For a long time, third-party cookies were the go-to choice for brands who wanted to drive personalized and targeted advertising campaigns.
With rules and regulations around user data privacy starting to change, third—party cookies are a less and less reliable option when it comes to targeting prospective customers. But what’s the alternative? In this article, we’ll take a look at the best.
The Collapse of Cookies
As members of the public become increasingly aware of just how much detail of their online activities are being captured by third-party cookies—they’re starting to push for increased online privacy. As a result, many tech companies are starting to tighten up their privacy laws in an attempt to protect their users.
Each company may have its own strategies when it comes to exactly how they regulate the use of third-party cookies, but the end result is the same. Soon, the power of the third-party cookie is going to crumble away to nothing.
Mozilla was the first company to take action. Their Firefox web browser has been automatically blocking third-party cookies since 2019. Apple was the next to put third-party cookies on the chopping block. Safari now blocks third-party cookies by default, and apps need to request permission to track user data.
Google is still planning exactly how to tackle the problem of third-party cookies, which means their initial plan to phase out the use of third-party cookies on Chrome by 2022 is now going to be delayed until the end of 2023. Chrome accounts for 70% of web use, so whatever changes Google decides to implement will have a huge impact on a wide range of industries including eCommerce and affiliate marketing to name a few.
While it’s clearly time to find an effective alternative, many marketers and publishers still aren’t exactly sure what that alternative will be. Worryingly, 40% of marketers don’t yet have a concrete plan for how to pivot their strategies towards a more sustainable connection with their customers.
Take Control With First-Party Data
So, what’s the answer?
Take back control by transitioning away from third-party cookies and instead place first-party data at the heart of your strategy. Directly collecting data from your customers removes any uncertainty around changes to tracking and privacy. So rather than worry about adapting to the next new algorithm changes or policy adaptations, you can concentrate on building your business.
We believe that addressability—or the ability to directly connect with targeted customers throughout your ad campaign—is the best technique when it comes to transitioning away from third-party cookies. And what’s the best way to achieve this?
Good old-fashioned emails.
For a while, it seemed as though email was dead. We’re here to tell you that couldn’t be less true. While first-party data can be collected in various ways (including user-generated feedback, surveys, reviews, and more), your customer’s email addresses are one of your most valuable pieces of data. They allow you to create a new style of marketing strategy based on providing tailored content that encourages repeat purchases and builds brand loyalty. Email marketing also offers an excellent return on investment (ROI), averaging at around $44 for every $1 spent. Other benefits include:
- Effective audience segmentation
- Improve the number of qualified leads
- High accuracy rates for market attribution
- Follows anti-fraud guidelines
Designing an effective performance marketing email strategy needs careful attention, but the rewards are well worth it. Creating personalized content for your existing customers is one strand of this strategy, but that can also be complemented by using performance marketing email to reach out to potential customers. You can collect emails in various ways, ranging from newsletter signups, exclusive content like ebooks, or in exchange for a discount code.
Email marketing is heavily regulated, so you’ll need to make sure you use best practices, including following country-specific regulations, including the CAN-SPAM Act 2003 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). To remain compliant, you’ll need to follow some basic guidelines, including offering clear opt-in and opt-out instructions, identifying your emails as from a business, and using suppression lists to protect the integrity of your brand.
Working with a specialized performance marketing agency can help smooth out any uncertainties if that sounds complex. With many agencies working on a pay-for-performance pricing structure, you can take advantage of this marketing strategy’s benefits even if you don’t have the technical know-how.
It’s still a good idea to use email marketing as part of a larger, results-driven strategy that includes tactics focusing on social and search, but switching towards using first-party data as the touchstone going forward makes good business sense.
Once you’ve established your email marketing strategy, you can start to create even higher levels of interest and engagement by using A/B testing and audience segmentation techniques. Take this a step further and begin developing tailored on-site experiences using individual customers’ preferences.
An intelligently designed performance marketing email strategy will give you such strong results that you won’t even miss those cookies.
Madrivo is a performance-based marketing agency dedicated to multichannel customer acquisition solutions. Our unique services feature an exclusive network of vetted traffic sources that respect your brand while delivering quality and high-converting consumers. The company is headquartered in Las Vegas, NV, and has offices and team members across the globe.