Zero-Party Data

What Is Zero-Party Data?

April 22, 2022
Michaela Barriga

Zero-party data allows brands to deliver the personalized experiences that customers expect. Here's how to collect it and put it to use.

To people on the outside, marketing sometimes gets a reputation for being one big party. After all, the marketers are the ones flexing their creative muscles, planning the events, and maybe even bringing a bit of fun to stodgy company-wide calls.

And to be fair, there are quite a few parties in marketing, but they often involve data. Specifically, third-party, first-party, and now zero-party data.

But what is zero-party data? How do you get it? And how do you use it?

We’ll cover that here. Consider this your invitation to the zero party!

What Is Zero-Party Data?

Zero-party data is data an individual user shares with a brand, to put it simply. This can include a user’s personal interests, preference center data, and whether users intend to buy certain products.

Unlike first-party data, which includes transactional and behavioral data captured from users (sometimes without their knowledge), users share zero-party data voluntarily and proactively.

Even better, this data is self-reported by users. You don’t have to infer what a user likes or wants to buy; you can simply ask them!

Of course, people don’t share this data just because. Customers provide their data expecting to receive value in return, such as tailored recommendations or more personalized content.  Take a look at the quiz below.

example of a quiz that captures zero-party data about customer preferences
This quiz captures data about how customers will use their tweezers, their budget, and other data to make an informed product recommendation.

Digioh customer Tweezerman collects zero-party data about customer preferences and needs. Then, the quiz provides value in the form of a personalized product recommendation, making it easier for visitors to find the products they need.

By exchanging data for better experiences, brands bring customers into the conversation, an approach to data that’s more important than ever.

Why Zero-Party Data Marketing Matters 

As legislation limits the use of third-party data and users grow wary of sharing personal data, brands must get creative to continue delivering the personalized experiences users expect.

For marketers, this seems like a tall order. How do you deliver more relevance with less data?

By giving your users opportunities to share data proactively. Zero-party data approaches are revolutionizing the way businesses engage with their online customers. With this data, you can deliver more relevant messaging, leading to higher customer retention and loyalty.

4 Ways to Capture Zero-Party Data 

Even though users volunteer their zero-party data to your business, it’s important to collect this information responsibly, using it to provide value to your customers. Here are examples of four ways brands are collecting zero-party data to improve user experiences. 

1) Collect zero-party data with multi-step pop-ups.

Many businesses use pop-ups to ask users for their emails, collect mobile opt-ins, or both.

multi-step forms for zero-party data
This multi-step pop-up captures email addresses and mobile numbers.

With multi-step pop-ups, you can build out your customer profiles by capturing additional data.

Once you collect a user's contact information, use the next page of the pop-up to ask about their preferences or interests. To increase the chances of collecting this data, let visitors know why you’re asking for it, such as to provide more relevant discounts or content.

two-step email pop-up to capture subscriber preferences
After a visitor signs up for the email list above, the pop-up asks them to specify their content preferences.

With a multi-step pop-up that captures data progressively, these additional questions are optional. This allows you to capture a visitor’s email, even if they abandon the form after the first step.

2) Get interactive with quizzes that capture zero-party data.

Question time! Did you know that quizzes are an exciting ways to engage your visitors?

eCommerce stores and other brands are increasingly collecting zero-party data in exchange for personality assessments or product recommendations.

Check out the product recommendation quiz example below.

zero party data quiz example
This product recommendation quiz captures zero-party data in exchange for a personalized jacket recommendation.

Product recommendation quizzes capitalize on people’s curiosity. Users are willing to engage because they're excited to see their result. In this state of mind, they'll voluntarily provide information on their interests in exchange for the product that best fits their needs. 

zero-party data collection quiz
AriZona's product recommendation quiz captures data about each user's tastes, providing information that could inform product recommendations, email segmentation, and other marketing efforts.

This strategy makes the shopping experience easier for both you and your shoppers, while also providing valuable data about preferences and buying intentions. 

3) Collect feedback with surveys.

Zero-party data is collected to provide value to customers. What better way to provide value than to ask the customer directly for their feedback?

survey for zero party data

With marketing surveys, you can ask your customers about their past experiences with your company or even how they heard about you.

Post-purchase surveys are especially popular in eCommerce. Try showing customers a pop-up survey immediately after their purchase, or send it in a follow-up email. Both options earn high response rates by by asking for feedback in a moment when shoppers are most engaged with your brand.

4) Let customers provide zero-party data in your preference centers.

Email preference centers let subscribers self-personalize their email communication by choosing which content they receive.

You can take this up a notch by using this page to learn more about your subscribers. 

example of a preference center that collects zero-party data
This preference center example allows subscribers to opt into home, garden, and travel newsletters.

To get more value from your preference center, use it to allow subscribers to opt into subjects they like and opt out of what they don’t.

Digioh customer Charles River uses their preference center to capture zero-party data about subscriber interests.

Once you have this information, you can use their preference data to personalize their experience in more than just email. 

4 Ways to Use Your Zero-Party Data

The strategies you use to collect zero-party data are important, but you can’t stop at the collection stage. What do you do with your data once you have it?

Here’s how you can make the most of this collected information. 

1) Use Zero-Party Data for Targeting and Retargeting

An excellent place to start is to show pop-up promotions to your visitors on your website based on data previously collected. This method smoothly leads a returning visitor down your funnel to make a purchase.

retargeting users with zero-party data collected from quizzes
With zero-party about a visitor's watch preferences, you can target them with the most relevant promotion for their interests.

You can also share this data with your advertising platforms.

ad retargeting that uses zero-party data
After users complete a product recommendation quiz, you can retarget them with their results on other platforms, like YouTube.

This targeting allows you to advertise more effectively, increasing the relevance of ads and improving return on ad spend.

2) Segment Users Based on the Data They Provide

With the data provided by your customers, you can segment your email and SMS lists based on the interests your users indicate in quizzes, surveys, or preference centers.

email segmentation example
When users respond to quizzes or surveys, you can use this information to email them more relevant content.

This allows you to send each segment relevant promotions and content, increasing your chances of conversion with every send.

3) Collect Data for Enhanced Personalization 

Brands can also use zero-party data to power personalization.

Use your collected data to show relevant products, content, and even pop-up CTAs to visitors the next time they visit your website. For instance, did you capture zero-party data with a holiday gift finder quiz? Use the data you collected to recommend relevant gifts for their loved ones in the future.

By showing products and content you already know they are interested in, you can provide an exceptional user experience and drive higher conversions. 

4) Make Informed Business Decisions 

The more insights you have as a business, the better. Do people like this product line or that product line? What do they want to see more of? What is holding them back from buying? These are just a few questions every business asks as they are making business decisions. 

With the right data, you can make more informed advertising and merchandising decisions. 

Join the Party!

If your goal is to build a robust brand built around customer experience, retention, and loyalty, now is the time to tap into zero-party data solutions.

When used (and collected) for good, it can transform how you connect with your customers.

Ready to start your zero-party data strategy? Why not start with a quiz funnel?

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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