Old email addresses, duplicate contacts, spelled names … this is the path to your marketing and sales efforts.
After all, your CRM and marketing tools are only as powerful as the data you have in them. If you have poor quality data in your databases, you are ready to fail in your sales and marketing initiatives. Your customer data is the most valuable asset your organization has, so it’s important to ensure that it serves your company’s bottom line as much as possible.
A solid data quality strategy not only saves you hours of shift work, but it ensures that your data is reliable – which means that any insight you gain from this data is much more accurate and useful for your business.
So to help you figure out how to get the best possible contact data in your business databases, we’ve put together four tips to clean up your data.
How to clean up your business data
Get rid of duplicates.
Duplicates are usually due to two things: inconsistent data entry and multiple channels that collect contact information. There are tools to help you remove duplicate data. For example, if you Working with Google Contacts, you can merge your contacts and register duplicates for free.
If you have never made a duplicate, you may need to manually scan and edit your contacts. This step will take some time, but if you implement enterprise-wide data entry standards and commit to quality data, you only need to do this once.
Here are some tips to help with de-duplication:
- Use a de-duplicator such as Dedupley.
- Use data validation tools to help you determine the validity of your data, e.g. Email Verification Tools. Experian Data Quality has some powerful validation programs that allow you to check emails, addresses and phone numbers in bulk.
- To avoid having duplicate contacts across different applications, keep your core tools in sync to eliminate the need to enter the same data into different tools.
2. Confirm new data.
Implement a company-wide system to ensure that all new and updated data is correctly entered in the central database. For example, you can make sure that your team always fills in certain contact fields (such as Name, Phone Number and Email) in your CRM using the same format. You can also make certain fields mandatory when creating a contact record so that the necessary information is always there.
You can also create a contact synchronization between your CRM and other tools. If the data is only entered into your CRM and is automatically synchronized with your other tools, you can ensure that all applications have the same information, thus reducing the likelihood of data entry errors.
3. Keep your data fresh.
All databases are degraded – some estimate that 30% of CRM data becomes obsolete every year. This is due to many factors including people who change email addresses, get new phone numbers, leave organizations, change job titles and many others.
It is best to keep your data fresh by implementing a few tactics. You can do this by using parsing tools that scan all incoming emails and update contact information when it comes in handy.
So if a contact person e.g. If you get a job with another company, your central database is updated immediately. It’s also a good idea to delete all email addresses that have been skipped or deselected – this kind of information can most likely be found in your email marketing tool. Not only is this a good practice to keep your data fresh, but it also helps keep you out of spam folders.
4. Perform consistent data entry.
All of these measures are pointless if you do not get everyone on your team behind. Make sure all employees are aware of data entry standards throughout the company. For example, make sure they all know what information fields to fill out when creating a contact record, how to check for duplicates before creating a new contact, and that everyone enters data about the correct apps.
By following these simple tactics, you can ensure that you have a much cleaner and more organized contact database. Do not forget to synchronize data two-way between your important business applications: it minimizes manual data entry and ensures that you always look at the most up-to-date, accurate contact information in all your tools.