What Is First Party Data and How to Acquire It [8 Ways]
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Today businesses have found multiple sources of data to leverage. However, data from all sources and in all forms may not always be useful. So, what we need is accurate and clean data that can be used to create buyer personas, understand user behavior, and create campaigns that reach out to the right people. And this is where first party data comes to your rescue.
In this blog, we define 1st party data, its different sources, and examples of how you can leverage it for the benefit of your business.
What Is First Party Data?
As the name suggests, it is the data directly collected and owned by a company. The data collected from this source is considered clean and unaltered as compared to other sources of external data.
You can collect this type of data via multiple sources that we’ll talk about in this blog. However, an easy example of the same is the leads you capture on your website, landing page, social media, etc.
First Party Data vs Second Party Data vs Third Party Data
The differences between all these different types of data lie in their source.
1. First Party Data
It is the data that you collect from your audience with their consent. It is accurate and allows you to closely target these prospects. Some common examples include emails, phone numbers, purchase history, etc.
2. Second Party Data
Second party data is similar to data collected via first party sources as it is acquired by a business from its audience. The difference is that the business may choose to sell this acquired data.
And thus, in order to acquire second party data you must have close ties with providers who are willing to sell their audience data. However, it is important to understand that second party data does not offer accurate targeting and may offer relatively low reliability. Examples of second party data may include data from social media, surveys conducted, etc.
3. Third Party Data
Lastly, third party data is the data acquired from aggregators that are in the business of selling data.
This data may not be accurate and may have to be further crunched and analyzed to bring some value out of it. Moreover, the source of this data is not known which may lead to further privacy concerns.
Now that you understand the difference between 1st party vs 2nd party vs 3rd party data, let’s tell you why you should opt for 1st party data collection.
Benefits of Capturing First Party Data
First party data has a number of benefits over other sources of data. Want to hear it from an industry expert?
Have a look at this post by HubSpot’s Scott Brinker.
Clearly, the usage and demand for declared data are increasing every year. And you can see the top reasons why businesses are making this shift. Let’s tell you some more crucial benefits 1p data has to offer.
1. Audience Insights
Data collected directly helps you with audience insights that are necessary to run any marketing campaign.
Suppose you sell an ebook and you have gated it behind a lead form. So if a prospect provides their email ID for this ebook, we can be sure that they value this ebook. Now, if this ebook is on ‘How to Grow an eCommerce Business?’, we further get to know that they own an e-commerce business and thus, can customize the emails or the ads we use to target them.
This is how data collected through first-party sources can help you get the valuable information you need to optimize the buyer’s funnel.
2. GDPR Compliant
The best part about having your own source of data is privacy. Being a GDPR-compliant company makes you a reliable keeper of information. This means you can’t easily modify or sell this data as may be done by 2nd and 3rd party data providers.
To give you an example, Outgrow uses GDPR-compliant and privacy-first content to collect user data. This first party is declared by our users when they sign up for our email newsletter, ebooks, and whitepapers, or interact with our content experiences such as quizzes, calculators, polls, etc.
The company holds complete access to this declared data and at the same time, the user holds the right to have it erased whenever they feel the need. Thus, it’s clear from this discussion that if client trust is important for your company, then collecting firsthand data is the way to go.
3. Personalized Information
First party data offers you highly personalized information on your prospects and users. As opposed to second or third party data that does not necessarily come with information about user behavior and preferences, this type of data provides personalized information with no or very low costs.
4. Retargeting Using Custom Segmentation
First party data makes it easy to retarget prospective leads through retargeting ad campaigns.
Once you gather data from your websites, landing pages, social media profiles, and interactive content experiences, you can use this data to create custom segments. You can divide segments based on the source of data or interests of the users, or anything else you may deem fit.
The important point to remember is that there should be a clear distinction between the two segments so that the messaging, graphics, and links you use in your retargeting campaigns are clearly differentiated.
Which Businesses Have Adopted First Party Data?
Well, we saw a gradual shift in industries switching from 3p data to 1p data over the years. So to give you a clear picture, we made a bar graph to indicate the percentage of each industry that has completely embraced the adoption of first-party data collection over the past 7 years.
Where Does 1st Party Data Come From?
Now that we have talked about the value of 1p data and the benefits of capturing it, let’s look at how you can start acquiring it.
