID

In other words, some anonymous people can enter a Flow – for instance, a person might not have an Email or userId but still have Encharge Anonymous ID, and enter a Flow successfully.

Due to technical limitations, some tools like Typeform are not able to send any of these IDs to Encharge. Therefore anonymous people coming from Typeform (i.e., people that have submitted a form without an email address) will not enter a Flow in Encharge.

My contacts have email addresses but are still showing as anonymous

Let's consider the following scenario: You import a list of people with email addresses and they are successfully created in Encharge. However, when these people visit web pages on your website, they show up as anonymous people. Why is that?

This happens because Encharge has not matched the anonymous profiles (and the anonymous activity) to the identified profiles of the people. 

Because Encharge uses cookies to track and match anonymous activity with identified people, simply adding a person with an email address will not automatically match them. In other words, the email address is there but the cookie is not, and for that reason, Encharge doesn't know that it should map the anonymous user (and the anonymous activity) to a specific profile with an email address.

Even though you have the email address of the person, Encharge still needs to connect that profile to the anonymous profile using the cookie. That happens through one of the ways in the section above "How an anonymous person becomes identified?"

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