Zero-Party Data

Beyond Zero-Party Data: The Power of Consumer-Consented Data

May 4, 2023
Michaela Barriga

Increase conversions and build trust through consumer-consented data—that is, zero-party, first-party and contact data—effectively.

Amidst inflation and economic slowdown, eCommerce businesses want ways to increase customer loyalty while cutting costs. So how do you do that?

By bringing more value directly to your customers that isn’t dependent on a third-party (e.g., social media platforms), you can build authentic customer relationships while reducing ad spend. And it all begins with gathering and using your own customer data.

When it comes to the third-party data lockdown and zero-party data revolution, we prefer a more all-encompassing term: consumer-consented data. It’s an umbrella term for any data a consumer consents for you to collect. This resource is a broad guide to both collecting and using data to optimize your conversion rates and inform future marketing and business decisions. All through data you own!

Here’s what we’re about to cover:

  1. Contact Information Collection Exchange
  2. Product Recommendation Quiz
  3. Marketing Surveys, Post-Checkout, & HDYHAU Surveys
  4. The Preference Center
  5. Multi-Purpose Multi-Step Forms
  6. Cookies on Your Site
  1. Offer a Dynamic Coupon
  2. Personalize Your Email + SMS Campaigns
  3. Retargeting Ads
  4. Custom Conditions + Timing
  5. Shape Future Marketing Campaigns
  6. Reshape Your Products, Offerings, or Company as a Whole

Zero-Party Data + First-Party Data = Consumer-Consented Data

The terms “zero-party data” and “first-party data” aren’t new, but for simplicity, we like to consolidate these terms under the umbrella of consumer-consented data.

A crystal clear definition for zero-party data: Any personal information a customer consents to give you about themselves. This includes personal preferences and interests shared in a quiz, preference center, survey, or any other form where they provide information about themselves.

A crystal clear definition for first-party data: Any behavior information that a customer consents to give you. This data can include the browsing habits of a customer that comes to your site.

A crystal clear definition for contact data: Any contact information shared directly, which may include things like name, address, phone number, email, geocode, social media handle, etc.

Put them together and you get…Consumer-consented data! Consumer-consented data is anything a customer has consented to give you, full stop. 

Why do we use the term consumer-consented data? Honestly, to keep it simple. It’s hard to keep track of all the terms out there: zero-party, first-party, third-party…consumer-consented data is an umbrella term to encompass any data that a customer consents to sharing. It just makes sense!

6 Ways to Collect Consumer-Consented Data (with examples!)

Let’s look at 6 ways you can collect consumer-consented data, followed by 6 ways you can use it once collected!

1. Contact Information Collection Exchange

The simplest form of customer data is their contact information. Most sites have at least one way to collect this, but here’s a close-to-exhaustive list of every time you may collect customer contact information:

  • Newsletters and blog subscriptions
  • Promotions and Offers (Signup & Save)
  • Orders
  • Transaction history
  • Out-of-Stock Notifications
  • Refer-a-Friend
  • Sweepstakes and Giveaways
  • Gated Content / Downloads
  • Account Registration
  • Contact Forms
  • Surveys with an option to follow up
  • Event Registration
Example of a pop-up to collect contact data

However you decide to collect, make sure you’re always transparent with your customers. Snagging their contact information to automatically subscribe them to your marketing messages without their consent is not the way to build trust. Always include an option for a customer to opt into marketing messages so they know what they’re receiving.

2. Product Recommendation Quiz

The product recommendation quiz is a gold mine of opportunity for collecting consumer-consented data. Beyond collecting contact information, you get to really get to know your customers. What are they looking for? Who are they shopping for? You can use this data to better market to each individual customer. (we’ll cover that in the next section!)

Example of a product recommendation quiz that collects zero-party data

But more than matching customers with the right product and personalizing their marketing, which in itself drives revenue, the quiz also operates as your undercover researcher. Your quiz questions don't just learn about the individual customer, but your entire customer base. There’s so much you can do for both individual customers and your entire customer base with data collected from a quiz!

