Database health has become increasingly important in today’s content marketing environment. A clean, well-segmented database is foundational to the success of any outbound effort. But poor data management doesn’t just hurt individual campaign results—it can potentially tarnish your brand and negatively impact your ability to market effectively in the future.
False Data Costs Money and Slows Productivity
Having bad data causes a negative impact on productivity throughout an organization. In fact, reports show that bad data costs the average company over $180,000 per yeari .This is really no surprise when you think about all the different functions that rely on your database to perform their everyday duties.
- Marketing teams spend hours crafting campaigns and creating content that is intended to attract and engage new customers via email marketing. No matter how good the content is, if the correct targets aren’t in the system—or if they are tagged improperly—it is highly unlikely that the campaign will drive the desired engagement. Furthermore, there is no way to adapt and improve on messaging, because the messaging may not be the problem. Hours of time can end up committed to a program that drives no new leads, and doesn’t have a measurable method to improve.
- Sales teams spend entire days conducting outreach to the leads that are in their database or provided by marketing. Missing or false information leads to wasted cycles on names that they should never have called in the first place.
- Account management and customer success teams are tasked with enriching client relationships and proactively engaging and renewing the client base. In some industries, best practices dictate that proactive outreach should be made at 30, 60 or 90-day intervals to solicit feedback and nip small problems in the bud before they have a chance to become big ones. In other industries it is critical to proactively reach out months in advance of contract renewals. Without accurate data, identifying the correct cycle for proactive outreach is problematic.
Often, the only resort for making headway on a database that has been neglected for lengthy periods is with a large-scale data scrub and data purchase, which may take a significant, often unplanned, investment.
Poor Data Leaves a Poor Impression
An inaccurate database not only makes it difficult to ensure that your messaging is relevant, it leaves you open to mistakes with personalization that can negatively impact your brand’s integrity. How many times have you received an email that was addressed to someone else? Did that make you want to do business with that organization?
Well-crafted marketing campaigns are typically built in a way that recognizes where the recipient is within your sales cycle. If you misgauge where that relationship stands, you may turn an interested prospect into a very uninterested one. For example, if someone signs up for a demo for your product or service and is then sent several messages asking them if they would like to see a demo, it may communicate that you are out of touch with the relationship they are building with your organization. This gets compounded further once someone becomes a customer and you continue to send them messages trying to engage them in a sales cycle.
Inaccurate Data can Tarnish Your Email Reputation
The item that is often the least discussed can be the most damaging. More and more, your reputation as an email marketer is becoming based on the level of engagement and the quality of the data that you are marketing to. ISPs are monitoring bounce rates, opt-out rates, and engagement rates associated with your marketing campaigns.
The formula is pretty straightforward—more engagement leads to higher reputation and deliverability. Conversely, signs of an un-engaged list, like poor open rates, high bounce rates, and high opt-out rates, will degrade your deliverability. Repeated campaigns to an un-engaged list can trigger a downward cycle of poor performance, which leads to poor deliverability, which in turn leads to poorer performance and even poorer deliverability.
The most detrimental side effect of marketing to poor data happens when you hit a spam trap or honey pot. Spam traps or honey pots are email addresses that were once active and accurate, but have been converted into a mechanism to collect and flag bulk unscrupulous email marketers. Hitting a spam trap can cause an immediate negative impact to your deliverability, and can trigger your inclusion on a blacklist.
Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Database
With discipline and ongoing attention, building and maintaining a healthy database is an achievable goal. Follow these key principles.
- Work in your database all the time
- A database that is used solely as a database quickly becomes stale. Integrating your database or CRM into your daily functions allows all individuals in your organization to keep information up-to-date based on their interaction with your prospects and clients.
- Scrub, scrub, and scrub some more
- There are many services available to flag invalid email addresses and honey pots in your database. Never import a list without first running it through one of these tools. Schedule routine incremental list scrubs of your entire database to keep it up to date and avoid the need for large, on-time cleansing events.
- Remove old data
- Sending to a bad name costs you the ability to connect with a good name. As marketers we are often loathe to cut out portions of our list, but if you aren’t seeing engagement after a year, it’s time to move on.
- Routinely add new data
- Schedule and plan additions to your database. Current studies show that almost 5% of your database will go bad every month. Stay ahead of the curve by adding new data to replace the old.
Do you need help with database management? Fill out a contact form and we’ll be in touch. Or better yet, give us a call at 800-966-3051.