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5 Ways to Keep Your Marketing Database Clean


An inaccurate marketing database can plague an organization for many reasons, but the most pressing one is the issue of lead quality. In fact, U.S. companies say that, on average, 30% of their data is inaccurate. When your marketing team sends unqualified leads to sales, the sales team is then required to either waste time following up with bad leads, or disregard their leads altogether. 

Cleaning and maintaining your marketing database will help rectify the relationship between the marketing and sales departments and facilitate long-term alignment within the company. Here are five ways to get it done:

1. Clear Out Invalid or Uninterested Contacts

Did you know that each year contact lists decay by approximately 25%? Between people changing jobs, retiring, and everything in between, life happens. It’s important to routinely clear out invalid or uninterested contacts to maintain a good open rate which, in turn, improves your inbox placement rate. Email senders with high open and click rates look more trustworthy to email security filters. And most email accounts, including Gmail, automatically filter out emails that recipients aren’t opening or clicking. Without taking action, low open rates of your marketing emails can often worsen over time. To prevent this, you should regularly remove contacts from your database that are no longer engaging with marketing sends.

Pro tip: Every hard or soft email bounce—or unsubscribe—is a reminder to update your database.

2. Re-engage or Delete Disengaged Contacts

Contacts who haven’t engaged with your content for a while may be passive unsubscribers. Try to “wake up” anyone that hasn’t engaged in 3-6 months by running a reactivation campaign. To ensure they’re still a qualified lead, require them to opt in by doing a content download to stay on your email list. 

If contacts have been disengaged for over a year, it’s better to delete them. They may not remember who you are at this point, which could lead them to report your emails as spam. 

Pro tip: Avoid spam reports by asking new subscribers to whitelist your IP or email domain.

3. Identify and Delete Duplicate Records

Duplicate records can cause reporting errors—and multiple identical emails to the same address is not just embarrassing, but can also get you reported as a spammer. To identify duplicate entries in the short term, try running a report to flag duplicate email addresses and company information.

Pro tip: For a long-term solution, set up alerts for possible duplicates when entering into your database. (Hint: HubSpot does this for you automatically! UPRAISE is a certified HubSpot partner, we can give you the scoop). 

4. Standardize Your Input Fields

To ensure contact data can be easily interpreted by all members of your organization, try using drop-down menus with standardized values rather than a form for text entries. For example, does your company list “U.S.” or “United States” for the country input? If someone on the sales team is trying to pull all contacts from the United States, but doesn’t know to look for U.S. contacts as well, this creates an issue. Make sure you’re running routine checks to change these inputs to your company’s standard automatically.

Pro tip: This will also help you find duplicates! Once you’ve standardized entries, you’ll no longer find duplicates like “JohnSmith,” “John Smith,” and “john smith.”

5. Standardize Your UTM Codes

UTM codes can help you source leads and learn how they interact with your content. But beware of inconsistent or duplicate codes. These can be confusing and lead to inaccurate reporting.

To clean up your UTM codes, start by removing duplicates and related fields. Then, standardize lead source names. (Are you getting the theme yet?)

We know how intimidating it can be to clean up your entire database, but we also know how important it is. If you’re not up for the challenge, contact us to create a contact management and segmentation strategy that’s designed to power all your marketing efforts more successfully.

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