Anonymous visitor personalization: Benefits and how to get started

Katie Leask

Feb 11, 2024

Katie Leask

Feb 11, 2024

While personalization is a staple in the marketing world, brands still don’t utilize its full potential. Specifically, many teams focus only on personalizing the experience of known customers, i.e., those who’ve already provided some contact information like their email or phone number.

However, the majority of website traffic is usually made up of anonymous visitors. Without personalizing their experience, you’re losing out on potential conversions and revenue. Plus, you’re missing a chance to drastically reduce the time and money it takes to turn first-time visitors into paying customers.

In this guide, you’ll learn how anonymous visitor personalization works, why it’s important, and how to implement it. We’ll use Insider — our enterprise platform for delivering personalized experiences across all channels — to show anonymous personalization in action.

Insider can help you implement omnichannel personalization across all touchpoints, from your website and mobile app to channels like email, push notifications, SMS, and WhatsApp. Visit our website or schedule a demo with our team to learn more.

Table of Contents
  1. How anonymous visitor personalization works

  2. Getting started with anonymous web personalization

  3. Personalize the entire customer journey with Insider

How anonymous visitor personalization works

Like all other types of personalization, anonymous visitor personalization works by leveraging data about users’ interests, behaviors, and preferences. The difficulty lies in the fact that you don’t have any contact information, so emails, phone numbers, and other similar identifiers can’t be used to target visitors.

That’s why solutions for anonymous visitor personalization can:

  • Track everything anonymous users do on your site, like the categories they browse, the price ranges they’re interested in, and the items they add to their carts.
  • Store that information (usually against a session ID) in a place where you can easily access and use it. This is often a customer data platform (CDP) — a type of software built specifically to unify and store customer data.

For example, the screenshot below shows how Insider’s CDP stores anonymous visitor data, including all website actions, last viewed and abandoned products, and more.

Insider unified customer profile anonymous visitor

Armed with this data, you can start personalizing the experience of unknown users with:

  • Relevant content, messaging, and product recommendations. For example, a versatile product recommendation engine can deliver personalized recommendations to anonymous visitors based on their browsing history, attribute preferences, and all other relevant information. This is a great way to improve key metrics like conversion rates, average order value (AOV), and revenue.
Example of product recommendation engine to deliver highly relevant suggestions to each website visitor.
  • Timely and contextual web push notifications. Sending push notifications doesn’t require any contact information. Users just need to agree to receive notifications from you. From here, you can send them push notifications with relevant products to bring them back to your site and convert them faster and cheaper (compared to traditional retargeting ads).
Insider web push notifications consent

Getting started with anonymous web personalization

Now that you know how anonymous visitor personalization works, let’s see how you can implement it with Insider.

Step 1: Data collection and segmentation

Once Insider is set up on your site or app, it automatically starts collecting user behavior data and creating 360-degree profiles of all customers and anonymous visitors.

For anonymous visitors, these user profiles contain essential information including:

  • Last visited products.
  • Last abandoned products.
  • Browsed pages, categories, and other attributes (e.g., colors, sizes, and price ranges).
Insider Unified Customer Profile Anonymous Visitor

Our enterprise CDP holds this anonymous visitor data for 90 days, giving you plenty of time to convert them into paying customers. Data for known customers is kept for five years, although that period can be extended depending on your needs.

Anonymous visitor personalization is actually one of our CDP’s main use cases for marketers. That’s why you can leverage the information Insider has collected from user interactions on your site, as well as data from various data management platforms (DMPs).

Insider marketing CDP use case personalize experiences for anonymous users

Plus, setting up the data collection isn’t complex or time-consuming. You don’t have to spend tons of engineering hours setting up our listeners and ensuring they’re working correctly. 

In fact, if you have an eCommerce business, just one tag can crawl your site, start collecting behavior data, and create a product catalog. This is a perfect option for teams that want to start fast and experiment with anonymous personalization right away.

Step 2: Relevant messaging, content, and product recommendations

With your data in place, you start personalizing the experience of anonymous visitors. This includes all elements of your site — like banners, categories, product recommendations, and more.

For example, you can use Insider to launch different types of product recommendation campaigns. You can also choose where these recommendations appear — on every page, on product and article pages, on category pages, or on cart pages.

