Phase-out of third-party cookies is a win for email

The phase-out of the third-party cookie has been one of the more predictable trends in digital marketing in recent years. Over half of marketing managers saw this coming before GDPR had even come into effect.

Yet, it wasn’t until earlier this year, when Google announced it would block third-party cookies by 2022, that many marketers began to realise the true impact that this consumer privacy measure would have on their digital advertising campaigns.

Despite Apple (Safari) and Mozilla (Firefox) having already blocked third-party cookies, Google’s announcement marked a major milestone for marketers. With its dominant market share, Google’s decision will fundamentally change online advertising and brands, agencies and martech vendors have since been scrambling to figure out how to adapt.

However, where one door closes, another door opens. By decreasing their dependence on third-party cookies, marketers will begin to make their first-party data and channels such as email work harder for them. It may be another two years before we wave goodbye to third-party cookies for good, but in the meantime, there is a real opportunity for marketers to up their game and get ahead of the curve.

The impact of third-party cookies sunsetting can be remarkable. Eliminating vast pools of third-party data means a limited number of platforms where advertising data can join together; making tech giants even more powerful. This is an opportunity for anyone driving an audience to their website to look at creating better profiles that drive longer term loyalty and engagement.

Email marketers have long understood the importance of the long-term strategy of building profiles and putting data to work more effectively. The humble, simple email is actually not that simple. In fact, it is one of the most worthy weapons in our daily battle against competitors.

While it remains user-friendly, and definitely one of the most cost effective methods of communication, it bears significant commercial value that translates into positive results towards strategic business KPIs - such as customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and repeat business. Email has the ability to be the glue between consumers and brands. Everything from promotions, educational content, retargeting can all be done using your most precious first-party data asset: email.

Email marketers are in a position to lead the charge on motivating their organisation to see the benefits of making an incremental investment in email and the martech ecosystem.

Email drives a hefty return on investment and can also lead to long term revenue, but only if it receives the attention and investment it deserves. The humble email has evolved in value and importance, and it can affect your relationship with your customers. No matter how thoroughly designed and well executed your loyalty programmes are; if your customers don’t feel valued and appreciated, if they feel being ignored or not properly informed, they will look for alternatives. They will look at your competition.

Now is the time to evangelise that retention is the new acquisition, because companies that don’t believe it, will find themselves out in the cold this year.

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