Easy Ways To Keep a Clean Database
After reading last week’s blog (Click HERE to read), you’ll now have a lovely Clean Database to work with. So, how do you keep on top of it and ensure that its contents are kept up to date? Here are a few tips I hope you find of use…
You Can’t Beat Regular Contact
There’s no better way of maintaining a Clean Database than keeping in touch with your contacts. I’m not saying that you should call everybody on there every month to check their details are correct – there are far more subtle ways to do this, many of which can bring additional revenue streams with them! Here are just a few examples:
Monthly Email Newsletters – Sending a newsletter once a month via email not only cleans your database (you’ll receive bounced emails, allowing you to contact the company and check / update your information), but also keeps you in the mind of your contacts. Include useful & helpful information, industry news and maybe something about yourself – it can give your company a personality
Mailshots – What better way to hear about your current offers is there than receiving a mailing through the post? It could be a postcard, a letter, a brochure, whatever fits the bill. Plus, the more you send, then generally the cheaper it is to send on a “per mailshot” basis. Any responses can be used as a means to update your data and returned mailings, as with bounced emails, give reason to contact the company and update your info
Pick up the Phone – It really is good to talk, and it needn’t be about business. Many find it easier to talk to existing clients rather than prospects, so play to your strengths. Be totally honest and say your call is simply to check their current details and obtain confirmation that they’re still happy for you to contact them for marketing (i.e. update your opt-in) at the same time. Whatever the reason, it’s another way of placing you in their mind…and keeping a Clean Database
Act on Information Obtained
Moving address might be the obvious time to update your records, but the business address is unlikely to be the only field in your database. What about when someone marries and you notice their name change on an email, or if a company becomes Limited. Do you update your records?
Data Maintenance is Everybody’s Responsibility
GDPR will place a legal obligation upon all companies to ensure all of their employees take the utmost care when handling personal data. In my opinion, this ought to be the thought process now, so that companies don’t risk breaching Data Protection laws.
If your employees understand the importance of Data Protection, then you know that they will have data accuracy in their minds at all times. Not only does this provide your company with a higher level of protection by minimising the risk of DPA breaches, but it will ensure you maintain a Clean Database organically.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Ideally, you will have one central place to store your customers’ information, such as a CRM system. If you do have more than one place where information is stored, make sure they talk to one another, otherwise you could be entering a dangerous place.
Not only do multiple spreadsheets / databases cause confusion, but can often overlap and duplicate information. This not only wastes time when collating the information, but can also cost money by sending multiple mailshots to the same person. Similarly, if you operate this kind of system, it makes it difficult when updating or changing information, as you need to do it on all files – It’s relatively easy to keep one Clean Database, but two or three…what a waste of time!
Ensuring that everyone knows exactly what data goes where, for example having a company-wide standardised format that requires correct completion before moving to the next stage when inputting a new contact, ensures essential fields are completed correctly. This may seem a little regimental, but standardisation removes ambiguity and confusion.
Agreed Access Levels
For larger companies, it’s quite commonplace to allow only a certain few people to make certain amendments within a database. This is a good way of minimising the risk of inaccurate data being input, providing there are clear processes in place for those without access to notify those with access when data needs updating.
It needn’t be time consuming to keep a Clean Database up to date, particularly when it becomes part of your mind-set. The benefits of doing so are numerous and include a better likelihood of running a successful campaign, cutting down on wasted time and saving money. As a final note, think and remember… if you can’t trust your data, then you can’t trust your marketing campaign to succeed.