Customize product recommendation engine for each customer
Customize product recommendation engine for each customer

There are tons of user-based and cookie-free recommendation strategies to choose from, including:

  • Generic algorithms, like most popular items, best-sellers, highest discounted products, new arrivals, trending products, and most valuable products.
  • Contextual filtering, like viewed together, recently viewed, purchased together, location-based top sellers, checkout recommendation, purchased with last purchased, and more. 
  • Collaborative filtering, where product recommendations are based on behavioral patterns of similar users. This is done by taking into account product visits, purchases, and added-to-carts.

Plus, Insider’s automated recommendation algorithm (Chef) — can automatically detect the best combination of these strategies by testing the most popular items, top sellers, user-based, highest discounted, new arrivals, and trending items algorithms for better conversion rates.

This is all controlled via a simple WYSIWYG editor, making it easy to launch personalized recommendation campaigns with zero reliance on technical teams.

Insider's WYSIWYG editor, making it easy to launch personalized recommendation campaigns

Put simply, you have tons of options for building personalized product recommendations to help you engage and convert anonymous visitors much faster

For a real-life example, check out our case study with Sapphire. They used our AI-powered Smart Recommender to improve product discovery by offering them a personalized glimpse into many available products. This enabled the company to achieve a 12x ROI.

Sapphire used Insider AI-powered Smart Recommender

Step 3: Tailored web push notifications

While you can completely personalize the on-site experience, many first-time visitors still won’t convert right away. They’ll likely leave the site, continue browsing other ones, and in some cases — make a purchase down the line.

Using online ads across search and social media is the traditional strategy for overcoming this challenge. However, ads can get very expensive and eat into your profit margins.

This is where web push notifications are incredibly valuable. They let you bring back anonymous visitors to your site with personalized offers based on what they’ve shown interest in. Plus, there’s no additional cost in sending each one, making them a much more cost-effective solution than remarketing ads.

Web push notifications also don’t require any personal or contact information. Visitors just need to agree to receive notifications (we have templates for this), which is a much smaller commitment than providing an email or phone number.

The ability to bring these anonymous visitors back to your site is crucial for reducing acquisition costs since you don’t have to retarget users with expensive performance ads. 

For example, Lenovo used Insider’s web push notifications to target different user segments. This allowed them to reach visitors who abandoned their carts and get them back to the site, leading to a 10% reduction in cart abandonment rates.

Personalize the entire customer journey with Insider

Insider can enable you to personalize the experience of anonymous visitors, resulting in:

  • Lower acquisition costs.
  • Higher conversion rates.
  • A more enjoyable experience for your website visitors.
  • Better utilization of your marketing budget due to the higher conversion rates and lower acquisition costs.

If you’re interested in exploring this capability, click here to schedule a free demo with our team.

At the same time, Insider is much more than a solution for anonymous visitor personalization. Our enterprise marketing platform can help you unify your customer data, expand your reach across channels, deliver personalized customer experiences across all channels, and much more.

Powerful data unification and advanced segmentation

Besides creating anonymous visitor profiles, Insider’s CDP can also help you aggregate all customer data in one place. You can use it to unify first-, second-, and third-party data from any online or offline source, including:

  • CRMs, like Salesforce, Pipedrive, and HubSpot.
  • Customer service software, like Zendesk and Intercom.
  • Analytics tools, like Mixpanel, Amplitude, and Google Analytics.
  • And many other popular solutions used by marketing, sales, and technical teams.

Having your data in one place (instead of being siloed in different locations) makes it possible to understand the complete customer journey, avoid jumping between tools, and target customers more effectively.

For known customers, the 360-degree profiles can contain a ton of valuable information, including:

  • Name and contact information.
  • Demographic information.
  • Channel reachability.
  • Previous purchases.
  • Last viewed and abandoned products.
  • Predictive characteristics like likelihood to purchase.
  • And more.
Insider's CDP automatically creates detailed, 360-degree customer profiles

Once your customer data is in place, you can segment your audiences and reach various types of customers more effectively. Insider’s advanced segmentation allows you to segment your customers using:

  • Standard characteristics, like devices, operating systems, geolocations, and more.
  • Predefined audiences, like leads, mobile app users, cart abandoners, browser abandoners, and more.
Insider - Predefined audiences
  • AI-powered predictive audiences, like users with a high discount affinity, likelihood to purchase, or likelihood to engage on a specific channel.
Insider predictive audiences

These granular segmentation options let you home in on the right audiences for each campaign, resulting in higher relevance, engagement, and revenue.

