With the increasing changes in data privacy and management, business owners and marketers are being forced to see and use data from a whole new perspective. The days when third-party data was a vital source of information to power up our email marketing strategy are long gone. We need to adapt to our new reality and create data-driven email marketing strategies by investing time and resources into the collection of higher data types. This is no easy task but is also not impossible.
According to the 2021 State of Email Litmus Report, 83% of customers are willing to share their data to create a more personalized experience. So do not despair, and let’s go through all the different data types there are that can help you power up your email marketing strategy.
As marketers or eCommerce store owners, we need to manage customer data as what it is, an asset. And we should use it to avoid guessing what the audience wants, needs and desires. We should use the data to build a data-driven email marketing strategy and to build a strong relationship with our customers and leads.
There are four different types of data based on the sources they come from:
- zero-party data,
- first-party data,
- second-party data, and
- third-party data.
The higher the data type, the closer you are to your audience insights but the less the reach. The lower the data type, the higher the reach, but the less specific the insights. Let’s go through each data type.
This is information that your customers or leads have given you directly. For example:
- Email preferences
- Topic interests
- Product interests
- Account configurations
The first step to gathering these types of data is through an “email preferences” form your subscribers can fill out after subscribing to your list. This will not only help you collect data about your audience but will allow you to make more informed and smarter decisions in terms of email frequency and segmentation, delivering an excellent subscriber experience.
You can also get more information through in-email surveys. Email marketing platforms like Klaviyo allow you to add personalized profile property tags to each of your subscribers’ profiles whenever they click on certain buttons with personalized syntax. Use this feature to leverage surveys and collect information through gamified emails.
First-party data is the information that is directly collected from your audience on your own marketing channels with consent (which means is accurate and reliable).
This is the data your email marketing platform gathers to help you create targeted segments that allow you to set up a personalized and data-driven email marketing strategy. First-party data includes:
- Email engagement (opens, clicks, subscriptions, etc.)
- Website activity (products viewed, checkouts started, products added to cart, etc.)
- Purchase history
- Customer email
- Contact information
To learn how to create targeted segments that power up your email strategy, check our email marketing segmentation guide: Basic and Advanced Klaviyo Segments Ideas and Examples.
This is the data you can acquire through a trusted partner. Ideally, this data would have been collected with consent, thus making it high in accuracy and reliability. Second-party data includes:
- Website activity
- Social media profiles
- Customer feedback, surveys and reviews
- Loyalty programs
Loyalty programs are a great way to gather different types of information like reviews, social interactions, etc.
Third-party data is information collected from one or more indirect sources. Since the source of the data varies, it’s hard to know if it was collected with consent. You can get access to this data through various third-party providers like Google, Oracle, Adobe, OnAudience, etc.
This type of data can include:
- Browsing activity (via cookies)
- Demographics (income, age, education, gender, etc.)
- Survey responses
Third-party data can be really helpful to reach a broad audience for your advertising. And can become a starting point in finding out who your audience is and how you can communicate with them. However, you should not depend one-hundred percent on it. Keep in mind that using third-party data will become more difficult because of recent and future changes in data privacy policies on the internet. Apple is already giving users the chance to opt out of tracking on its devices, and Google will block third-party cookies from the Chrome Browser in 2023. So now it’s the time to experiment with higher data types.
Building a first-party/zero-party data plan
When starting your data plan, start by answering these questions:
- What data have you collected already? Where is it? Is it organized?
- What other data do you need to collect in order to fulfill your business email marketing goals?
- Where and how can you collect that data?
- How will you organize it and where?
- How are you going to use it once you got it? To create targeted segments? To personalize even more your email flows and campaigns?
We know email personalization drives results, and in order to make it happen, you need all the data you can get. But make no mistake, unprocessed data is not an asset, you need to process it, organize it, and be clear on how you are going to use it.
If you need the help of experienced email marketers, book a free call with us and see how data can drive your email marketing strategy and, therefore, boost your sales.