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First-party data refers to the information gathered from your customers. It holds immense value for brands, retailers, or publishers as it is voluntarily provided based on the existing relationship. This data is exclusive to your brand, making it truly ownable.
In the current landscape where third-party cookies are diminishing, first-party data plays a crucial role in your overall strategy. Marketers must be aware that they have a limited timeframe to leverage customer data and convert potential customers into loyal advocates.
To gain a competitive edge, it is vital to learn the art of collecting, managing, and utilizing your website’s data effectively. In the following article we will explore the value of first-party data and how brands and advertisers can leverage it to drive conversions in today’s market.
First-Party vs. Zero-Party Data
Before we explore how to use different types of data, let’s first understand the difference between first-party data and zero-party data. First-party data is the information that you collect implicitly from customers. On the other hand, zero-party data refers to data willingly and knowingly shared by customers with a company.
The key distinction is that first-party data is inferred from passive collection methods, like behavioral data and other sources, while zero-party data is intentionally shared by the consumers themselves.
Examples of First-Party Data
There are several types of qualitative and quantitative first-party data available for collection including:
- Demographics: Statistical characteristics of a population, such as age, gender, income, and education.
- Interests/Psychographics: Data about people’s preferences, attitudes, values, and lifestyle choices.
- Purchase History (and Coupon/Discount Use): Records of customer transactions and use of coupons or discounts.
- Web and App Activity: User actions and interactions while browsing websites or using mobile applications.
- Email Engagement: Level of interaction and response to emails, measured by open rates and click-through rates.
- Social Media Engagement: Interactions and reactions on social media platforms, like likes, shares, and comments.
- Online Chat Transcripts: Written records of customer support conversations through online chat systems.
- Heatmaps and Session Recordings: Tools to visualize user behavior on websites or apps, identifying engagement areas and usability issues.
Collecting Conversion-Focused First-Party Data
Modern consumers are now more aware and cautious about sharing their information. To establish a solid foundation, it’s crucial to prioritize trust in both data collection and implementation.
“With improvements to online privacy, customers are becoming more choosy about which companies to share their data with. Since trust is built on transparency, it’s good form to be open about what information you’re collecting, what you’re using it for, if you are sharing it, and how they can opt-in or opt-out of this process.”
– Nirish Parsad, Practice Lead, Future of the Web at Tinuiti
Here’s a few different ways to collect conversion-focused first-party data:
- Branded Apps: When customers create accounts on your app, they may share additional personal details, allowing you to track their engagement more effectively.
- CRM Data: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) centralize your data, offering a unified view of customer interactions and providing options for organizing, automating, and synchronizing first-party data.
- Opt-in Forms: Placed in emails, SMS, websites, or stores, opt-in forms enable customers to provide specific information voluntarily, such as measurements for finding the perfect fit of jeans.
- Loyalty Programs: Brands can gather consented information like names, email addresses, locations, and interests through loyalty programs, which can be used in future marketing campaigns and make it easy to conduct surveys and quizzes.
- Progressive Profiling: Gradually collecting preference-related data over time until you have a comprehensive understanding of how customers prefer to engage with your brand.
Remember that all this data should have a purpose, and the places where you store your data should be meticulously managed and safeguarded. Regularly engage in deduplication, check your formatting, audit your data to ensure nothing is missing or miscategorized, and regularly purge old or relevant data.
Using First-Party Data to Boost Conversions
- Personalized Product Recommendations: Use prior engagement data to determine what customers are likely to want next. For instance, if someone regularly buys vanilla protein powder, they might be interested in trying similar flavors like birthday cake or cookies and cream.
- Behavioral Triggers/Insights: Set up email automation, SMS, etc., based on past or current behaviors. For example, if a customer adds an item to their cart but doesn’t complete the purchase, you can trigger a reminder email a few hours later. Leveraging consented data allows you to tailor triggers to each customer’s behavior, increasing the chances of successful conversions.
- Targeted Subscription Strategy: For consumables like food, cosmetics, and supplements, satisfied customers tend to buy on a set schedule. Study individual purchase cadences and reach out just before their next purchase is due. If someone doesn’t convert on time, send them a discount to seal the deal.
- Fine-Tune Your Outreach: Utilize data like customer name, location, purchase history (product, category), and survey insights in your messaging. Providing personalized value in your communication builds trust and boosts conversions. Tailor your storytelling to speak directly to the customer instead of using generic messaging.
How to Optimize Holiday Conversions Using First-Party data
With Q4 just around the corner, the holiday season presents a unique opportunity for brands to engage customers and drive sales.
In August, Tinuiti’s Lifecycle Marketing experts will join conversion rate optimization industry leader, Justuno, AI-powered customer communication platform, Iterable, and affiliate marketing platform, Refersion by Pantastic to host “How To Optimize Holiday Conversions by Leveraging First-Party Data Across the Funnel”.
Want to learn more? Register for the free event here!