Email Marketing in 2024

Email marketing in 2024 and beyond.

Email marketing in 2024 is still a very viable option for businesses looking to make personal connections with existing, and more specifically, potential  customers.

Being “out of sight“, means “out of mind“… so, if done right, email is a valuable channel to remind customers that you’re still open for business. It also serves to alert them to add-on services, new products or special offers that are applicable only to them and, incentivises them to share your content in order to grow your audience.

Approximately 65% of repeat business globally is generated from existing customers, so it’s essential to look after, communicate with, provide exclusive offers and thank customers for their patronage.

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First-party data for marketing via email

What is first-party data?

First-party data refers to information collected directly by a company from its own customers or users. This data is typically obtained through interactions, transactions, and engagements with the company’s products, services, websites, or other platforms. Since it originates from the company’s own sources, first-party data is considered highly valuable and reliable.

First-party data is crucial for businesses as it enables them to understand their customers better, tailor their marketing strategies, improve products or services, and enhance overall customer experiences. Additionally, first-party data is considered more reliable and trustworthy than third-party data, which is obtained from external sources.

Email marketing examples. Click to enlarge.

Why you should use first-party data

First-party data has become increasingly prevalent for several reasons, driven by shifts in consumer behavior, technological advancements, and changes in the regulatory landscape. Here are some key factors contributing to the rise of first-party data:

Data Privacy Concerns: Growing concerns about data privacy have led to increased scrutiny of third-party data practices. High-profile data breaches and the implementation of regulations such as the POPI Act, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have prompted businesses to prioritise the use of their own first-party data, collected with explicit consent.

Customer-Centric Marketing: Modern marketing strategies emphasise a customer-centric approach. First-party data allows businesses to better understand their customers, personalise interactions, and tailor marketing messages to individual preferences. This focus on customer experience has driven the importance of leveraging first-party data.

Digital Transformation: The digital transformation of businesses has led to an increase in online interactions and transactions. Companies are collecting more data directly from their digital touchpoints, including websites, mobile apps, and social media platforms. This shift has resulted in a larger volume of first-party data being generated.

Rise of E-commerce: The growth of e-commerce has provided businesses with more opportunities to collect first-party data through online transactions, customer registrations, and website interactions. E-commerce platforms have become significant sources of valuable customer information.

Personalisation Trends: Consumers now expect personalised experiences across various touchpoints. First-party data enables businesses to deliver personalised content, recommendations, and offers, which can lead to higher customer satisfaction and engagement.

Ad Blocking and Ad Fatigue: Ad blocking software and ad fatigue have made it challenging for businesses to rely solely on third-party data for targeted advertising. First-party data allows companies to create more relevant and less intrusive advertising experiences for their audience.

Regulatory Compliance: Adherence to data protection regulations has become a critical consideration for businesses. Using first-party data, collected with explicit consent, helps ensure compliance with privacy laws and regulations, reducing the risk of legal issues and fines.

Trust Building: With increasing awareness of data breaches and privacy violations, consumers are becoming more cautious about sharing their information. Building trust with customers is crucial, and using first-party data collected transparently fosters a sense of trust and credibility.

Overall, the prevalence of first-party data is a response to evolving consumer expectations, regulatory changes, and the need for businesses to adapt their data practices to align with privacy-conscious and customer-centric approaches for email marketing in 2024.

Third-party data - phasing out of cookies

There are discussions and developments in the tech industry regarding privacy concerns and the potential phase-out of third-party cookies. 

The concerns surrounding cookies were primarily related to privacy issues, user tracking, and the gathering of personal information without explicit consent. In response to these concerns, major web browsers and regulatory bodies started to take measures to enhance user privacy and control over their data.

Here are some reasons why cookies might be phased out or face significant changes in the near future:

  • Privacy Concerns: Users have become more aware of online privacy issues, leading to increased demand for better control over personal information. Governments and regulatory bodies have also introduced or strengthened data protection laws (e.g., GDPR in Europe) to safeguard user privacy.
  • Browser Changes: Major web browsers, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari, have been implementing measures to restrict or eliminate third-party tracking cookies.

     

Google has announced plans to phase out third-party cookies in their Chrome browser and introduced initiatives like the Privacy Sandbox to explore alternative approaches to online advertising.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small pieces of data that websites store on a user’s device (such as a computer or a smartphone) through the web browser. These pieces of data are designed to remember information about the user, their preferences, and their interactions with the website. Cookies play a crucial role in enhancing the user experience on the web.

Here are some key points about cookies:

  • Storage Mechanism: Cookies are typically text files containing small amounts of information. They are stored on the user’s device in a specific directory associated with the web browser being used.
  • Purpose: Cookies serve various purposes, including remembering user preferences (such as language settings or login information), tracking user behavior for analytics, and facilitating personalised advertising. They help websites tailor their content to individual users.

Types of Cookies:

  • Session Cookies: These are temporary cookies that are erased when the user closes the web browser. They are used to store temporary information, such as items in a shopping cart during an online session.
  • Persistent Cookies: These cookies remain on the user’s device even after the browser is closed. They are used for purposes like remembering login information or user preferences across multiple sessions.

