Grow Your First-Party Audience by Converting Unknown Visitors to Known Customers

    Last updated: February 24, 2023

    Unknown vs. known visitors is a popular topic for media companies. Understanding when and how a visitor is converted from unknown to known is extremely helpful for expanding your first-party audience. Each platform and provider use a similar process with their own nuances to transition consumers into the known atmosphere. Regarding Omeda’s tools, the conversion process looks something like this:

    When a visitor lands on your brand’s site, Omeda creates an anonymous ID (cookie) in the browser session.  Simultaneously, an anonymous customer is created on the Omeda database, and all of the website behavioral activity is recorded under the anonymous customer. It’s important to remember that for every browser and device type (laptop, phone, tablet) that is used by a visitor, a unique anonymous ID is created on each instance. In addition, if a visitor clears their cookies on a regular basis, then the next time they visit your site, a new anonymous ID is created.

    As detailed above, converting anonymous users is an ongoing process. However, there are many benefits to working towards this goal. One being that merging an anonymous visitor who has web site behavior activity to a known customer with subscription, demographic and other first-party information gives a robust, unified view of the consumer. Additionally, an article from Publishing Executive recently pointed out that merging the known user with their previously anonymous behaviors provides you with a wealth of historical data that you’ve been collecting on each user. This combination of browsing activity coupled with the first-party data is extremely useful for targeting your audience with specific messaging – which will help to better engage and monetize your known audience. There are a variety of ways to convert your users from unknown to known via Omeda’s help:

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    Email Builder

    This conversion method can be extremely successful when executed strategically. The process involves deploying your newsletter and promotional emails through Omeda’s Email Builder. When you create a deployment, Omeda scans all links and appends the encrypted customer ID to any links with a domain that has Omeda’s web tracking script.  Then, when a customer clicks on a link within the email, their encrypted customer ID (known customer) is tied with the unknown customer (anonymous ID) from the browser. This conversion process is built into Omeda’s JavaScript that resides on the brand site. It will fire automatically when the encrypted customer ID is present in the URL. For this reason, sending customers relevant and targeted content designed for each individual is important. The more interesting the content is to the consumer, the more likely they will click through to the site, and the greater the number of known visitor conversions will occur.


    One of the most effective ways to convert unknown visitors to known is to gate the content on your brand site and use the Login process to access the Omeda encrypted customer ID. The ID is then used to convert unknown visitors to known.  If Omeda hosts the login form, then the encrypted customer ID is passed back as part of the redirect to the brand site.  If the Login form is hosted externally, then the party that hosts the login form can use it in combination with Omeda APIs. The external form would have to be referenced to lookup a customer, retrieve the encrypted customer ID and call Omeda’s olytics.confirm() method to convert the unknown visitor to known. Gated content that drives logins include webinars, white papers, ebooks, data reports, etc. – Anything that is of value to your consumers.

    Signup Forms

    You can also use renewal forms, registration forms or activation processes to convert an unknown visitor. In each of these scenarios, the encrypted customer ID is available to be passed back as part of the redirect to the brand site. Again, the goal is to append the encrypted customer ID to the return URL so that Omeda’s web tracking script’s built-in conversion will tie the known customer to the unknown customer.

    Like stated above, if the signup form is not hosted by Omeda, then you can still leverage the conversion process through the use of Omeda’s API.


    Through using Omeda’s Audience Builder, you can determine the content of interest to your unknown visitor and then target them by using Omeda’s Personalization modal. The modal can contain a simple form to register for a newsletter, magazine subscription or to signup for an event.  This is a great way to get in front of the consumer and will lay the ground work for converting an unknown visitor.

    With so many options for converting unknown users to known users, there is no longer an excuse to not work at it!

    All of these methods for converting unknown users to known consumers is for the end goal of increasing your known audience pool. This will provide better, more robust first-party data that will create a sort of marketing cycle for reaching consumers. The more information you have about each of your audience members, the more targeted marketing that can be performed, which will create happy, engaged customer interactions. These additional customer interactions ultimately provide more data to then be used for future marketing efforts. Beyond building a more personalized relationship with the audience, collecting first-party data also complies with legislation for consumer data and creates a more trusting relationship between the brand and its consumers.

    Reach out to our client success team for more information and guidance on how to best convert unknown users to known users at

    Photo by John Baker on Unsplash

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