The individualisation of content is an important sales driver in direct digital marketing. The more information about a user is available, the more precisely you can tailor content to his preferences. For the start of the dialogue, i.e. after registration of the user, e.g. for a newsletter, you will face a specific challenge. Welcome emails or multi-level welcome series may be a very effective tool to activate users right at the beginning of the dialogue, however, at this early point in time, there is hardly any user information available, which may be used for individualisation.
In order to meet this challenge, certain limited data can be collected prior to the registration of a user. This is called “pre-targeting”. In pre-targeting, this data or the information gained from it is compiled in a digital fingerprint and enriched in real-time with the details obtained within the context of the registration (email address, name, mobile number etc.). This information can then directly be used in the welcome communication.

Usage Behaviour on Your Website

The most important data source in pre-targeting is your own website, the channel via which most users register for direct digital marketing communication, i.e. submit their opt-in. Usually, a user does not register immediately when first visiting your website. However, this does not change the fact that registration forms, e.g. for a newsletter or an SMS service should be placed prominently on the start page). Initially, he will have a look around the website and click through a number of sub-pages. This “journey” through your website can be tracked for pre-targeting. Which pages has the user viewed? How much time has he spent on which page? Has he perhaps accessed other web services, such as your twitter channel? You can already gain important information from the usage behaviour on your website. If a user has, e.g. viewed content on a specific topic frequently and for a long period, you may offer other content on this topic in the context of the welcome communication.
Pre-targeting particularly makes sense in an online shop as you are able to track which products users have viewed prior to their registration. Even before their registration, you can identify product interests, which will enable you to make individualised product suggestions or offer discounts for the viewed products within your welcome communication. Another option would be shopping basket follow-up emails, in case a user has already placed products in his shopping basket but has not checked them out, yet.

Last Visited Website

It is not only possible to track how users behave on your websites, but also how they arrive at those sites. Which websites has a user visited prior to visiting yours? Does he come, e.g. from a competitor? From a comparison portal? From a news page, which deals with your topics? Has the user come from a banner display? From social media? All this information can be integrated in your own communication.
Pre-targeting is the most effective when you already have comprehensive information on a user from other sources, e.g. transaction data from a web shop where the user has made purchases prior to registering for dialogue marketing. In order to use this information and transmit the user a consistent image, you need to link all data sources and allow all dialogues (e.g. newsletters, transaction communication or mobile messenger messages) access to a single data stock.

Ensure Legal Compliance

In order to be able to legally use personal data in direct digital marketing, you always need the explicit consent of the respective user, independently from his general consent to direct marketing. Personal data refers to data which can be directly associated with a person. In the case of pre-targeting this would be as soon as the previously captured tracking data is enriched with the email address or mobile number.