Social123 sees that the world of big data is corrupt, so we did something about it in the true fashion of Breaking Bad’s Walter White. A data revolution has crept up on most marketers before we have had a chance to identify and reform our bad habits when it comes to managing contact data. Fortunately though, the year is young, and there is still time to change the way you obtain, manage and use your contact data. First, let’s start out by identifying some of the most common bad data habits:
Infrequent Data Cleanses (if at all)
To start, the average contact lead list is roughly 15 months old at the moment of purchase. To make matters worse, based off of multiple studies (Hubspot. SiriusDecisions), contact data expires at a rate of 25% per year! Why? Because our workforce is as transient as ever and the more transient we become, the faster our data will expire. As a best practice, Social123 recommends that you clean your contact data once a quarter, at the very least. You should be cleaning the data in your CRM as well as the data that flows into your MAP. Don’t forget about any external excel/.csv documents; these need to be tidied up too. What is exactly is cleaning your data, then? Cleaning your data should consist of identifying expired contact records, replacing the contact record with the correct one, and then appending the contact that filled that person’s shoes. Don’t forget to clean the actual emails as well – there are tons of validation tools out there (none better than Social123 of course) and you simply must know which emails are bad so you don’t send to them anymore – protect your IP reputation!
Importing Incomplete Data:
Not only are form fills typically incomplete, they are highly inaccurate. Don’t you ever just want to download a whitepaper or case study without having to give up your email and contact info…I’ll admit, I do it sometimes…and you probably do too! Remember: 88% of online form fills are completed inaccurately and if this is the primary source of your data, things aren’t exactly looking up. Online form fills will lead to broken campaigns and maybe even broken hearts.
Although it is best to have as many fields of data as possible on each contact record, be careful not to import just anything you can get your hands on. More than likely, it is old, inaccurate or just messy data with fields that cannot be mapped properly. The more data you have on each contact record, the better you can market to them, but you might actually end up with “everything but the kitchen sink”
Before you import contact into your MAP or CRM, it is just short of illegal to neglect Email Validation. It’s easy to see the logic behind blasting an email out to everyone just so you can identify the bounces, but that is absolutely detrimental to your IP reputation when done repeatedly. In other words, don’t land yourself on the black-list, its not a good look. Social123 can validate all of the emails in your database before you import, and tell you which emails are valid (along with a risk assessment) and which emails are invalid.
Too Much Whitespace
Every field of data, no matter how big or small, matters. Leaving whitespace in your data essentially leaves holes and missed opportunities. You might have ‘alma mater’ as a field and think, “Hmm…I don’t need that information and not every contact has that field so I’ll just delete that column.” NO!! Don’t do it – it is beyond crucial to see the value in every tiny bit of data and to take it a step further and have some campaign foresight. What if you wanted to run a targeted campaign for graduates of a certain University – the content of that message will be meaningful to the recipient and they’ll likely open it or act on it.
Too Many Hands in the Cookie Jar: CRM/MAP Admin Rights
Beware of loose admin privileges! The hygiene of your data is already on the loose as it is! The admin rights really should be vested in a select few who all have aligned objectives and goals. A huge factor, besides too many unique admin users, is when the actual admin credentials have been shared with too many, or that it is easily accessible. Either way, having too many cooks in your CRM kitchen will surely have a messy ending.
We all have bad habits, and some are a little hard to kick, but B2B contact data doesn’t have to be a big problem. Give your data the respect it deserves and it will give you the results you want. It’s time to start using your data for good, not for evil. Social123 can identify and reform bad data habits and help make your dirty data do’s a thing of the past.