Identified Users


Most Refiner surveys can be operated with or without identifying your users. We distinguish between Anonymous Mode or Identified User mode.

Anonymous Mode means that we don’t know anything about the user prior to them filling out a survey.

Identified User Mode means that you provide an identifier for each user before they fill out survey. Usually, this means that you are surveying “registered” or “logged-in” users.

Anonymous vs Identified Users mode

Choosing between Anonymous and Identified User Mode affects many parts of the Refiner survey solution.

Whenever possible, we recommend to identify your users as it unlocks many powerful features in Refiner such as segmenting your user base, creating target audiences, tracking user behavior etc.

Below you’ll find all important differences between the two modes.

Anonymous ModeIdentified Users Mode
Recommended for …Surveying anonymous website visitors or sharing survey links with an unknown group of contacts.Surveying users that can be identified with a unique ID or an email address that you provide. For example logged-in users of a SaaS app.
Personal Identifiable Information (PII)No PII is transmitted to our servers on page load or when displaying a survey. You can choose to attach PII data to survey responses if needed.You decide what PII data you send to us. As a minimum, we need a unique ID for each users. You can choose to import additional user traits (e.g. email, name, …) or behavioral data. You can also attach contextual data to survey responses.
Target Audiences for Survey WidgetsNo segmentation available for targeting purposes. All users and website visitors are included in your Target Audience.Create user segments based on traits, behavior and past survey interactions.
Trigger Events fort Survey WidgetsTime and page visit trigger eventsTime and page visit based trigger events.
Recognize users for follow-up surveysPrevious survey respondents are recognized if they use a single device and don’t clear browser cache.User is recognized over a long period of time across various devices. Great for recurring surveys and follow-up campaigns.
Data AnalysisAnalyse data with our customizable dashboards using anonymous survey responses.Analyse survey responses with our customizable dashboards using survey responses and your own user traits. Access survey interactions of individual users.
Team AlertsTeam alerts can be send based on the survey response data.Team alerts can include survey response data other user traits. Better control over trigger events.
IntegrationsBasic integrations that don’t require a User ID.All integrations available, including integrations that require a User Id (e.g. Segment,, etc.)
Monthly Active Users (MAUs) CountOnly website visitors that interact with a survey (see, dismiss or respond) within a given month are counted as Active UsersAll users that you identify with our client or our API within a given month are counted as Active Users. Usually the MAUs represents the number of users that logged-in to your app in a given month.

Support per Distribution Channel

Depending on the distribution channel you are using, surveys support either both or only one operation mode.

Anonymous ModeIdentified Users
Web-App Surveys✔︎
Mobile SDK Surveys✔︎
Email Surveys✔︎✔︎
Survey Links✔︎✔︎
Embedded Surveys✔︎
Website Popup Surveys✔︎

How to identify your users

Refiner provides different ways to identify your users depending on the type of survey your are running.

Web- and Mobile-App Survey Widgets

For all in-app use-cases (logged-in users using your application), identifying your users is the way to go.

You can identify your users by calling the “identifyUser” method of our Javascript client. If you installed Refiner through Google Tag Manager, you can also identify users when setting up the tag.

In addition to providing user data with our Javascript client, you can complement user data with our REST API and integrations (e.g. Segment).

Website Popup Survey

When surveying users on your website, you are likely dealing with anonymous website traffic. In this scenario, you can’t provide a unique User ID and you need to operate our client in Anonymous mode.

Email Survey

Email surveys works with our without identifying your users. When generating the HTML code for your emails, you can choose from a list of supported emailing solutions. If your provider is listed, the HTML will automatically include special tags that will be replaced with the recipient’s email address, allowing us to identify them when they click on a survey.

Survey Links

Survey links can be shared with or without user identifiers. Adding URL parameters to your links allows you to identify users, as well as provide additional contextual data.

Monthly Active Users (MAU)

The pricing model of Refiner is based on the availability of product features and the number of “Monthly Active Users”.

In a nutshell, an Active User user is a person for which we’ve tracked some data within a given month.

When you operate Refiner in Identified User Mode, each user that you track with our Web-Client, our Mobile SDK, or our API, within a given month is counted as an Active User. When you run In-App Survey Widgets campaigns, your total MAU number usually represents the number of users that connected to your app in a given month.

When you operate Refiner in Anonymous Mode (e.g. on your marketing website), each person that saw at least one survey is counted as an Active User. If you run Website Popup Surveys, we count only website visitors that actually saw a survey and not each visitors landing on your website.

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