Is it time for a spring clean? | DMA

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Is it time for a spring clean?


Original article by Rich Bowdon

It’s that time of year again, when the mornings and evenings get that little bit lighter and the daffodils start to make an appearance. Those dark, cold winter days seem to be long gone, it is now time to embrace new beginnings and change. Talking of change, isn’t it time we dusted off the cobwebs and breathed some life into the data hiding inside our CRM systems?

Why is keeping a clean database so important I hear you ask?

Well, good question.

Imagine having a number of jigsaws laid out on the floor, only to find someone has muddled them together, dropped pieces behind the couch or maybe the family dog ate some of them. Would you be able to use them again? I think you know the answer to that, well it is the same with data. Data decays (at a rate of 2.1% per month!) and without a careful eye will start to cost you money.

One reason for data decay are deceased records. Sadly, people pass away and it is important to pay careful attention to your database to ensure you protect yourselves and others. I couldn’t imagine anything worse than receiving a phone call or piece of mail addressed to a deceased relative, and my impression of the company would not be a favourable one. By cleaning your data on a regular basis will help avoid any such occurrences and will increase your ROI by reducing expenses.


Removing the deceased records isn’t the only reason to keep your data clean and up to date. Not only do people pass away but they also move residential addresses or businesses. Imagine if you will, a business that performs monthly direct mail campaigns and sends a catalogue costing X only to find a number of them are returned to them because the person either no longer works there or has moved from the address. This is not only wasting time but is adding to your costs as opposed to increasing your ROI. By cleaning your data, you help to highlight the records which need to be removed, improving your marketing effectiveness, saves time and money, protects brand reputation and ensures your company is legally compliant.

It is a known fact that by re-engaging with customers you are up to six times more likely to get a sale, rather than marketing to new acquisition. This is another reason why it is important to clean your data, increasing your campaigns efficiency. It is a good idea to store the goneaway’s found in the data into a separate file, then you will be able to look to find new addresses for your customers.

Data cleansing is not only essential, it is the number one service to increase a return on investment.

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