The email address is the ultimate gateway to our multimedia lives and most people keep their personal email addresses forever. Therefore, it stands to reason that many see the email address as the key to the future of digital marketing and advertising. It can identify target audiences across devices, channels and platforms and is inherently personal. Mail hashing makes it possible to reach target groups in a privacy-safe way that is highly customized and personalized. Find out exactly what mail hashing is, how it works and how it can benefit your brand in this DOUGLAS blog post. Have fun reading!
Hashed Mails – the secret to personalization success?
In times of ever-expanding devices and channels, there is one force that unites everyone: the email address. It is our digital passport. It is needed to shop online, to pay, to track packages, to stay informed about the latest offers via newsletters, to be active on social networks or to watch favorite movies and series via streaming services. The e-mail inbox is our personal treasure, to which no other person has access and which leads directly to our identity.
What is Mail Hashing?
The term hashing refers to the process of converting any data record into a string of characters of a fixed length that refers to the original data record. Using a function, the individual elements of the data set are converted into hash values with the aid of a key. Such a data set can consist of strings, lists, files or other content. The key specifies the positions of the elements in the data set and links them exactly to the hash values.
Mail hashing is therefore a special form of hashing that relates purely to e-mails. The so-called e-mail hash is a 32-digit code that is unique for each e-mail address. Through a pseudonymization process, the mail hash is unique and lifelong; it cannot be reversed, which makes the code anonymous. Every time that email address logs into something, the hashing algorithm turns the email into this non-personally recognizable code – regardless of the device used.
What can hashed mail do that cookies can’t?
The hash value is a key that can be used to identify users. In order to classify the consumer’s user behavior from this, a Data Management Platform (DMP) or Customer Data Platform (CDP) is required as a supplement. These can use the hash value of the e-mail address in advertising networks such as Facebook & Co. to target the user there. For the multichannel marketer, email hashes are therefore an important key to using data across channels and providing important information on consumer behavior. As with cookies, data on online user behavior can be accessed. The big difference compared to cookies is that the email hash is unique to a particular individual and tracks behavior across all devices, apps, and browsers.
How can mail hashing be used by brands?
As in most online marketing channels, a combination of different activities is a good approach. If first- and third-party cookies and the data generated by the hashed mails are available, their combination creates a large data pool. This can provide a foundation over time, across different platforms and devices, which helps improve campaign performance. Mail hashing provides better insight into audience behavior. More accurate data collection, aggregation and analysis increases the hit rate, thus reducing the audience and making it possible to address them even more personally across different channels. Here, quality is more important than quantity.
Mail hashing is not a new technology, but it offers marketers additional opportunities, especially in times of a variety of devices in use. Targeting data can be linked across all devices, platforms and channels. Mail hashing picks up where cookies are limited by their capabilities or new guidelines.
Conclusion on mail hashing – personalized data for your brand
The potentials of data mining via emails and mail hashing are immense. We have summarized the most important facts for you:
- Mail hashing may only be carried out with the user’s consent, for example through a user account as in the DOUGLAS platform.
- Matching can only be done when using the exact same mail address.
- The target group can be significantly reduced by hashed mails compared to the same audiences based on cookies. Thus, the approach with mail hashing is more targeted and therefore of higher quality compared to a cookie-based audience.
- Hashed mails can only be used for advertising purposes on a target page if the user’s consent has been obtained on the advertising page, for example Facebook. This way, the user can always determine where and in which combination data is linked and used for advertising purposes.
Through the DOUGLAS platform, we already generate a large amount of data and insights about growth, traffic, conversions and the composition and buying behavior of your target group. So we can already derive numerous insights from purchases, orders and newsletter interactions via the emails, among other things, in a data-driven manner. DOUGLAS MARKETING SOLUTIONS has been using audiences compiled from hashed mails, among other things, since the fall of 2020.
Mail hashing is not new, but it is more relevant than ever.