5 Ways to Avoid Dirty Data (& Keep Egg Off Your Face)

Emailing a list with dirty data is quickest way to let customers or prospects know that they are a few bytes of data in a file. In addition to minimizing your response rates, it risks alienating your target market.

An email I received today inspired this post. At first glance, it was a good example of email marketing. The return address identified a sender that I recognized. The subject was personable. And the content called me to action.

Unfortunately, I was the wrong recipient.

The subject began “It was great seeing you at…conference”. The problem is that I wasn’t there. I have attended the conference mentioned quite often, but not this year. The email message is lost because someone skipped cleaning the file.

So you don’t make this and other dirty data mistakes, follow these tips:

  1. If the email is attendee based, use only the names acquired from people who visited your booth. Presuming that people attended this time because they have in the past is dangerous.
  2. Clean your data files on a regular basis. Merge duplicates and purge bad data. It reduces costs and improves response rates.
  3. Coordinate your marketing plans with different channels and divisions. Sending multiple messages or competing offers makes you look silly.
  4. Even with a regular maintenance program, clean your data files before every mailing. Things happen. Don’t wait to find out what.
  5. Update your files after every mailing to remove nixies and bounces (if verified.) If your customers or prospects send personal messages asking to be removed, confirm removal with a personal message.

Doing it right isn’t hard. It only takes a little due diligence.
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