3. Marketing Surveys, NPS, Post-Checkout, & HDYHAU Surveys

Do you have any of the following problems?

  • Too many site visitors abandon without a purchase
  • People add items to their cart and disappear before conversion
  • Customers cancel subscriptions

What's the missing link? Why aren’t more people buying or staying subscribed? Solve the mystery with a marketing survey! Go straight to your customers to ask them what went wrong and what should change for them to make a purchase. Or ask them to give you a rating with an NPS survey. That allows you to identify who your Promoters and Detractors are and improve your NPS score.

Example of a survey used to collect data about customer satisfaction

On the other hand, business may be good, but you may wonder:

  • How do customers find us?
  • What did they come to our site to figure out?
  • What convinced them to make a purchase?
  • What do they like about us?

When collected and used strategically, the answers to these questions can improve your marketing decisions. 

4. The SMS / Email Preference Center

Never underestimate the power of a good preference center to retain subscribers. From a business perspective, the more subscribers you retain, the more likely they are to eventually make a purchase; this is good for you. From the subscribers’ perspective, they get to refrain from getting 7 emails a week and customize the messaging they receive; this is great for them.

Example of an email preference center with multiple lists.

Your email or SMS preference center can customize frequency, type of messaging, or both. The customer gets to personalize their experience, and you get data insights on who your audience is and what they want. It’s a win-win!

Note: you can create a preference center for email and SMS marketing!

5. Multi-Purpose, Multi-Step Forms

Tying it all together is the multi-step form. Extremely flexible, you can customize a multi-step form to accomplish nearly anything. Here are a few common examples!

  • 2-step collection for email and SMS
  • Create a survey or quiz using a multi-step form
  • Ask a quick question and reward a customer with a discount for answering
  • Conversational forms that break down complicated forms into easy-to-understand, bite-sized steps
  • Newsletter signup, with a mini preference center on the second page to sign up for other lists
  • Signup and Save Offers with a refer-a-friend incentive on the next page

What could you create with a multi-step form?

6. Cookies on Your Site

We may not be able to access third-party data (insights on a site visitor’s global browsing history), but we can ask customers to approve cookie collection on our site.

Cookies can collect behavioral information like a visitor’s login status, prior purchases, preferred settings, pages viewed on your site, time spent on a site, and localization data (like language and geolocation). Note that this data is more indirect, gathered from observations, compared to the rest of our examples, provided directly by the visitor.

Tip: Check out #4 in our next section to see how to use this data!

6 Ways to Use Consumer-Consented Data to Increase Conversions

Collecting data is just the first step! Once you own your data, make it work for you. Optimize your conversion rate, personalize your marketing messaging, make bigger decisions about your marketing and products, and more. 

Here are 6 ways to use your collected consumer-consented data.

1. Offer a Dynamic Coupon

Personalized messaging and marketing offers are more effective than generic ones. A 20% off coupon might be nice, but even nicer is a personalized coupon for the dress they have in their cart currently, or for the product recommended by your quiz. 

In addition to dynamic coupons, you can make coupons one-time-use with an expiration date. The one-time use coupon prevents coupon sharing and an expiration date increases the urgency for their purchase.

2. Personalize Your Email + SMS Campaigns

Email marketing is 72-78% more effective when the business uses audience segmentation and personalized messaging. Without data on your customers, the big question is “How do I personalize my messaging and segment my lists?” But thanks to the consumer-consented data you collected, you know all about your customers and how to market to them individually.

