Hundreds of millions of internet users check their favorite websites first thing in the morning to get their daily dose of online cookies (pun intended).
You see, data from cookie files can be used for marketing purposes. The trick is knowing how and where to get it from legally.
If you breach GDPR, one of the most stringent data privacy laws, you can be fined as much as 20 million euros or 4% of your total turnover.
So, you have to be careful and compliant with data privacy laws while collecting cookie data.
You must be having many questions like what is cookie data, or in what ways you can leverage that data to strengthen your marketing.
So, we have composed this article of the eight best ways you can use cookie data legally for marketing purposes.
Before we introduce those ways to you, let’s look at the basics:
What are cookies, and what are cookie data laws?
Cookies are small text files that are stored on users’ devices when they visit certain websites. They help website owners to identify users’ devices and track their online activities.
There are different types of cookies with different purposes—such as first-party cookies, third-party cookies, essential cookies, persistent cookies—many of which are useful for marketing.
By today, many states have their own data privacy laws, and some don’t even have any.
Essentially, if you are storing data of a visitor who is from a state that has enacted data privacy laws, you’re obliged to follow them.
For instance, if you’ve collected data of an EU resident, you must comply with GDPR—the data privacy law of the European Union.
Similarly, many states such as California, Virginia, Connecticut, Brazil, Japan, etc. have their own data privacy laws in place that are mandatory for you to follow if you’re collecting data of these states’ residents.
To know in depth, you can read this guide to cookie laws of all these states and the consequences of your non-compliance with them.
- Tracking the way visitors navigate your website
- Keeping a record of their preferences
- Storing information about their login credentials
- And more
Why are these purposes important? They have a great deal in marketing activities. Let’s know the ways you can use the collected data for marketing activities:
8 Ways to use cookie data to market your business and stay compliant
1. Use first-party data to understand user behavior
First-party data is any information you collect about your customers through activities on your own websites or apps.
First-party data can help you understand how visitors are using your website or app.
This data helps you, for example, to create a more user-friendly site and attract new customers.
For example, if you notice that customers are clicking on the “buy now” button on your website, but are not completing the purchase, you can potentially use first-party data to identify the problem by understanding their behavior.
This could be due to a variety of issues, but one can be the user’s intent to buy more. They want to buy the product on the screen at that time, but they also want to buy something else.
If your website’s user-interface isn’t allowing your buyers to do that, it isn’t user-friendly. That, you can know with the help of cookies.
The solution could be to change the “buy now” button to something more user-friendly like “add to cart.”
2. Use third-party data to reach more people and grow your audience
Third-party data is data that isn’t your own.
Third-party data includes but is not limited to the information such as census data, public records, or data from other companies that have gathered information on their users and then sold it to advertisers.
Third-party data can help you target a larger audience and reach more people.
If you want to increase brand awareness, you can use demographic data, psychographic data, or geographic data to reach a wider range of people.
For example, if you’re an online clothing store, you can use third-party data to reach people in a wider range of locations since your potential customers can be scattered all around the state you’re operating in, or even all around the globe if you’re large enough.
You can do this by creating a targeted ad campaign based on a certain demographic or psychographic data to create ads that are more specific to the users. You can obtain these data through third-party cookies.
3. Market to people who have proven they’re interested
With cookie data, you know if the visitors were interested in your product but they didn’t buy. You can retarget them. It can be especially effective for ecommerce businesses or brands with a long sales cycle.
Retargeting is helpful when you want to remind customers you have something coming soon, or you want to reach people who have already shown interest in your product.
For example, a clothing store may want to retarget people who have added a certain item to their shopping cart but left the site without checking out.
Retargeting can be creepy if done incorrectly, so be careful not to overstep your boundaries.
If a user has already shown interest in your product, it’s okay to retarget them with ads as long as you’re doing it carefully.
Previously, they might have left your site due to lack of knowledge about your product, so you can use ads to educate them this time.
4. Use geo-tracking data to help you understand where to advertise
If you are marketing online, you can choose to show your ads to specific geographic areas.
Cookies can help you better understand where your visitors are located so that you can show your ads to the right people.
Cookies can also track when your visitors are near specific locations. This information can help you understand where to advertise your products or services.
5. Help you measure the success of your ad campaigns
Measuring the success of your ad campaigns can be difficult. Cookies help you understand which ads are performing best and which are bringing in the most customers.
This helps you create better ad campaigns and spend your marketing budget more effectively.
All you need to do is put a tracking pixel on the pages of your website where the ads are featured.
6. Let you know when visitors are ready to buy
Marketers want to know when their potential customers are ready to buy. This information can help you create a better sales pitch.
Cookies can track when visitors are looking for specific products and services, how much they are willing to spend, and what they are struggling with.
This information can help you create better sales pitches and engage with your visitors before they are ready to buy.
7. Track how visitors use your website
Website owners can collect data about how visitors use their website.
With cookie data, you can track:
- Visitor movement
- Their time spent on each page
- The path visitors take through your website
- Browser type
- And even the operating system they use
This information helps you understand which content is most popular, and what is turning visitors away.
This data is also useful for improving your website design and your marketing strategy.
8. Use behavioral data to market to your visitors
Cookies are also used to deliver ads that are more relevant to their visitors. This helps you boost engagement and make more sales.
You can create a better marketing strategy by tracking which ads your visitors respond to best and the types of products or services they are interested in.
You can track your visitors’ online behavior to see if they are interested in certain topics like sports or entertainment.
Cookie data is a powerful tool for marketers, but it’s important to understand the laws surrounding its use.
They are easy to use and are a good way for marketers to collect data to help with their campaigns.
So, if you’re well educated about the ways you can leverage this data, and the data laws you have to comply with, you can take your marketing game to the next level.