Email, the Wonder CookieApril 21, 2015 | By Fluent
As mobile use grows, marketers have fewer opportunities to employ cookies to track consumers and target them with online ads. This may be a distressing trend for some marketers, as Fluent CMO Jordan Cohen says his company’s research reveals “60 percent of all ads are now displayed on mobile devices.”
It’s one of the reasons many vendors use email addresses to track consumers online, including Facebook’s Custom Audience Targeting and now, perhaps, Google’s similar product. In both cases, however, marketers need to supply the vendors with their customers’ email addresses in order to get started. This post will provide a few ideas forgathering more opt-ins from consumers before handing the information over to vendors like Google.
Speaking of the search giant, Google is also eliminating many possibilities for cookies in desktop settings.
What’s happening seems to reinforce Cohen’s sentiment from his Wednesday post on LinkedIn Pulse: “Email-based display advertising is the future.” And a 2014 comment from LiveIntent President Dave Hendricks on “When the Cookies Crumble,” a Target Marketing article: “Deterministic targeting methods that work cross-channel and cross-device are upon us. Tracking cookies, designed for an era of stationary, single-browser, single-device consumers won’t be missed. … Your email address is what is coming to the rescue.”
To use custom audiences, Facebook says marketers can provide email addresses, Facebook UIDs, phone numbers, app user IDs, Apple’s Advertising Identifier (IDFA) or Android’s advertising ID. (Facebook already has 1.4 billion user addresses, which just may match up against this other information.)
Facebook targets customers on social media and has other products that find customers elsewhere online. As for Google, The Wall Street Journal reports on April 14 that “Google is in talks to allow advertisers to target ads in search results at their existing customers.”
Here are a few ideas for how marketers can gather more email addresses:
- Provide a Free Burger and a Chance to Win a Prius. Actually, Atlanta-based Ted’s Montana Grill gave out desserts and a chance to win a Prius, but marketers get the idea. Offer an incentive. For B-to-B marketers, the incentive to opt-in may even be not having to fill out a form again—Thomson Reuters would use email clickthroughs as sign-ins for fact sheets and thought leadership reports.
- Offer Content. As mentioned in Tip One, Thomson Reuters gates content. Many marketers gate whitepapers to gain email addresses.
- Create Exclusive Access. This type of incentive is one the band “Honor Society” used to gain opt-in from its “superfans.” The first five audience members checking in during each performance on a 2011 tour got to meet the band.
- Ask for Them In Other Channels. Even if the channel allows appending, email marketers say it’s better to gain opt-ins from the customers themselves.
- Rent Lists From Third Parties Who Have Permission From Address Holders. In a May 2010 article inTarget Marketing, Jeanne Jennings says: Work with a legitimate list owner or broker, know the average cost of legitimate email lists, insist on seeing a datacard, never agree to handle the email send on your own, always test when you’re mailing to a new list, develop performance projections, have realistic expectations, monitor deliverability and include a reputation/deliverability clause in the contract.
Will email eventually be the only “cookie” left in the online tracking box?
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