We've all been there - invested money in sign-up forms, breathed
a sigh of relief when our subscriber numbers exceeded our
expectations. People are opening our emails, heck some are even
clicking through to our site! Job done - right? Wrong.
You may be aware of the 80/20 rule which professes that twenty
percent of input results in eighty percent of overall output. In
business terms this is most commonly expressed as 20% of customers
contribute 80% of return on investment (ROI). It is little surprise
then that it is crucial to nurture and add value to this group of
customers as it costs less to do so than acquire new customers. 7
times less in fact.
So if we can apply this rule to social scenarios, shouldn't we
be putting that into context in our database and email
The importance is on quality over quantity.
Sure it's great to boast a database of 10,000+ who receive
weekly circulations of your e-newsletter…but what percentage open
this and essentially provide ROI to the activity?
To ensure you maximise your communications, keep costs down, and
achieve ROI it is important to review your database for accuracy,
clearly identify hot leads, and reduce inactive and uninterested
As marketers, we spend a lot of time and money developing
databases, segmenting lists (based on specific data capture
forms/criteria), and tailoring messaging to our data lists.
All of this effort to be lost in cyberspace with poor open and
click through rates. Essentially, when it comes to eCRM, the same
care and consideration should be given to thequalityof the customer
as to the message.
How do I clean my database?
Of course every data list and eCRM system has different
functionality and limitations and the physical clean-up will differ
dependant on these factors. What I can tell you; however, are a few
key dos and don'ts when approaching data cleansing.
- Spend time reviewing your database quality
- Dependant on size of database and internal resource this should
be carried out at least every 6 months.
- Common criteria of 'unclean' databases include invalid email
addresses, user input errors e.g. [email protected],
- Identify your hot and cold leads.
- A reactivation campaign has the potential to remind your
customers of why they signed up in the first place. Those
interested will stay, those not will leave.
- Standardise your data capture forms
- Ensure that you receive the data for all required fiels in
every instance. This keeps all customer records complete and
accurate making segmenting on certain attributes more accurate and
easier to manage.
- If your site says "sign up here for our weekly newsletter" then
make sure to send a newsletter or value-added email each week.
- Keep email content engaging and relevant to the
- Add to the problem
- There is a temptation to upload customer lists without
reviewing first. This gives you the opportunity to find errors,
eliminate false/incorrect data, and avoid adding more 'waste' the
- Cut your losses
- Wherever possible, opt 'cold leads' out of all broadcasts
- you never know when they may come back and the customer
history/record that you have invested in building up will be vital
if and when they do
A cleaner database leads to a healthier ROI. Reduce your cost
per send for erroneous data and cold leads to get the most of your
activity. Whilst it may seem easier to completely give up on the
data that isn't giving you results, consider the initial investment
in acquiring this data beforehand.