Data has become as essential to business as water is to agriculture. Like water, sometimes the data coming in is impure; it could even harm your cash crop of new leads or limit future opportunities by spoiling the fields where your long-term customer relationships grow. What’s worse, invalid data incurs unnecessary costs at every stage of the lead lifecycle from initial acquisition barriers to lost sales. Data hygiene is the solution, but let’s take a closer look at the problem to understand why data enhancement is so vital.
Every piece of email or direct mail that goes to an invalid address is a message that didn’t reach a lead. To go back to our farming analogy, these seeds never found fertile soil. It’s sometimes challenging to quantify opportunity cost, but when you consider that data typically expires at a rate of 2 to 4 percent per month, companies that don’t update their data could be looking at missing the mark on almost half their marketing activities within a 12-month span. Because the B2B sales cycle is often lengthy, any lost time spent with mailing non-leads can’t be made up easily.
Email service providers are careful gatekeepers for their users, giving them plenty of ways to divert their mail according to relevance and limit the influx of invalid or irrelevant email that every professional receives. Muddy data that results in high soft and hard bounce rates can send a signal to ESPs that the sender is failing to prioritize relevance. If you want to make it past the velvet rope, you need to demonstrate relevance to recipients – relevance that comes from using well-maintained data. Enhancement services such as merge/purge and de-duplication mean more of your mail is delivered, which in turn sends a strong message of trust to ESPs.
Prevention vs. Cure
Data enhancement comes with a price tag attached, but the investment involved in maintaining and improving existing records is tiny compared to the expense and time needed to build a new list. Verifying contact information, cleaning records, and enhancing marketing data to provide more complete knowledge about your prospects will lower your risk of wasted effort dramatically. It’s better to buy into prevention now than to cure a database so choked with invalid information that it’s hard to tell genuine leads from noise.
Missing the Personal Touch
Data enhancement is about more than restoring the accuracy of records through verification and merge/purge operations. It also completes records that are missing key pieces of information, giving you a better understanding of your prospects so you can customize your marketing to their needs. Email in-boxes are like parties crowded with hundreds of guests; if you’re shouting “hey you,” you aren’t likely to hold anyone’s attention for long. Remember your prospects’ names and some details about them, though, and they’ll listen when you talk with them.
Dirty data doesn’t have to be a drain on your organization. With data hygiene services that verify, cleanse, and append data, you have the tools to transform your marketing into a revenue machine.
© Reach Marketing LLC 2016 All Rights Reserved.