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With 84% of 25-34 year-olds having left a favourite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising, it has never been more important for businesses to engage with their target audiences carefully. Many organisations today don’t know who their website visitors are. Without information on demographics and interests, brands are unable to target visitors with even the most basic of relevant advertising, let alone look at how best to convert them into loyal customers.

To turn this around, businesses need to consider the importance of the registration process, and how it is a key stage in the development of customer identities and capturing first party data. Too often, the registration process stops at asking for basic information such as name, email address and maybe age or location. This data does not form an identity. It gives no indication of preferences or behaviours.

Compliantly accessing permission-based, first-party data from customers’ existing social profiles offers a much richer and up-to-date insight. This data can be used to effectively target relevant marketing material, and avoid uncomfortable circumstances that may offend customers.

To reach customers with a level of relevance that grows conversions and loyalty, marketers must understand their users. We’re not talking about observing anonymous on-site behaviours and researching general browsing habits – we’re talking about really learning who they are.

Prompting users to self-identify by registering and logging in to sites and applications is necessary, but easier said than done. Here are three strategies to help convert unknown users, and eliminate reliance on anonymous data sources.

  1. Create points of engagement
Asking users to identify themselves and provide personal information requires some incentive. The ability to seamlessly and directly interact with a brand and site community makes access and engagement far simpler. Consider these notable engagement statistics:
  • 32% of companies using ratings and reviews see a registration conversion increase of more than 50%
  • 30% of brands using comments are able to boost registrations by 25-49%
  • 30% of companies using gamification improve registration conversion rates by upwards of 50%
Engagement is only as valuable as the insight it generates. Providing site visitors with ways to interact directly with a brand results in a greater quantity and quality of data to guide the creation of personalised user experiences, more focused content strategies and lucrative product roadmaps.
  1. Implement single sign-on (SSO)
Driving registration flows across a single web property can be difficult, but for brands with multiple domains, this challenge can be two, three or even ten times more difficult. Single Sign-On (SSO) allows users to authenticate just once and move seamlessly across web properties.

SSO syncs logged-in states as users navigate from one web property to another, or to a third-party application that sits within a site. Allowing users to leverage the same identity across domains facilitates a single, complete customer view, as well as simplifying back-end identity data management.

For example, as properties of a larger parent company, Food Network, HGTV and DIY Network enable users to log in on just one of these sites, and then unlock the ability to navigate across all three properties while maintaining their logged-in states.

  1. Link anonymous data to known users
By employing cookies across web properties, brands have compiled masses of anonymous user data. While this data gives some insight into behavioural trends for site visitors, it fails to uncover the interests and identities driving these actions. What’s more, device-specific data is becoming increasingly unreliable as users connect and share across a growing number of mobile devices.

Integrations between identity management solutions and data management platforms (DMPs) or automation tools make it possible to link existing, anonymous consumer data to known user records once a user registers on-site. When a user registers, a site can send the now authenticated user’s site ID to a DMP, and the known user is synced to the DMP against the anonymous ID and data on record for that user. Moving forward, the user’s identity data can be passed directly from the identity management platform to the DMP and attributed to the correct user based on the site ID match – even across devices and domains.

By identifying site visitors at the point of site entry via registration, marketers can tie demographic, interest and behavioural data to individual user identities. This enables brands to personalise user experiences on an individual level – even as users move across channels and devices. It is vital to remember identity data is permission-based and captured directly from users, resulting in more accurate and complete information that leads to more effective segmentation which drives loyalty, trust and sales.

By Richard Lack, Director of Sales EMEA, Gigya