Here are 2 ways to do this:

  1. Segment Your Lists: Sending an individual email to each of your thousands of email subscribers is inefficient at best. That’s not what personalization is about. Instead, categorize your email or SMS subscribers based on broad categories you can shape into campaigns. For example, let’s say you sell 3 basic product lines. Separate your subscribers into 3 categories based on which product line they’re interested in, then create campaigns for each product line. Now, subscribers won’t receive irrelevant messages for products they aren’t interested in.
  2. Message Personalization: While you may not be speaking to each subscriber individually, there are automations you can set up to give each individual that personalized touch. Create a personalized series of messages to follow based on their previous purchases, preferences, or any other piece of consumer-consented data you’ve collected. Display their quiz results in an email, offer a dynamic coupon, and create several follow-ups to push them to the sale.

3. Retargeting Ads

Once you know what your customers are interested in, you can retarget them across channels. Display your ads in their Google search results, Instagram, Facebook, and anywhere else they go. Remind them of their full cart, show a few options similar to the products they were browsing, or show them a relevant sale.

4. Custom Conditions + Timing

Creating gorgeous lightboxes, banners, sidebars, and other interactive site experiences is one thing. With thousands of site visitors, how do you ensure each visitor sees the right message at the right time? 

It’s all in your custom conditions.

Custom conditions tell your marketing tools when to display what, which is arguably just as important as personalizing the messages themselves. Use your collected data to inform these conditions. Here are a few common errors conditions can help you avoid:

  • Did the customer already take your quiz? Don’t show it again.
  • Is the customer already subscribed to your newsletter? Don’t ask them to register again and if possible, create messaging that recognizes them as a subscriber and welcomes them
  • Avoid irrelevant messaging by showing targeted messages based on their interests and preferences 
  • Overall, avoid a distant, same-site experience each time by conditioning different forms to interact uniquely with visitors based on their previous interactions with you
  • Don’t spam your offers on every page—limit how many times a visitor sees a pop-up in a single session to avoid a high bounce rate.
  • Use geolocation to anti-target groups that an offer doesn’t apply to. If Free Shipping is for the US only, avoid disappointment by hiding it from international visitors.

5. Shape Future Marketing Campaigns

These next two examples take a step back from the individual sale to show how data can influence the bigger picture of your company. 

From their product recommendation quiz, our customer JAXXON found that their shoppers were primarily men shopping for themselves. Before this quiz, they thought most of their audience was women shopping for their husband or boyfriend. This insight was extremely impactful to JAXXON, who responded by restructuring their marketing to speak directly to their audience: men shopping for themselves.

“Our new quiz increased our eCommerce conversion rate by 2.2X and completely changed how we market our business.”

Johnii Barbarino
Director of eCommerce, Jaxxon1

Effective marketing begins by speaking to the right audience, and data can help you get there.

6. Reshape Your Products, Offerings, or Company as a Whole

When looking at customer data from quizzes or surveys, do you see any holes in your products, offerings, or company as a whole? 

  • Have customers said they want a certain flavor, color, or product line that you could develop?
  • Do you typically serve Problem A and Problem B, but your data show that 90% of customers are interested in solving Problem B, while only 10% have Problem A?
  • Did you learn something new about your ICP that could change the customer profile you were originally developing products for?
  • Did your NPS survey give you insights on customer experience to help you improve overall satisfaction?

As the saying goes, you don’t know what you don’t know. And consumer-consented data collected straight from the source can pull back the curtain, clear the fog, and answer those questions you’ve been asking. 

All you have to do is ask and listen.

Own Your Data, Make It Work for You

Consumer-consented data is powerful. And when you collect it yourself, you have what you need to increase conversions, build and retain loyal customers who refer friends, and improve your business as a whole over time. 

Hungry for more? Here are a few more resources surrounding collecting data and optimizing conversion rates!

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Michaela Barriga
Content & Partner Marketing Manager
Michaela is Digioh’s Content & Partner Marketing Manager and oversees all things content and partner connection. With a passion for helping businesses grow stronger through organization and authentic connection, Michaela has worked with small and large businesses in copywriting, content creation, and project organization. She currently resides in Austin, Texas with her husband and their 2 black lab mixes.

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