Is Your Hand in the Cookie Jar?

Long before the Internet was essential to our everyday lives (okay, maybe we don’t need it for our survival, but it sure feels like it), cookies were. Just the thought of having a warm freshly baked cookie makes my mouth water. Anyways, back to the topic at hand, the Internet has taken something as tasty as the cookie and made it even better. I know, how is that possible? I am no longer talking about chocolate chip and snickerdoodles right out of the oven, I’m talking about the Internet kind. Trust me when I say that these cookies, once you have tried them, are the best you’ve ever had. Internet cookies change the way marketers are able to reach and remind their viewers about them.

So, what’s the recipe for this delicious cookie? A computer cookie is a small text file which contains a unique ID tag, placed on your computer by a website. The website saves a complimentary file with a matching ID tag. In this file, various information can be stored, from pages visited on the site, to information voluntarily given to the website. When you revisit the site days or weeks later, the site can recognize you by matching the cookie on your computer with the counterpart in its database (WiseGeek).

Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember useful information (such as items added in the shopping cart in an online store) or to record the user’s browsing activity (including clicking particular buttons, logging in, or recording which pages were visited). They can also be used to remember pieces of information that the user previously entered into form fields, such as names, addresses, and passwords (Wikipedia). Cookies were created to make the user experience better, so users can seamlessly flow throughout the web.

Why are cookies so great?

Lead tracking: Cookies can tell you how the visitor found you. Lead tracking is an essential component of any marketing plan, and it’s imperative that you’re able to track how your customers are finding your website. Did they arrive through a paid search ad? Was it an OrganicSearch? Maybe a referral from social media? Regardless how they found their way to you, as you see how customers are finding your site, you are then able to focus more attention on that area and have more direction with your online marketing campaigns.

Lead insights: Cookies can give you insider information on your leads and tell you how many, and what pages, they have viewed. This helps you to track their interest level and target specific items they are continuously viewing and likely making a decision on. This information can be used to ReEngage® them at a later time. Cookies also help you to identify how many times a visitor has viewed your website. This is valuable information, as it gives you a gauge as to how interested they are in your company and your products and services.

Internet cookies sometimes get a bad rap from consumers, as they don’t like the idea of their information being shared with businesses. With that being said, cookies aren’t a magic bullet for identifying and tracking web browsing behavior. As a business you need other marketing strategies in your sweets’ jar, as well. Many users choose to delete cookies for one reason or another. Different browsers treat cookies differently. It’s also possible for users to completely block websites from depositing cookies. Estimates of the percentage of users who delete or block cookies run as high as 40 percent (dummies).

While the above is true, most people don’t generally block or delete these cookies. Deleting them frequently makes sites more inconvenient to use. For example, if a user blocked or deleted cookies on their machine, they’d have to re-enter their location every time they checked the weather forecast rather than having it appear automatically. To ensure your company is using cookies to the best of your benefit and not being discarded by viewers, it is important to have a safe and reliable marketing plan based around the cookie crumbs you gather.

We don’t expect you to be the expert when it comes to Internet cookies (you can stick to baking). At Water Bear Marketing, we are experts when it comes to online advertising and would love to talk to you about how you can change the way you are able to reach and remind your viewers about you. With our technology, we are constantly changing the ways that our clients can get in front of their potential customers and turn them into actual customers.

Contact us today for a free consultation, and if nothing else, we can share our grandma’s world-famous oatmeal raisin cookie recipe with you (world-famous in our eyes). I don’t know about you, but this just made me suddenly have a sweet tooth!

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