The four steps to maintaining a healthy marketing database
Did you know that 30% of a business’s stored data decays every year? This is what studies suggest. In other words, 30% of the data you use for sales and marketing and to make essential business decisions is no longer relevant, leading you to make poor decisions or investing in useless marketing efforts.
Now, the reasons why business and customer data goes bad and becomes irrelevant so fast are many. Businesses are currently dealing with vast amounts of data. More significant amounts than ever before. That’s because consumers are generating vast amounts of data by surfing the web, purchasing goods and services online, using a smartphone, and using various online services. And, with an unprecedented amount of data to handle, errors can easily make their way into the scene.
But, this doesn’t mean that you should just give up and accept that your database will be a mess because the amount of data is overwhelming. You need to find ways to keep your database clean and relevant. Keep reading below to learn more about why to keep your database healthy and the X ways to do it!
Why it’s essential to clean outdated data?
If it isn’t apparent enough why an outdated database can cause a lot of chaos, we have a few reasons for it. More precisely, obsolete or bad data can:
- Affect the prospect and customer experience.
- Impact and reduce the reliability of your analytic tools.
- Damage marketing’s credibility within your company.
- Make your business waste resources (like time and money) on marketing and sales efforts.
In contrast, a “healthy” database comes with plenty of benefits for your business. So, here are the reasons why you should care about having a clean and updated database:
- Campaign performance: The quality of a database dictates the success of a marketing campaign, not its size. Only updated data will ensure that your emails and texts are opened.
- Deliverability: Your emails, SMS texts, or other marketing efforts won’t be read if they are not delivered due to the fact that you have an outdated database. For example, if you don’t have valid phone numbers, your SMS marketing campaign will never lead to reaching your goals.
- Privacy and data compliance: A healthy database is also essential to respect privacy regulations regarding data. By having valid data, you know your prospects and customers’ location, which helps you respect GDPR regulations in the location of your audience.
- Improved sales-marketing relationship: A healthy database also helps build a good relationship between the sales and marketing teams. The sales team will trust the marketing team that will deliver great results, and the marketing team will trust that the sales team will add valuable data that will help run effective campaigns.
4 steps to keep your marketing database healthy
Think of your marketing database as a garden. A well-organized outdoor space that is cared for thrives, flourishes, and fills the space with nice colors and smells. In contrast, a garden with no gardener to look after its plants is full of weeds and dead bulbs, plants there never bloom, and no one benefits from it. To make sure that your “garden” stays clean and relevant, follow these four steps:
Step 1: Get rid of duplicates and bad data
The first step to ensuring that you have a healthy and relevant database is to get rid of that “bad” data. What bad data is? Duplicates, outdated addresses, phone numbers, or incomplete data, or hard bounce records all count as irrelevant data that won’t help you achieve the marketing and sales results you are hoping for. So, it would be best if you got rid of it because it only clutters your database.
Look for email addresses that are no longer valid. Use an HLR Lookup tool to validate phone numbers in your database. Also, make sure to correct issues that may affect a piece of certain contact information, such as a space in an email address or a phone number. In other words, get rid of any piece of information that is of no use to your marketing team.
Step 2: Optimize your data collection processes
The next crucial step you need to take to have a clean and relevant database is to optimize your data collection process. If you have an efficient data collection process to start with, you significantly reduce the chances of a poorly maintained and outdated database.
Now, you may be wondering how to optimize your data collection processes? Here are a few ideas:
- Offer value and convenience to prospects and customers who share their data with your business. This will motivate them to offer you relevant and up-to-date data.
- Make data-sharing fun for your prospects and customers. You can use games, quizzes, or tests, for example. Make sure that it isn’t too complicated for your audience to share their email addresses or phone numbers with your business. Ensure a simple and smooth process that doesn’t ask the users to go above and beyond only to give you their personal data.
- Use proper data collection tools like email marketing software, foot traffic analytics, or POS systems.
- Don’t forget to add a human touch to the process, so your audience doesn’t feel like it is only a data generator that only benefits your business. Ask kindly for your customers’ contact data and help them understand how offering it also benefits them. You can promise personalized offers, improved customer experience, and other things your business is willing to offer in exchange for this data.
Step 3: Practice good data management
Once you have an efficient data collection process and you collect relevant data, it is time to manage it properly. How do you manage your database properly? Here are a few best practices of efficient data management:
- Store and organize your data efficiently
- Backup everything
- Have a data recovery plan in place
- Prioritize data security
Step 4: Perform regular health checks
Last but not least, to maintain your marketing database clean and healthy, you need to have a regular maintenance schedule in place. In other words, you need to perform regular health checks to confirm the validity of the data you have.
A healthy database helps your business reach all its goals, from improving brand awareness to selling more and offering outstanding customer experiences. So, follow these steps to keep your database clean and relevant.