Identify Users


Our Web-Client can be operated in Identified Users and Anonymous Users mode.

Identified Users mode means that you provide a unique identifier (e.g. their ID or their email address) for each user when initializing our web-client. This is the recommended way to operate our web-client and(see below).

There are however situations where identifying users is technically not possible or not feasible. For example if you want to survey users on a website with anonymous traffic, or if you are dealing with a huge user base.

To cover these situations, Refiner also allows you to run survey without identifying your users, which we call Anonymous Users Mode.

Why we recommend to identify users

Refiner was mainly designed to survey identified users. Identifying users unleashes the full power of our In-Product Survey features. For example, it allows you to:

  • Target users based on traits, behaviour and past survey interactions
  • Link survey responses to user profiles of your app
  • Sync survey response data to your CRM, product analytics tool or customer data platform

In return, operating our web-client in Anonymous Mode has the advantage that no Personal Identifiable Information (PII) is transmitted to our servers. We’ll cover all differences of the two operation modes below.

Comparison of the two modes

Whether you identify your users or not affects various product features of Refiner. Below you’ll find all important differences between the two modes.

Identified UsersAnonymous Users
Recommended for …All In-Product Survey use-cases (web & mobile). Whenever you are dealing with logged-in users that can be identified with a unique ID or an email address.When launching microsurveys on a website where you are dealing with anonymous traffic. Special In-Product Survey use cases where you are dealing with very large user bases.
Personal Identifiable Information (PII)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.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.
Target AudienceDefine Target Audience users based on traits, behavior and past survey interactions (Segment Based Targeting), Language, Country and Devide Type. No targeting based on user traits or behaviour. Targeting based on Language, Country and Device Type. Time Delay and Page Visit trigger events
Trigger EventsAll trigger events available. Advanced Time Delay trigger.All trigger events available. Reduced Time Delay trigger.
Recognize users for follow-up surveysUser are reliably recognized over a long period of time across various devices. Users are recognized based on Browser Cookies, which is less reliable.
Data AnalysisCombine survey response with other user traits to in-depth data analysis.Analyse data using anonymous survey responses.
Team AlertsEmail and Slack alerts can include survey response data other user traits. Better control over trigger events.Email and Slack alerts only contain survey response data.
IntegrationsAll integrations available, including integrations that require a User Id (e.g. Segment,, etc.)Basic integrations that don’t require a User ID.
Monthly Active Users (MAU) All users that you identify within a rolling 30 days time frame are counted as Active Users. Usually, the MAU number represents the number of users that logged in to your app in a given month.Only users that respond to a survey within a rolling 30 days time frame counted as Active Users. Pageviews limits might apply.

How to identify users

How you can identify users depends on the method you chose to install our web-client:

When you identify your users, please make sure to use a Web-App Survey and not a Website Popup Survey as described below.

How to operate in anonymous mode

Keeping your surveys anonymous is simple. All you need to do is to remove the identifyUser method call from your code.

If you are using Goot Tag Manager, all you need to do is keep the “User ID” and “User Email” fields empty.

Finally, please make sure that you are using Website Popup Surveys and not Web-App Surveys as described below.

Choose the right survey type

Web app surveys won’t work correctly if there is a mismatch between the operating mode of the web-client and the chosen survey type.

When you operate the web-client in Anonymous Users Mode, it is important that your survey type is set to “Web App Survey – Anonymous”. When operate the web-client in Identified Users Mode, your survey needs to be set to “Web App Survey”.

Operation ModeSurvey Type
Identified Users ModeWeb App Survey
Anonymous ModeWebsite Popup Survey

You can select the right survey type when creating a new survey, or change it for an existing survey in the header section of the survey editor.

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