What's a Hashed Email?

What’s a Hashed Email?

For years, the industry has claimed hashed emails will be the future of marketing. Now, as we approach a post-third-party cookie world, that claim is finally validated.  

With browser support of third-party cookies going away by the end of 2023, you need to start using alternative tactics now to understand your customers and prospects. 

This is where hashed emails rise to the occasion. To continue successfully reaching their target market while adhering to newfound privacy legislation, we must determine what modern targeting tactics to utilize in this new world. 

For example, hashed emails are a vital component in Identity Resolution. Identity Resolution is the practice of connecting and consolidating all of an individual’s identifiers on multiple platforms and devices and mapping them to one person. This allows you to better leverage the data you already have on your customers, enabling the ability to gain unparalleled recognition and insights to use across omnichannel marketing.

Depending on the level of sophistication of the Identity Resolution, marketers can use advanced analytics to create a persistent ID (like FullContact’s PersonID). This persistent ID is then used to create personalized, targeted messages based on the learned behaviors from the unification of an individual’s identifiers.

What’s a Hashed Email?

According to a research study done by Radicati Group, the average person has 1.75 email addresses. “Hashing” is simply taking those regular email addresses and encoding them using a cryptographic hashing function. This process creates an obfuscated string of characters, or hash, to now represent the email. Each hash has a fixed number of characters, depending on the type of hash function used. A hash is considered to have a 1 to 1 mapping to an email.

While the hashed email is irreversible by nature (meaning one cannot “decrypt” it), it can be used in the process of matching when two parties have the same email. Each party can hash it and arrive at the same hashed value. Thus, the hashed email has become a prominent way to securely exchange and transact on emails without sharing them in their clear text form. This is what makes it both permanent and secure. 

Using hashed emails helps protect the person’s identity and PII to keep an established boundary regarding ethics and privacy in the extensive world of consumer data. This identifier can then be used in Identity Resolution capabilities as a single unified identity used for tracking across channels and devices.  

Imagine the hashed email is an individual’s passport in the digital world. You can use it to track engagements as a user actively logs in to a website, social media, or platform. And at the same time, it’s anonymous and secure, protecting the individual’s privacy. 

Why Hashed Emails Are A Persistent Option

With third-party cookies deprecating, email hashing has been much discussed with identifying customers and prospects. As the market continues to adjust, hashed emails are far superior to third-party cookies. You can track hashed emails through numerous devices and channels. With the help of Identity Resolution, they are a highly dependable way of cross-device identification of users. 

Now that hashed emails are finally the linchpin in personalized marketing, it’s time to integrate them into your go-to-market strategy. Want to learn how hashed emails can help your business goals? Talk to one of our experts!

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