Cleaning Up Your Customer Database: How and Why

Noelle Demo, Account Manager

Noelle Demo, Account Manager About The Author

June 3, 2020

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Most individuals in business have heard the warnings to keep their database clean and updated. But why? We hear that we should, but when you are already busy with an every-growing to-do list, what justifies giving your database a routine clean out?

The Importance of Cleaning Your Database

You have probably seen this scenario before: you send out an email marketing campaign to your usual contacts, only to later find that an alarming amount of your time, energy, and money has gone out to duplicate or inactive recipients. To add to that, you get hit with about half of that number in recipients who have unsubscribed because they're no longer interested. Not only are you wasting precious resources by marketing to a number of people who will not grow your business, but you are also tarnishing your business' reputation in the world of email marketing.

Routinely cleaning your database can fix this issue. Using the following tips, you can reduce your marketing budget, hone in on your true client base, fine tune your content appropriately, and get accurate analytics.

How To Clean Your Database

1. Delete duplicates
Not only do they take up space, duplicate contacts can greatly affect your email marketing reputation. For many people, receiving multiples of the same email results in an instant unsubscribe.

2. Clear out any inactive or incorrect contacts
This tip seems pretty obvious, but avoiding clearing out contacts that will just bounce back your emails is actually hurting your marketing budget. These inactive contacts are getting in the way of you reaching your true client base effectively.

3. Take a good look at your unsubscribers
Your initial thought might be to delete any contact who has unsubscribed, but don't do it just yet. Yes, these customers have opted out of receiving your marketing emails, but are they all truly not engaged with your company? Take a look at their engagement elsewhere (ex: website visits, direct contacts to your office, attending events, etc.). If a client is interacting with your business in other ways, keep their contact information.

4. Bonus: can't afford to take the extra time? Here are a couple services that can help.
While manually scrubbing your list is usually going to be your best option since nobody knows your clients like you, there are services that will do a lot of the hard work for you. These services can come in all shapes and sizes, free and paid, so we picked out one free option and one paid option to recommend.

Cleaning your customer database may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. The rewards of doing so includes less waste in your marketing budget, a better understanding of your current customer base and leads, and increased insight into the effectiveness of your current marketing strategy, among several other benefits. Remember: a clean database is a productive database.

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