“Cookies in the morning, cookies late at night. Cookies all day, here take another bite!”

seems to be the mantra for marketers worldwide today.

Cookies make the online marketing world tick. When consumers accept the cookies, they expect a delicious experience from brands, while marketers leverage the data to strategize their marketing plans and target them with customized messages.  

The world is now changing rapidly, and there’s a huge focus on Privacy. Google has announced that it will be phasing out third-party cookies by 2022 (to protect data privacy), which means the cookie diet will end soon. But for marketers, it would mean the end of using third-party data to target their audience. This is even more important for SaaS Marketers who need to acquire customers consistently. And now they have to do so without third-party data.

For the uninitiated, cookies are scripts that collect user information and leverage it for advertising and remarketing. It helps marketers create user personas and customize marketing communications according to user preferences. So, how can marketers engage their audience in a cookie-less world? 

Well, to be clear, all cookies are not going away; only the third-party cookies are. Usually, marketers use either first-party or third-party cookies to target their customers. Self-owned websites you visit create and place cookies called first-party cookies. Websites other than the one you are on also create and place cookies, called third-party cookies. We can use the latter for retargeting people with personalized and relevant ads.

So technically, third-party data alone is not the only way marketers get to know about users and their preferences. Marketers can still compile customer data from the first-party cookies (data) and leverage the necessary information.

Marketing without third-party cookie

Batman slapping robin meme depicting how cookies should be used

First-party data can make communication more relevant and improve purchase intent better than third-party data. And one of the most convenient methods of collecting first-party data is getting users to share their emails ids. 

Email marketing is one of the most preferred modes of communication for marketers. Customers, especially the millennials, are pretty receptive to email as a medium of communication and 64% perceive it as a more personalized approach. It also helps increase the marketing ROI for a brand. 

Since KPIs for email campaigns are easily tracked, we can calculate their cost impact also. Although the absence of cookies reduces the probability of launching remarketing campaigns, the subsequent switch to email marketing reduces the cost to conversion ratio, resulting in cheaper acquisition costs.

You need user consent to collect first-party data. But getting user content is challenging because a company has to expend a lot of effort to build enough trust with the end-user or site visitor. Consequently, consistent and engaging content is critical to winning this trust and getting user consent. Once you do this and collect user information, the cohort identification becomes more convenient, resulting in better targeting and increased engagement. 

Customers consent to receive communications from a brand expecting personalized content, as we discussed above. Email campaigns using customer data across touchpoints can help curate messages by identifying the users based on their needs, context, and intent. Hyper-personalized communications through a hyper-segmented marketing funnel can work wonders in a product-led marketing landscape.

In a cookieless world of marketing, the emphasis shifts from advertising to contextual, relevant, and personalized content according to the user personas. Therefore, the discontinuation of third-party cookies presents an exclusive opportunity for marketers to use email marketing and create measurable impact, especially in the SaaS domain. 

Wrap Up

Email marketing using first-party data can also improve the customer experience and engagements. It helps you deliver a buffet of personalized and targeted content according to the users’ preferences. In other words, first-party data offers a refreshing experience after a cookie-heavy diet for years. If you are a SaaS business wanting to reimagine your email strategy and offer such an experience to your customers, you should check out how Glance can help you.

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