Anonymous visitors

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There may be parts of your application that don't require a login. This article details how Pendo can deliver value for usage analytics and guides with anonymous users (visitors).

Note: Anonymous visitors aren't currently supported in retention reports, the Time to First Use dashboard widget, or Pendo Feedback. This means that you can only view data for identified visitors when using these functionalities.

Visit the Pendo Academy for a video on anonymous visitors in Pendo. 

Anonymous Visitor IDs

Pendo relies on your application to provide a Visitor ID value. When a Visitor ID isn't provided in the Pendo install script ("snippet")—for example, when an empty string is the set value—Pendo provides an anonymous Visitor ID in the following format: _PENDO_T_ID', such as _PENDO_T_mvugjpoysuT.

If the default value VISITOR-UNIQUE-ID is sent, Pendo also considers this as no visitor ID being provided and generates an anonymous ID.

Enable anonymous visitor data

Only Admins can enable anonymous visitor data in Pendo. Navigate to Settings > Subscription Settings and select Show Anonymous Visitor Data. There's also an option to show guides to anonymous visitors here.

SubscriptionSettings_ShowAnonymousVisitorData.png

If there's more than one application in the subscription:

  • The Show Anonymous Visitor Data setting is at the subscription level and applies to all applications. 
  • The Show Guides to Anonymous Visitors setting appears at the application level.

Once enabled, you can filter by anonymous visitors with two default segments:

  • Everyone shows both identified and anonymous users.
  • Everyone (Anonymous Visitors Only) shows only anonymous users.

You can also create custom segments to include anonymous users.

If you don't want anonymous data, send the Visitor ID metadata through the install script ("snippet"). The install script should be available on all URLs that you intend to have Pendo installed on. For more information about the install script, see the Developer's guide to installing Pendo.

Anonymous visitors count towards the subscription’s monthly active users (MAU) total if you select Show Anonymous Visitor Data in your Subscription Settings.

Show guides to anonymous visitors

You can also show guides to anonymous visitors by enabling the application-level setting:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Subscription Settings from the bottom of the left-side navigation.

  2. Open the Applications tab.

  3. Find and open the relevant app from your Applications list. This opens the App Details tab by default.

  4. Select Show Guides to Anonymous Visitors.
    anonymousvisitors.png

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each app where you'd like to show guides to anonymous visitors.

Once enabled, you can see anonymous visitors as part of your segment selection. Enabling this setting doesn't impact your monthly active users (MAU) total. However, most Pendo users choose also to enable the Show Anonymous Visitor Data setting so that they can track the effectiveness of their guides for anonymous visitors.

As a reminder, enabling the Show Anonymous Visitor Data setting does result in anonymous visitors counting towards the MAU total.

Open and re-save the segment for each guide you want to show to anonymous users.
Anonymousvisitorssegment.png

Frequently asked questions

How are anonymous visitors tracked?

Pendo saves and tracks anonymous Visitors at the browser level using local storage and cookies. If the same person comes back to your application, Pendo attempts to use the same anonymous Visitor ID for them.

A single visitor can be associated with multiple anonymous IDs because a new ID is generated if Pendo can't access the saved anonymous ID or when a cookie isn't present.

To maximize Pendo's ability to track anonymous visitors, we recommend that you don't disable agent cookies or agent user identification persistence in application-level settings or in the Pendo install script ("snippet").

Can you use the same anonymous ID across subdomains?

Yes, you can use the same anonymous ID across subdomains by adding cookieDomain" '.example.com' to the Pendo install script ("snippet").

This only works for subdomains. The same anonymous ID won't be reused across multiple domains. If your app has multiple domains, the same person visiting both sites is represented by different anonymous Visitor IDs.

To learn more, see Track anonymous visitors across subdomains.

Can you connect anonymous Visitor IDs to identified Visitor IDs?

You can't connect anonymous Visitor IDs to identified Visitor IDs. If a person visits your site first as an anonymous user and then signs in, the user's activities are split between two Visitor IDs: one anonymous and one identified.

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