Complete on-site and in-app personalization

Insider’s advanced personalization capabilities let you tailor every element of your site or app to each customer’s preferences.

As we mentioned earlier, this includes the product recommendations people see. You can easily launch product recommendation strategies on your site with zero IT dependency using the simple visual editor we showed earlier.

You can also choose from a variety of product recommendation strategies for unknown visitors and known customers, including recently visited products, highest discounted items, trending products, and more. 

Insider personalized products recommendation strategies

However, you’re not just limited to personalizing recommendations. With Insider, you can also tailor every other element to users’ preferences, including:

  • Categories, banners, and overlays. For example, Adidas used Insider’s Category Optimizer to improve the experience on their mobile site by making site navigation easier on smaller screens. The result was a 50.3% increase in mobile conversion rates.
Insider - Category optimization sur le site Adidas
  • Mobile stories. Insider’s InStory lets you add engaging, Instagram-like stories to your site. The stories can be personalized to every customer who opens them with tailored products, content, and marketing messages. This is a great way to simplify product discovery, drive engagement, and generate extra revenue.
Insider InStory mobile stories
  • Site search results. Insider’s EUREKA uses natural language processing (NLP) and dynamic product scoring to deliver personalized results to every customer who uses your site’s search functionality. It also speeds up product discovery with advanced faceting filters. The capabilities can drastically improve bounce rates, conversions, and AOV.
Insider’s EUREKA - site search results

For a real-life example of Insider’s web personalization capabilities, check out our case study with Dover Saddlery. They used Insider to deliver personalized experiences across their web and mobile site, which allowed them to:

  • Achieve a 29x ROI.
  • Increase conversion rates by 5%.
  • Drive $2 million in incremental revenue.

Broad channel reach across email, SMS, WhatsApp, and more

Insider also brings together 12+ channels under one umbrella. This enables you to scale your personalization efforts across all touchpoints from one platform.

For example, you can use Insider to reach customers via:

  • Email. Insider lets you create highly targeted email marketing campaigns with all sorts of personalized elements, including names, birthdays, cart items, and more. You can also extend your product recommendations across email. Insider also supports AMP emails, so you can deliver web-like, interactive user experiences where recipients can explore items, answer surveys, complete bookings, and more right inside the email.
Example of email after the purchase
  • SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and LINE. Messaging channels usually boast high open and conversion rates, making them essential for marketers today. That’s why Insider lets you use them to send personalized promo messages, milestone acknowledgments, event reminders, price drop alerts, and much more.
Insider's  personalized promo messages, milestone acknowledgments, event reminders, price drop alerts
  • Social media and search ads (e.g., across Google, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok). As we mentioned, Insider offers granular segmentation capabilities that let you build all sorts of audiences. You can export these segments and target them via online ads. Pierre Cardin used this strategy to achieve a 164.86% improvement in return on ad spend, a 67.96% reduction in cost per acquisition, and a 445% uplift in conversion rate.
Insider segment export TikTok retargeting ads

Overall, Insider’s broad channel support and personalization capabilities enable you to implement true omnichannel personalization and make the most out of every customer interaction.

Cross-channel journey orchestration and marketing automation

As you can see, Insider can help you reach leads and customers on all touchpoints. Our platform also helps you tie these channels into a cohesive and consistent experience with Architect — our cross-channel customer journey builder and marketing automation tool.

Architect lets you:

  • Create simple automated flows across 12+ marketing channels.
  • Build, automate, and manage complex cross-channel campaigns using a simple drag-and-drop editor (and analyze their results).
  • Improve your campaign results and save time by using AI-powered automations, such as next-best channel predictions, send-time optimization, A/B test winner auto-selection, and more.
Insider's cross-channel journey orchestration

If you’re interested, we explore this topic in our guide to how to generate more revenue with a customer journey builder.

Click here to book a demo with our team and learn how Insider can help you reach your business goals.


Katie is an award-winning content marketer with over seven years of experience in content strategy, development, and copywriting. As Global Content Director at Insider, she currently oversees content strategy across 26 regions. Fun fact: Katie read 64 books last year (for which she owes a long commute and two week-long holidays where she spent approximately six hours a day with her nose in a book).