Use our Top Tips to improve the return you generate from your database.
Keeping your prospect and customer database as up to date as possible is key to
establishing and maintaining good relationships with your contacts, and maximising the return from any direct marketing activity you undertake. Here are 10 Top Tips that will help you keep your database clean and accurate.
Tip 1. Get a Free Data Audit
Assess the quality of your database regularly by engaging a specialist data cleansing
provider to conduct a database audit for you for free. Their conclusions will help you determine how much work is needed to improve your data.
Tip 2. Make sure your data cleansing supplier understands your requirements
When choosing a data cleansing supplier make sure you are confident they understand your requirements. If you are new to data cleansing you will need them to guide you on what you need. For example, it may be preferable to conduct different levels of matching when de-duplicating, or you may decide you want different levels of suppression based on their recommendation.
Tip 3. Take action on your data ‘issues’
There are a range of outcomes that can be highlighted from a data audit, including profiles of your key customers and also data issues such as duplicate and incorrect records. Make sure that your data cleansing supplier can provide an ‘over-reaching’ solution, involving correcting records and appending information in addition to removing records where necessary.
Tip 4. Ensure you allow enough time
If you want to conduct a marketing campaign to your database, don’t leave the data to the last minute as you will need to give your data cleansing supplier sufficient notice to schedule and carry out the work.
Tip 5. Ensure each record has a Unique Reference Number (URN)
Adding a URN to each data record will help you keep track any changes made and merge clean records back into your database correctly.
Tip 6. Clearly date your records
In this way you can see for each record when an activity occurred, and so identify which records may need more attention than others, and which contacts haven’t been contacted within a given time period.
Tip 7. Standardise data entry
Ensure all staff that input data into the database are properly trained and know the
standard expected. Make particular fields mandatory for completion, such as company name, title, full name, address details and contact information.
Tip 8. Check to ensure your database can accept clean data back in
Some CRM software programmes do not allow you to bulk import updated records and flags. Make sure that you explore this with your data cleansing provider at the start of the process, as a reputable supplier will be able to offer guidance.
Tip 9. Protect your data
Your business data is one of your most valuable assets, so don’t hand it over to a data cleansing provider without both parties signing a non disclosure agreement (NDA). A good supplier will be able to provide one and it will ensure your data is protected.
Tip 10. Regular cleaning works best
If you are regularly contacting your database you should aim to regularly clean it aswell, rather than doing it just once a year. You will be able to better budget your data cleansing costs, and your database will be more accurate and therefore more responsive.