Firefox Puts the Nix on Third Party Cookies–What it Means for Your Call Tracking

    By Angelo Tsakonas | Small Business

    Firefox Puts the Nix on Third Party Cookies–What it Means for Your Call Tracking image iStock 000016727834XSmallFirefox Puts the Nix on Third Party Cookies–What it Means for Your Call TrackingMarketers who are targeting online users may be in for a challenge when it comes to the way they track prospects. Third party cookies have long been used to track a visitor across multiple sites, but Firefox has revealed that they’ll soon be putting the nix on that with version 22: Firefox intends to start blocking third party cookies by default; meaning that many marketers will find themselves in the dark when it comes to their online visitors’ activities.

    Third party cookies are small scripts placed on the hard drive of your computer by—you guessed it—a third party. If you’re visiting Domain A, and Domain B is advertising on Domain A, Domain B can place cookies on your hard drive that follow you onto other sites so that you continue to see their advertisements. Third party cookies allow businesses to track users’ online behavior and use it to advertise to the user. First party cookies perform the same functions, but they are generated by Domain A and will not track the user’s activity onto other websites (domains).

    Many call tracking providers use cookies to track a user’s session and display a tracking number to that visitor as they visit different pages throughout a website; and if the provider is using third party cookies, the user is tracked across different domains as well. An example of this is if a marketing agency is using subdomains for their landing pages and then sending traffic to their main site. Even if the user leaves the website and returns at a later time, cookies (first and third party) enable marketers to identify the source of that visitor if they later become a lead. This kind of tracking ability is invaluable to businesses that see the importance of measuring ROI and creating a better system of lead response and nurturing. Firefox, however, is mainly concerned with the privacy of their users, and blocking third party cookies is part of their solution. So what happens now? Are marketers just out of luck?

    Not quite.

    If marketers want to continue tracking phone calls from website visitors—and they do—then they need a call tracking provider that uses first party cookies. First party cookies are placed on a user’s hard drive directly from Domain A (to use the same terms as above) and are generally accepted by users, as it is difficult to surf the web without doing so— up to 40% of online visitors block third party cookies, but less than 5% block first party cookies. Utilizing the latter will ensure higher rates of successful online tracking. First party cookies will not be blocked by Firefox, meaning businesses that use first party cookies to track the online activities of their users will still be able to target those prospects, tracking their browsing activities and logging their origin when they pick up the phone to call.

    April is right around the corner, so look into your call tracking provider’s capabilities. The last thing you want is for your targeting to suffer as the result of this new development.

    Want to learn more about how call tracking can improve your lead flow? Check out our free white paper.

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