Understanding Lytics / Product Documentation / User Profiles

Anonymous Visitors

Lytics considers anonymous visitors to be users identified only by a _uid. A _uid is a Lytics tracking value assigned to a cookie. Since cookies can be cleared, aren’t shared across browsers or computers, and aren’t strictly associated with an individual, they are unreliable. For these reasons, Lytics considers these visitors to be anonymous.

The User Profile of an Anonymous Visitor

Anonymous visitors can still have rich behavioral data. Every page they visited, the number of times they visited, the time they visited, and behavior patterns for data science models. A User Profile is nothing more than the set of known User Field values associated with the _uid of the Anonymous Visitor.

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  1. Name: Anonymous users generally have not identified their names.
  2. Email: Email addresses are strong identifiers. If the email address for this person was known, they wouldn’t be anonymous anymore.
  3. Basic information: General location, visit times, and other basic information gets tracked automatically for all traffic.
  4. Lifecycle State: Lytics knows enough about this person to determine that at one point they were engaged, but that time has gone.
  5. Active Hours: Since Lytics tracks the time users interact with your brand, Lytics can also aggregate that information into more helpful visuals.
  6. Scores: Once a user (even anonymous users) has shown enough behavior, Lytics will score them.
  7. Audience Membership: Lytics does not exclude anonymous visitors from use in audiences. In this way, anonymous users can be further divided, (e.g., first-time visitor vs. return visitors).
  8. Characteristics: These are simple facts about a user. For instance, this user is Unknown and a Binge User.
  9. Identity Details: This is the set of all User Field values for this user. Even though they are Anonymous, Lytics has collected a lot of information based on just web traffic.
  10. Web Cookie (_uid): This is the value of the _uid By Field that identifies this user as an individual. All other User Field values stem from being seen in the same events as this _uid.

Identifying Anonymous Visitors

Since all information about anonymous visitors relies on the continued use of a cookie, it is in a marketer's best interest to convert these unknown users to known users. Cookies are temporary, but email addresses are not.

Note that when a user converts from anonymous to known, all information we knew about them carries with them. When their _uid becomes associated with an email address (or any other By Field), both Profiles (the _uid profile and the email address profile) merge through a process called Identity Resolution.