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Contact identifiers


Cordial consolidates all of your contact dataregardless of sourceand makes it ready for immediate use in your messaging programs. As contacts interact with your brand, the resulting activity is stored in designated data collections and associated to individual contact records using unique identifiers.

One way to utilize contact identifiers is to look at your existing contact records and point out the best unique information about each one. Mapping out your data architecture and choosing the appropriate contact identifier configuration have a direct impact on the efficiency and success of your marketing efforts.

Identifiers and related terms

Cordial classifies identifiers as primary or secondary. All contact records are assigned one primary identifier and one or more secondary identifiers. The number of secondary identifiers is dependent on how many channels you're leveraging, or the amount of use cases requiring secondary identifier support.

Primary identifier: A uniquely constrained value required for every contact record. Cordial generates a cID (contact iD) as the primary identifier value for all contact records in your account.

Secondary identifier: A unique value that, just like the primary identifier, is used to distinguish contact records from each other. Your Cordial account can use multiple secondary identifiers such as contact-provided email addresses, SMS numbers, and custom identifier values you might currently use across external databases. Secondary identifiers may be an optional value.

Term Definition
cID (contact ID) Cordial-generated database identifier that's assigned to a contact record upon creation. cID is used as the primary contact identifier that has a unique constraint by default.
Unique and Uniquely Constrained A value unique to a contact. Unique identifier values cannot be shared across multiple contact records.
Required A value that must be supplied for every record.
Optional  A value that is not required for a record to exist.
Contact supplied A value the contact supplies. This is usually an email address, phone number, or deviceID.
Client supplied  A custom identifier value provided by the client to manage their contact records. This is usually a CRM, application, or ecommerceID.

Identifier configuration examples

Cordial's flexible data management infrastructure allows you to execute integrated cross-channel marketing strategies using data from anywhere in your technology stack. Historically, email address has been used as the primary contact record identifier in most single channel accounts. However, the use of secondary identifiers makes it possible to track contact data across multiple channels and devices, also enabling the integration of data insights from other channels with email marketing data.

cID is the implied primary contact identifier in the following examples. All examples are for conceptual purposes only. The ideal account configuration is unique for every client based on their data and contact management needs.

Single channel configuration

Accounts with email as the required identifier can accept contact records that contain a unique email address. This configuration is ideal for single channel accounts where, in order to be actionable, all contact records must contain a unique email address. Use this account configuration to:

  • Reach a wide audience using highly targeted and personalized content

Multichannel configuration

Multichannel accounts accept several secondary identifiers. These accounts are ideal for complementing and boosting your email marketing strategies. Use this account configuration to:

  • Allow contacts to subscribe to one or more channels directly
  • Drive engagement with focused marketing via push notifications to contacts interacting with your app
  • Allow contacts to sign up for promotional SMS programs by texting keywords to your short code

Client-supplied identifier configuration

Multichannel configuration does not require all secondary contact identifiers to be optional. You can leverage multiple channels even if your current database is restricted to accepting contact records with some unique value as a required identifier. In this scenario, you supply the required secondary identifier value for every contact record in Cordial at the time the record is created or updated.

Additional resources

Identifiers are an integral part of the Cordial data platform, tying together contact profile, activity, purchase, product catalog, device, and supplement data in a meaningful way. This allows you to deliver personal, relevant, and emotionally intelligent messaging. We invite you to explore the following resources for a deeper dive into Cordial's contact and data management capabilities.



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