No one likes dirty hands. Have you noticed how the hand sanitization market is booming? Have you noticed how many ladies have small bottles of hand sanitizers hanging off their hand bags?
Dirt spreads germs, if visible it looks terrible on your nice white shirt, and it is simply gross on your shoes.
In small business marketing, dirty data is also pretty nasty.
If you launch a marketing campaign to 300 women in your database and you call them all “Mr.” or “Sir,” that’s pretty bad. If you have someone’s name spelled incorrectly, that’s pretty bad. And of course having the wrong email means you get an email message that bounces back and never reaches its intended recipient. I could go on.
To ensure that your data is as clean as possible, there are a few things you must do on a regular basis.
Clean Data Input
When you input your data, make sure it’s as clean as it can be, right from the start. If you (or your team) are manually typing in contact information (like from business cards), stress the importance of carefully checking the data entry.
Maybe you are typing in business cards from hand-written contact information. As folks are hand-writing their information on a paper form (for example), read it back to them to ensure they’ve written it legibly and that you understand what they’ve written.
Confirmation of Form Input
You’ve spent time to create and place lots of forms on your website, right? Customers and prospects are visiting your website and filling out their relevant information. Ask users to double-check their information and email them a copy of what they filled out to verify that what they filled out was correct. Invite them to double-check their email – a very important field.
Beyond “Unsubscribe,” Use “Update” on Communications
Instead of just having “unsubscribe” on the bottom of your emails, invite users to UPDATE their information. Oftentimes users don’t want to unsubscribe but they simple want to update their contact information or change the frequency of what you are sending to them. Give them options beyond just unsubscribing.
Constantly Refine Your Customer Information
With each electronic communication as users click on various links (or make other actions you can track), ensure you are updating your customer database with the relevant customer preferences. For example, maybe you ask, in one of your emails, about pets. Users who click on the “pet link” are showing an indication that they own a pet. You should automatically update your customer database with this bit of intelligence, as relevant to your business.
Train your staff to constantly verify and update customer information. As the information changes or as new information is given, your staff can manually update the customer’s information.
Inevitably information will duplicate in your customer database. Have your database administrator (maybe that’s you or an office admin!) use the de-duplication feature in your database to merge and/or delete duplicate records.
Overall, keep your data as clean and neat as you can. Your customers will love getting communication from you that has their proper information and you’ll be grateful to see a better relationship with your customers and more sales, as a result of proper contact information.
Image via Shutterstock.