This blog post sounds like it should be over on our sister website, Marketing Donut, along with the other information about marketing your business via email.
But actually, here we’re going to explain how a simple IT task can save money on your marketing budget. And that’s why this blog post is on IT Donut.
The cost of out-of-date data
The data your business holds about current and prospective customers will gradually go out of date if you don’t make efforts to maintain it.
People change phone numbers, email and postal addresses and switch jobs. Businesses shut down, merge with others or get taken over.
If you don’t keep on top of these changes, you’ll end up wasting your marketing budget by mailing the wrong people at the wrong places.
For instance, Data HQ — the company I work for — recently saved a charity £1,500 in mailing costs by auditing and cleansing the organisation’s data.
Sending marketing messages using duff data can harm to your company’s image, too. You don’t want to make incorrect contact with customers and prospects when you’re looking to make a positive impression leading to a sale.
Use industry suppression files
One of the most straightforward ways to weed our bad records from your marketing data is to regularly check it against industry suppression files.
These files contain ‘gone-aways’. These might be people who are deceased, businesses that have shut down and so on.
Data relating to businesses is more susceptible to decaying quickly than that relating to individuals, because people change jobs frequently and whole companies can change names.
The rate of decay for business data can be up to 40% per year.
This makes it even more important that you regularly check company and employee details, removing any that are no longer relevant.
Where to find suppression files
Many industry suppression files are available to help you check and cleanse data. They include:
- The National Change of Address update, managed by Royal Mail.
- Business suppression files, available from various providers.
- The Bereavement Register, from the National Association of Funeral Directors.
Ideally, you should cleanse your data against as many available files as possible, as regularly as possible.
Suppression files can also help you keep your database updated. If a customer has recently moved house, wouldn’t it be good to get their new address and maintain contact with them?
If you run telemarketing campaigns, there are some other suppression lists to be aware of too:
It is a legal requirement that organisations do not make sales or marketing calls to numbers registered with these services unless they have the contact’s consent to do so.
Consider working with a data supplier
If you’re new to the idea of auditing your marketing data, it might be a good idea to speak to a reputable data solutions supplier.
They can help you determine the best way to compare your list to the most appropriate suppression files, showing what proportion of your data is inaccurate.
From there you can cleanse the data, updating details where possible or removing records entirely.
At the end of the process you’ll have cleaner, more accurate data for your marketing activities. And that means your marketing budget will go further.
- Apparently we need to send even more marketing email
- How to choose a bulk email provider
- 11 ways to make email marketing work for your business
This is a post by David Battson from Data HQ.