There’s no better example of “data in, data out” than email personalization. We’ve all opened those cringe-worthy emails with “Dear Unknown,” that are scattered with spelling errors and incorrect information from a company trying to know you but missing the mark. Email personalization is a great tool to drive interaction with your customers, but addressing someone with the wrong greeting is just as uncomfortable as forgetting someone’s name in-person. The best way to avoid these awkward errors and benefit from segmentation is to clean up your data.
In order to clean up your data, you first have to be able to identify what is the “bad” data. It includes-
- Incorrect information
- Invalid email addresses
- Incomplete fields
- Unformatted fields
Now that you can identify what’s “dirty” in your data set, here are 5 housekeeping tips that will keep your data squeaky clean-
- Keep the end goal in mind- If your company is using the “Title” field as a line of personalization in email campaigns, consider entering the data in a format that is personalization-friendly. The format of a title or company name can be the difference between sounding like a friendly sales agent or a computer-generated email.
- Keep it simple– The best way to stay consistent with your data is through simple processes. Adding drop down menus and checkboxes makes data entry as straight-forward as possible.
- Consistent data entry– When you’re creating a segment to email all contacts in a specific state, think about how much more time-intensive would be to include the state abbreviation, full state name, state nicknames, and common state misspellings. Instead, put in place processes on how to enter data in each field so it stays consistent across everyone on your team.
- Analyze bounce data– Hard bounces that occur due to an invalid email address can be viewed as an opportunity to update their current information. Check out our knowledge base article on how to create and analyze bounce segments.
- Think like your customers- It can be difficult to obtain all the data fields for every customer you have, and thinking like your customers can help. For example, if you were filling out a form how many fields would you be willing to fill out to receive the gated content? Progressive profiling can be a great way to reduce “form fatigue” for your customers so they aren’t dropping off in the process.
- *PRO TIP* If you are sending a personalized email using a first name, you might want to add “there” to all of the blank first name fields in your contacts. This way, those that have their first name field filled out will be greeted with “Hey Erica,” and those that don’t will receive “Hey there,” and be none the wiser!
The next step to clean up your data is to “rinse and repeat.” You need to stay on top of your data because your contacts’ information is frequently changing. In fact, according to research by Dun & Bradstreet in the next hour, 58 business addresses will change, 11 companies will change their names, and 41 new businesses will open. Implementing these 5 tips can help prevent future dirty data and stay on top of your ever-changing contacts.