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MD5 Hashing

Exact Data Offers MD5 Hashing

An MD5 hash is a "cryptographic function." It takes an arbitrary piece of data, like an email address, and converts it to a 32-character hexadecimal string. Every time you run the same piece of data through the hashing algorithm you get the same result (which can't be reverse engineered). What that means is that your email address - a unique value - is converted to a unique hash string through this process. Its original intended use was as a security feature, but more and more, it's being used as a marketing tool.

"Hashing" an email address is a very simple process. For example, an MD5 algorithm would convert sales@exactdata.com to b41484b9161cb33b8526a1e5fd8a5fcd.

Email Hash Uses

Dedicated email campaigns. Standalone third-party advertisements within publisher newsletters are still a popular way to reach your audience, but most advertisers do not want to mail to your whole list. Advertisers can send over a "hold-out" list consisting of MD5 hashes, match them to the publisher's file, and suppress the matching results. Using this approach, the parties share no actual email addresses, and since the hashes can't be converted back to actual email addresses, the hashes are useless for any purpose other than matching.

Custom audience campaigns. Facebook and now Twitter have implemented or announced the availability of "custom audience" targeting programs. Custom audience campaigns are dependent upon email hashes or hashed phone numbers for their targeting. When you log in to Facebook or Twitter, you are doing so with either an email address or a phone number. Marketers can load up segments consisting of hashed values (customer lists, for example) and when they match users, can bid for them and present an ad in the news feed or within various Twitter clients.

Email ad exchanges. By leveraging the power of the email hash, advertisers can now reach their customers with a loyalty message and their prospects with a prospecting message. Thousands of newsletters from hundreds of top publishers now feature "email addressable audiences" via hash-based targeting. Targeting only the hashes you want reduces waste and increases response rates.

Common FAQ

  • What results can I expect?
  • What does it mean to have "white-listed IPs"?
  • Do I need both HTML and text versions of my email?
  • Talk to me about CAN-SPAM compliance.

    All of the emails in our database are opt-in and CAN-SPAM compliant, but that is only half the battle. We urge our clients to read the FTC’s guidelines on CAN-SPAM compliance when writing their email creative to avoid potential pitfalls.

  • Can I purchase emails from Exact Data and deploy them myself?

    Yes. However, we can only guarantee 100% deliverability if we deploy the campaign for you.

  • What are "best practices" when it comes to designing an email creative?

    Remember that people see hundreds of emails a day, and yours needs to be unique and stand out. In general, use bright yet professional designs. Use eye-catching (but not misleading) subject lines, and most importantly, include a strong call to action. What do you want your audience to do after opening? What are the goals of your campaign?

  • What reporting should I expect after the email campaign has deployed?

    After we deploy your email campaign, you’ll receive a detailed analytics report stating how many emails were deployed, how many were delivered, the amount of opens, the total clicks within those opens, as well as the click through rates with 48-72 hours.

  • What is Exact Data's data source?

    Exact Data sources consumer data from a national database with approximately 210 million names, postal addresses, and telephone numbers, with approximately 700 selects, originating from over 2,000 different sources. Exact Data overlays its permission compliant, opt-in email address database from over 100 sources on that national database, to make what we believe is the best, most accurate and up to date multi-channel consumer database on the market. Exact Data’s business data is sourced from national databases totaling approximately 100 million business names, email and postal addresses, and telephone numbers, originating from hundreds of different sources. Selects include but are not limited to SIC code, job title, and employee size.

  • Does Exact Data offer performance guarantees?

    We guarantee a 100% delivery rate for email (when deployed by Exact Data). Since marketing campaigns in general rely on many different factors (quality of products, advertisement, etc.), we can only guarantee your messages will be received.

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