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First-Party Data Through Email Marketing

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“First-party data” is a term that’s been tossed around a lot in the digital marketing space, ever since iOS rolled out updates that allowed users to opt out of in-app tracking. It wasn’t something we really needed to think about before that change – so what is it? 

First-party data is data that’s collected directly from your customers through your owned digital channels. This data is distinguished by individuals who consensually “opt in” to provide their data to you. This could include:

  • demographics
  • past purchases
  • website activity
  • form responses
  • customer service interactions
  • personal interests.

First-party data can be used to identify target audiences more accurately, drive personalisation and measure performance. In comparison to third-party data, it’s the most reliable and trusted way to contact and nurture your audience. 

Email marketing went out of fashion around 2019, but since iOS and now Google introduced data-tracking updates, email marketing has risen to the forefront of digital marketing channels once again. Great design, promotions, and VIP lists all help engage audiences, and email marketing is proving to be a really effective eCommerce marketing channel for encouraging brand loyalty and driving low-cost, high-ROI sales. 

The channel has an expectation of growth of 4.6 billion email users worldwide by the year 2025. There’s a huge opportunity to integrate this into your marketing strategy and reap the benefits of this growth.  

The Importance Of First Party Data In Email Marketing

As Google begins to phase out third-party data gathering, first-party data is becoming more important than ever for marketers to be able to identify and segment audiences. The time to build a first-party data strategy is now, and the easiest way to do that is through email marketing campaigns. Here are a few unique ideas to incorporate in your next email campaign:

  • Incentivise data exchanges: Motivating users to provide their details by using incentives in your email campaigns will allow you to collect a vast source of first-party data that creates, builds and maintains accurate user profiles. Examples such as offering unique discounts, exclusive offers, or early access on product release to entice users to more willingly provide their data. Research founded that 76% of consumers are more inclined to exchange their data to businesses for superior experiences, offers and products.
  • Introduce gamification into emails: Gamification is a relevant new concept to be integrated into email campaigns, but the idea may incite users to partake as it is a unique approach, in comparison, to an upfront registration email. Gamification includes interactive content within the emails that ensures long-term customer engagements. Examples include using interactive quizzes, spin-to-win-wheels, scratch and win promotions. 
  • Don’t forget about personalisation: Personalisation plays a vital role in email marketing, with 45% of people surveyed willing to share their data if they get a more intuitive and personalised user experience. Drawing first-party data directly from the source will help your business create more personalised customer experiences for your target audience.

Benefits of First-Party Data

Collecting first-party data in email marketing gives you a competitive advantage, as accurate, raw data is being extracted from users directly and not being filtered by third-parties. This means data can be processed, analysed and built into your digital plan, all in real time. 

Gathering first-party data, in contrast to obtaining third party data, is much safer as the risk of a data breach is reduced. Sensitive data is not stored on third parties who may have weaker security frameworks. Industry experts claim about 60 percent of all data breaches occur via third party vendors

The key takeaway is to understand how first-party data integrates with email marketing. The phasing out of third-party data has made it more important for marketers to adopt strategies that can extract the first-party data efficiently. 

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