First-Party and Third-Party Cookies:

  • First-Party Cookies: These are set by the website the user is visiting. They are used to enhance the user experience by remembering preferences and other information specific to that site.
  • Third-Party Cookies: These are set by domains other than the one the user is currently visiting. They are often used for tracking and advertising purposes across multiple websites.

Using first-party data in online advertising

Custom Audiences:

  • Social Media Platforms: Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn allow you to upload customer lists or segment data to create custom audiences.
  • Ad Targeting: Target your ads specifically to these custom audiences, ensuring your content reaches users who have interacted with your brand.


Retargeting Campaigns:

  • Website Visitors: Use first-party data to identify users who have visited your website but did not complete a desired action (e.g., make a purchase).
  • Retargeting Ads: Serve personalised ads to these users as they browse other websites or social media platforms to re-engage them and encourage the desired action.


Lookalike Audiences:

  • Identify High-Value Customers: Analyse your first-party data to identify characteristics of your high-value customers.
  • Create Lookalike Audiences: Platforms like Facebook and Google allow you to create lookalike audiences that share similarities with your existing customer base.

Dynamic Ads:

  • Personalised Product Recommendations: Utilise first-party data to dynamically display personalised product recommendations in your ads based on user behavior and preferences.
  • Real-Time Customisation: Implement dynamic ad creative that changes in real-time based on user interactions and data.

Exclusive Offers for Existing Customers:

  • Customer Segmentation: Use first-party data to segment your existing customer base.
  • Targeted Promotions: Create online ads with exclusive offers or promotions targeted to specific customer segments, encouraging repeat business.

Cross-Channel Consistency:

  • Integrated Marketing: Ensure consistency in messaging and branding across various online advertising channels, including social media, display ads, and search.
  • Unified Customer Experience: Provide a seamless experience for users interacting with your brand across different online platforms.


Behavioral Targeting:

  • User Behavior Analysis: Leverage first-party data to understand user behavior and preferences.
  • Target Based on Behavior: Use this information to target ads specifically to users with certain behaviors or interests.


Email marketing in 2024 (Integration):

  • Email Retargeting: Integrate first-party data with your email marketing platform to create targeted email campaigns.
  • Synchronise Messaging: Ensure that the messaging in your email campaigns is consistent with your online ads for a cohesive customer experience.

Growing your first-party data

Leveraging first-party data recipients involves strategically using your existing data to encourage the growth of your first-party data set. Here are some effective strategies to achieve this:

Customer Engagement and Interaction:

  • Interactive Content: Create engaging and interactive content on your website or in your apps that encourages users to participate, share preferences, or provide feedback.
  • Surveys and Feedback Forms: Use surveys and feedback forms to gather additional information from your audience, turning casual visitors into active participants.

Incentives and Exclusive Offers:

  • Exclusive Content: Offer exclusive content, promotions, or discounts in exchange for users providing more information or subscribing to newsletters.
  • Loyalty Programs: Implement loyalty programs that reward customers for their continued engagement and data-sharing.

Progressive Profiling:

  • Gradual Data Collection: Instead of asking for a large amount of information at once, implement progressive profiling. Gradually collect additional details over time as users engage with your brand and products.

Personalised Experiences:

  • Tailored Content: Use the existing first-party data to provide personalised experiences for your audience. Tailor content, recommendations, and offers based on their preferences.
  • Highlight Personalization Benefits: Emphasise the benefits of personalised experiences, encouraging users to share more information for an even better-tailored experience.

User Account Creation:

  • Encourage Account Registration: Encourage users to create accounts on your platform by highlighting the benefits, such as order history tracking, personalised recommendations, and exclusive access to content or promotions.
  • Optimised Account Creation Process: Simplify and optimise the account creation process to reduce friction and increase the likelihood of user registration.

Social Media Integration:

  • Social Login Options: Provide the option for users to log in or register using their social media accounts. This can streamline the registration process and allow you to access additional data with user consent.
  • Social Sharing Incentives: Encourage users to share your content on social media by offering incentives. This can help in reaching a wider audience and attracting new users.

Referral Programs:

  • Encourage Referrals: Implement referral programs that reward users for referring friends or contacts. This can lead to the acquisition of new users and their data.
  • Target Referral Campaigns: Specifically target users who have successfully referred others for additional engagement and data collection.

Transparency and Trust:

  • Data Transparency: Clearly communicate how you collect, use, and protect user data. Establish trust by being transparent about your data practices.
  • Data Security Assurance: Assure users about the security measures in place to protect their data, fostering a sense of confidence in sharing information.

Cross-Channel Consistency:

  • Unified Experience: Ensure a consistent experience across different channels, including website, mobile app, and social media. This consistency can encourage users to share data across various touchpoints.

Educational Campaigns:

  • Inform Users: Run educational campaigns to inform users about the benefits of sharing specific types of data and how it enhances their experience.
  • Data Value Proposition: Clearly communicate the value proposition of sharing data and how it contributes to a more personalised and valuable user experience.

Optimise your email marketing in 2024 for the future.

Email marketing with first-party data is essential for businesses in 2024 and beyond as it enables personalised, targeted, and compliant communication, fostering trust and delivering measurable results in an era of increasing privacy concerns and regulatory scrutiny.