Clean Data Tips
Fake emails addresses, duplicate contacts, misspelled names. These are the bane to your marketing and sales efforts. After all, your CRM or marketing automation tools are only as strong as the data you’ve got in them. If you have poor quality data in your databases, you’re guaranteed to fail in your sales and marketing initiatives. This is why you need to implement a data quality strategy. A solid strategy will not only save you hours of janitorial work, but it makes your data trustworthy. If your data is trustworthy then any insight you gain from your data will be also be trustworthy. Here are four tips to implement in your data quality strategy:
Duplicates are usually caused by two things: inconsistent data entry, and multiple channels that capture customer or prospect information. There are tools to help you remove duplicate data. For instance, if you work with Google Contacts you can merge your contacts and detect duplicated for free. Read this blog post to find out how.If you’ve never done a de-duplication before, you’ll also need to manually scan and edit your contacts. This step will obviously take some time, but if you implement company-wide data entry standards and make a commitment to quality data, you will only have to do this once.
- Use a de-duplicator such as Dedupley.
- Use data validation tools that help you to determine the validity of your data, such as email verification tools. Experian Data Quality has some powerful validation programs that allow you to check email, address and telephone numbers in bulk.
- Export to Excel and use Excel’s functions to clean your data - follow this in-depth guide “Top Ten Ways to Clean Your Data” on the Excel Support Page. This guide walks you through finding spelling errors, unintentional upper or lower case letters, fixing dates and times, and much more.
- You can also use Google Contacts to fix your data just type “?” for a list of shortcut keys to help you speed this process up
Verify New DataImplement a three-point check company-wide to verify all new and updated data before it enters the central database. For example, these three points can be Name, Phone Number, and Email.
Keep Data FreshAll databases degrade, some estimate that they degrade at an average of 5% every year. This is due to many factors including contacts changing emails, or just dropping out of the picture. It’s best to keep your data fresh by implementing a few tactics. You can do this by using parsing tools, which scans all incoming emails and updates contact information as it comes to hand. So if a contact gets a job with a different company, your central database can be instantly updated. Remove all emails that have bounced or opted-out. Not only is this good practice for keeping your data fresh, it also helps keep you out of spam folders.
Implement Consistent Data EntryEnsure that all employees are aware of company-wide data entry standards. For instance, each customer record has to have first and last names, and email addresses. That way, when you do the three-point check, contacts will be easy to find in your database.That’s it! If you have any tips for keeping your data clean, please leave a comment.Would you like some more tips about keeping your contacts in order? Download our free ebook “The Ultimate Guide to Contact Management”