You can use Gist to communicate with anyone who is on your website. You can send messages to your website visitors and logged out users using chat prompts, and convert them into users/members of your website. 

You can also send emails and chat messages to users inside your web app or membership site. When using Gist to send communication to the people that matter the most to your business, it is important to understand how different people are treated as by Gist.

Here is how it works. There are broadly three different types of people that Gist recognizes - visitors, leads, and users.

Who is a visitor?

A visitor is anyone who visits your website anonymously, is not logged in, and has no conversation history with you. Even if you have a conversation history, if the person does not add their email address anywhere on your website (chat messenger, opt-in form, login area, etc.) they will be treated as a visitor, and you will see their name as 'Site Visitor' in your team inbox.

Gist automatically tracks every action that your visitors take on your website from the moment they visit, and you can view these actions in their Profile.

Who is a lead?

A lead is someone whose email address is known to Gist. Your email subscribers are treated as leads on Gist. 

Once someone shares their email address with you anywhere on your site (chat messenger, and opt-in forms,) Gist identifies them as a lead and attaches all their previous actions to their email address. 

A visitor becomes a lead once they start a conversation with you or respond to a chat prompt that you triggered. You can use the Gist messenger, or any one of the Gist forms to collect the email address of the lead.

Once a visitor is converted to a lead, you can start communicating with them via email, by sending manual emails or adding them to your drip campaigns.

Note that if a visitor has not added their email address, they will not receive your chat responses unless they come back to your website. Leads and logged in users automatically receive your chat responses as emails if they are offline at that time.

How to identify leads on Gist?

There are two methods to identify leads on Gist - by using the identify method, and by using a URL parameter to pass lead information to Gist.

Using the identify method: 

You can use our JavaScript API to identify leads and their properties that you have on other tools or apps. If you want to identify leads or subscribers who are not registered for a membership on your site or app, you can use this method. Once the identify call is made, your leads will be automatically identified by Gist and you will be able to view all of their properties on the People page. 

Using the URL parameter:

If you are redirecting people who filled a form on your site... to a thank you page or a lead magnet page, then you can easily pass on the lead info to Gist as URL parameters. All you need to do is add email as a parameter and Gist will automatically identify the email address and populate it in People page.

This way you can avoid coding or working with the API and still be able to identify leads on your Gist project.

For example, your redirect URL would look something like:, and Gist immediately identifies this email address as John Doe and populate them as a user in the people page.

Who is a user?

A user is someone who is logged in to your website or product.

A lead becomes a user when they sign up for your product or log into an existing account on your website. If you have an exclusive area for your members or customers, then those who can access this area are called users.

All of the information and conversations you've had with your users (even before they converted into users) remain in their user profile and you can not only view them whenever you want but also use custom attributes to segment them as you like.

How to identify users on Gist?

Gist gives you the ability to use the rich information about your users to build custom segments, and better target your users.

The primary way of enriching user data in Gist is the 'identify' method. The identify method allows you to identify users with a unique identifier and maintain user histories across sessions and devices under a single profile. It also allows you to attach custom properties to your users. Read more about the identify method here .

Why cannot I identify a known lead/user? Why are they seen as a visitor?

If an existing user is not identified by Gist as such during a conversation, it is because that user has not logged in to your site within the same browser. If a user starts a conversation on a different web browser or users an incognito window to visit your site, Gist cannot identify them automatically until they add their email address again.

Can I track events and custom data for visitors and leads?

Yes. Once you install Gist on your website and set up event tracking successfully, Gist tracks all pageviews made by visitors and leads alike.

But the difference is that while you can view the events and custom attributes of leads and users on your Gist People page, you cannot view that of visitors on the People page until they become leads by offering their email address.

Can I import leads via a CSV?

Yes, you can import your existing user base via CSV. For a successful import of all existing users, read this guide.

Can I delete leads? 

Yes, you can delete leads if want to. Sometimes, you may want to clean the list of people you're tracking - especially leads you haven't interacted with in a long time. You can delete one or more leads from your Gist project, directly from the People page.

Are leads supported in Gist's APIs?

Yes. Basic things like creating leads, converting leads into users, and updating leads are supported in Gist's API. You can also contact users using the conversations endpoint in the REST API.

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