We all know about ebooks, whitepapers, landing pages, pricing page forms, and numerous other sources that everyone repeatedly talks about. But one of the best and most differentiated sources of first party data is interactive content. And if you have never heard of this term or are not fully acquainted with it, this is your place to start.
We all know what quizzes are. But do we know what a valuable source of data they can be?
Quizzes capture personalized information about the quiz taker while providing value to them or by simply being super engaging.
Suppose you run a sports club and you want to help your prospects with their fitness goals. A quiz like “Which sport is right for your fitness goals?” is a great way to intrigue them. Adding this to your website or landing page, or sharing it on social media will pique your audience’s interest and help boost your engagement rates.
And first-party data? – You’ll undoubtedly have a constant flow of it!
How about you try that out for yourself?
Calculators are the most sought-after lead magnets and the best source to collect first party data.
They offer precise information based on the requirements of the user, thus, making the data collection process extremely personalized.
Suppose you work for a mobility service provider like Uber and you are seeing a fall in the number of people signing up to be drivers. A calculator like “How much can you make by driving for Uber?” is extremely lucrative to get more people to sign up for the job.
Calculators can be a fantastic source for your data collection strategy as they are unbeatable tools for gathering data that offer immense value and insights to the company.
Chatbots are interactive content tools that aid the client onboarding process.
Any prospect who visits your website can interact with a chatbot to quickly search for what they are looking for. This allows you to collect their email addresses and not miss out on any leads even when your customer support is not active. Chatbots are thus a must-have for your first party strategy.
Suppose you are a video production company, a chatbot like this on your website is a good way to call out to your website visitors.
4. Ecommerce Recommendations
If you are an ecommerce platform, the more sources of first party data you can get your hands on, the better. And ecommerce recommendations or product recommendations top the list!
Ecommerce platforms have the widest scope to personalize all communications with their users and prospects. With ecommerce recommendation quizzes, you can ask a set of personalized questions to gauge user preferences, and based on the answers, recommend a suitable product.
If you sell watches on your ecommerce platforms, this might be your time to shine! Share this ecommerce quiz to engage prospective buyers and aid their selection process.
5. Surveys and Forms
Surveys and forms are a go-to source for collecting first party data. A simple feedback form after someone has visited your website can act as a great source of information for you to run personalized campaigns.
In fact, with forms, you can directly ask users what they want from your business or what they like and don’t like about you. This makes it a powerful and most accurate source of information. Moreover, it acts as a great way to gain first-hand feedback and improve your services.
Suppose you run a hospital or healthcare center, a survey that asks customers to give comprehensive feedback is always a good idea.
You can use a survey like this in any business or profession. In fact, in a way, surveys are a universal source of firsthand data.
Polls are a type of interactive content that asks for your opinion on given options.
Businesses can run polls to understand customer preferences between different products or offerings. The data collected can then help you customize the content viewing experience for your existing customers or target ads based on the preferences of prospects.
For example, you are conducting a conference and would want to have audience preferences in mind before finalizing the guests. A poll like this can give you an idea of the kind of influencers your target audience is interested in.
If you run an educational institution, assessments can be a great tool for you to explore.
For example, you are starting a flagship course and are inviting applicants for it. You can run an assessment on your website and widely advertise it by highlighting a discount on the course based on points scored by the test-takers in the assessment.
This “Test your English” assessment is a superb example.
8. Giveaways and Contests
What’s better than an engaging quiz, an insightful calculator, or an informative assessment? Possibly nothing, unless you merge these with exciting gifts and giveaways!
Giveaways and contests are a fantastic source of collecting firsthand data. To get a good number of responses, the offer you make should be valuable to your audience. For example, a free trial of your tool or a very sample of your product. This allows for superb targeting and makes for a great source of new lead acquisition.
Check out this super cool giveaway template by Outgrow.
They are GDPR compliant, help with creating personalized experiences, and are a great source of gaining audience insights.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started with your 1st party data collection journey now! Try Outgrow’s interactive tools today by signing up for their 7-day free trial.
Yeshaswini is a full-time digital marketer at Outgrow. She loves researching and experimenting with her marketing campaigns. But on most days you’ll find her obsessing over aesthetic imagery and blueberry cheesecake.