Do you think that email addresses are simply for sending and receiving digital messages? Then you need to think about it again because email addresses are much more than that. How so? Because they perform so many functions for consumers. For example, they use email addresses to access social media accounts, streaming services, make online purchases, and so on. It won’t be wrong to consider email addresses as passports that most people keep for their entire lives.
So, that’s all about what email addresses are? No, it isn’t. There is another aspect that is worth your consideration. Email addresses are also keys for marketers to identify and engage consumers. That’s why you always find them extremely keen on email addresses. Moreover, hashed emails have become the future of marketing as browser support for third-party cookies will go away by the end of the next year. Therefore, marketers need an alternative way to identify and engage consumers, and here comes hashed emails into the picture. Let’s dive deep and find out how hashed emails can demystify identity resolution.
Hashed emails refer to encoded email addresses using cryptographic hashing techniques. This technique turns email addresses into obfuscated strings or characters or hash that represent emails. Furthermore, there are different types of hashing functions and each type of function turns emails into a string of a fixed number of characters. Simply put, hashing emails technique uses an algorithm to convert email addresses into a cryptographic string of characters or codes.
Hashed emails are a technique that was initially developed as a security feature. However, they have become highly useful identifiers for all marketing channels. As we have already discussed, hashing emails means giving each email address a unique hexadecimal string or code. That string remains consistent across all digital devices. AND most importantly, hashed emails allow marketers to attach information and behaviors to an identity graph. Moreover, human beings cannot recognize those unique strings and this process is also irreversible. So, hashed emails are perfect people-based identifiers for marketers and they can also upload hashed emails to any marketing platform.
Hashed emails are extremely useful for identifying resolution because of the following remarkable advantages.
Hashed emails cannot be used for sending or receiving emails to respect the rights and privacy concerns of consumers. However, this privacy doesn’t compromise the accuracy of hashed emails offered.
Each hashed email represents a unique consumer and remains consistent across all devices, browsers, and applications.
Hashed emails are similar to cookies in many ways, yet are different from them
The advantages of hashed emails may remind you of cookies. They both are similar because of the following similarities.
- Both can be used to track the behaviors of users across the internet
- Data then provide relevant content across the web
- Data is vital for publishers to make ad inventories highly valuable to brands
However, there are also differences between hashed emails and cookies.
- Hashed emails offer a stable identity of a known consumer, unlike third-party cookies that can be refreshed or deleted.
- They also remain consistent across all devices, browsers, and applications.
- You can also upload them to any advertising platform to target custom audiences.
There are three main hashing functions that are also different from one another despite having a common function i.e. converting email addresses into a coded string consisting of fixed-size elements.
- MD5: Message Digest Five algorithmic with 32 characters
- SHA-1: Secure Hash Algorithm One with 40 characters and was developed by the National Security Agency to use as a Federal data processing standard
- SHA-2: Secure Hash Algorithm Two with 64 characters is the most popular and secure function that is uploaded to Google, Facebook, or any other advertising platform
AND all three functions transfer zero personally identifiable information and that is the biggest advantage. Additionally, marketers can own their audiences with these identifiers which aren’t possible when using pixels or cookies.
Although hashed emails aren’t new, they definitely have the power to continue to serve marketers. They are perfect for obtaining data to create engaging, personalized campaigns without using anyone’s personally identifiable information.