How Does Profile Merge Happen?
The most common way that Profiles merge is due to Profile Events, which are collected with visitors and subscribers' consent. Consent can be Channel consent (Email or SMS) and Cookie consent.
After receiving consent, Profile data is collected from your website and as individuals interact with your Email or SMS tool activities as Website Interactions and Response Data. This allows for a complete and comprehensive 360° view of a customer or prospect's Profile.
Profile Merge: A Journey
Let's go through a typical Profile merge scenario, step by step, so you get an idea of all the different touch-points that APSIS One allows you to make the most of!
1. A visitor enters your website and provides Cookie consent via your Cookie banner.
2. An Unknown Profile (P1) is created in your APSIS One account, and visible in Audience with their unique Cookie ID.
3. All Website Interactions related to your active Website tool activities are stored in the Unknown Profile (P1), as the visitor continues to browse.
4. The same visitor then provides their email address with consent via your Sign-up bar or Form.
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5. A Known Profile (P2) with email consent for a specific Consent list and Topic(s) is created in your APSIS One account.
6. The Known Profile (P2) obtains the Channel consent Event, which signals that consent has been provided via your Sign-up bar or Forms activity. This Event can be used for insights and Segmentation purposes.
At this point, there are two separate Profiles in your APSIS One Audience.
The reason for this is that APSIS One is still to verify that the visitor indeed owns the email address provided in your website. Profile data is kept secure, P1 being separate from P2.
7. The Known Profile (P2), having Channel consent, will eventually receive an email message...
With Double Opt-in enabled: A Double Opt-in email is sent to the Known Profile (P2) with a link to a confirmation page where they can confirm their subscription. Read more about Double Opt-in... The benefit of Double Opt-in, besides promoting Profile merge, is to assign a higher type of consent: Confirmed Opt-in. Until a Profile confirms their subscription, they will not receive any communications. Read more about consent...
Without Double Opt-in enabled: A Newsletter Sign-up flow sends a welcome email to the Known Profile (P2), or they may eventually receive an email created with the Email tool. When they provide their consent for communications, provided that Double Opt-in is disabled in the Sign-up bar or Form, or that they were subscribed via a different source, they remain with the Opt-in type of consent.
8. Either the Known Profile (P2) confirms their subscription, gaining a Confirmed Opt-in type of consent, or they click a link in the email sent with Marketing Automation or the Email tool (without changing their type of consent). Profiles that sign up via a Sign-up bar or Form with Double Opt-in enabled and don't confirm their subscription do not receive any emails sent with ASPIS One. Read more about consent...
There are two possible scenarios that follow:
The individual confirms their subscription or opens the email link in the same device or browser that they were using upon browsing your website as an Unknown Profile (P1) with the same Cookie ID.
The Known (P2) and Unknown (P1) merge because the APSIS One Tracking Script is able to recognise that the visitor has entered the website from an APSIS One email sent from your account, or that they have confirmed their subscription. All future browsing behaviour from the same device and/or browser, provided that it's also the same Cookie ID, is then collected in the Known Profile (P2).
Double Opt-in is the most supportive and efficient feature to promote this scenario, since Profiles receive a confirmation email right after they sign up to your communications.
The individual opens the link or confirms their subscription in a different device or browser than they were using upon browsing your website, or perhaps they cleared their browser's cookies between browsing and opening your email.
The Known (P2) and Unknown (P1) do not merge because the APSIS One Tracking Script cannot identify the visitor. A new Unknown Profile (P3) is created based on the Cookie consent, and then the Known Profile (P2) merges with P3 based on the link in the email.
In this case, all future browsing behavior will be collected as Website Interactions in the Known Profile (P2) coming from P3, provided that it happens in the same device or browser.
These two scenarios can, and will happen multiple times as individuals opt-in to your communications and browse through your website in different devices and web browsers. Therefore, Profiles will continue to merge with all devices they use as they continue to interact with your brand or service offering.
Unknown Profiles are created as visitors browse through your website, and a Profile that has been identified previously might not be identified in all of their future browsing instances. For example, if a visitor clears their cookies or visits from a new device, they will remain unidentified until a merge happens with a consent-related activity (like arriving to your website from a link in your email).
Enriched, complete Profiles require consistency and great Marketing strategies that promote interactions with your brand or service offering, and APSIS One's tools and features allow for endless opportunities to improve your efforts.