Resolve to Have a Better Contact Database in 2013

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros

No matter what your marketing segment or initiative, your database is the cornerstone of your overall program’s performance. Follow these tips to revamp your data wellness going into 2013 and reap the benefits.

Cut the fat: Does your contact database contain more icky stuff than the menu at a fast food restaurant? I bet it does.  Unfortunately, what started out as good data likely transformed over time. In fact, a study conducted by NetProspex found that business contact records decay at two percent a month, and SiriusDecisions has reported that up to 25% of a contact database goes bad each year. That’s enough to seriously stack the scale against you, which is why it’s important to identify where there is fat in your database—incomplete, duplicate or inaccurate contact records—and cut it out of your diet.  While a large database is great, this kind of fat kills conversion rates and introduces risk around sender reputation, inefficiencies in sales follow up, and lead scoring problems.

Eat healthy: Once you’ve kicked that nasty fatty data to the curb, you’ll have a lot of room left to fill up on the good stuff. That’s clean, healthy data that will give your marketing campaigns the strength and energy they need to be successful. Consider all the sources by which data comes into your database and develop a plan to maintain high standards about the contacts that enter. This means taking supplements when necessary—augmenting inbound form data to ensure that it’s complete, progressive profiling to build out gaps, and adding additional contact intelligence to improve your targeting and lead scoring. When you’ve done this, you’ll begin to see some pretty positive results quickly—in fact targeted marketing campaigns (fueled by clean data) have been proven to cost nearly 3.6 times less than untargeted campaigns.

Exercise regularly: Data hygiene, just like exercise, is something that needs to be done on a regular basis to ensure optimal health. This can be done in a variety of ways, including instituting a quarterly assessment of database health, developing steps to cleanse and enhance data, or working with a third-party partner (think of them as your personal trainer) to make sure that you’re sticking to your wellness goals.

Anyone who has made New Year’s resolutions in the past knows how easy they can be to break, but if you can stick to these three pillars, you’ll ensure that your database has the strength it needs to support your ambitious 2013 marketing goals.

Maribeth Ross is vice president of marketing at NetProspex



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