Valassis launches Remarketing Activation to follow up web browsing with an email or postcard

The offering matches cookies or mobile device ID to profiles for more than 150 million U.S. addresses.

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Valassis is a marketing services company that reaches consumers through print, coupons, digital media and various combinations thereof.

Its Audible Offers, for instance, delivers a coupon to your mobile device after a compatible app recognizes an inaudible signal in a TV, video or radio ad or program.

Today, the Livonia, Michigan-based firm is launching its Remarketing Activation, a way to reach website-surfing consumers through email, printed postcards or possibly other non-web channels. This launch follows a limited pilot offered late last year.

Here’s a summary visual from Valassis on how it works:

An anonymous visitor goes to a web site, and engages in some way that has been determined by the site publisher. The engagement might be viewing a page, filling out a form or abandoning an unpurchased product in a shopping cart.

Valassis captures the user’s IP address, cookie ID or mobile device ID, and then matches it to profiles for 150 million U.S. street addresses. Most of the profiles, the company said, have an email address, offline purchasing patterns or other attributes.

The match is made because Valassis, or one of its data suppliers, have previously seen that same IP address with cookie ID or mobile device ID when the user logged into a participating site or in some other way was identified, matching an identified user with the device ID or cookie.

After that visitor has visited the web site and somehow engaged, Valassis follows up with a personalized email or  printed postcard. Those blue sneakers you left in the shopping cart, the postcard might say, are now half-off. The company says its tailored remarketing can be delivered within 24 hours for email, or within days as direct physical mail.

With this kind of “omnichannel remarketing,” SVP Larry Berg told me, remarketing response rates have averaged about 31 percent. Valassis cites a brick-and-mortar outdoor gear retailer that wanted to follow-up on site visitors who abandoned their shopping carts. There were several segments of visitors, so Valassis created postcards for each segment. It says that about 36 percent of the visitors receiving the remarketing postcards returned to the site, and over 10 percent of the returnees made a purchase.

While online remarketing of site visitors is offered by such vendors as Criteo, Valassis is focused on following up on online visits through non-web channels, such as direct mail or email. Berg described this as a “complementary strategy for what people are doing for digital remarketing.”

Although this new offering is US only, it’s possible some of the tracked visitors could be EU citizens, in which case the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) might apply. When I asked how Valassis will make Remarketing Activation work with GDPR, Berg said simply the company “is taking measures to be GDPR compliant on May 25.”

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Barry Levine
Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.

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