CATEGORY: Best practice
Keeping your data clean – farewell freeserve.co.uk
If you haven’t taken a close look at your data recently, you are not alone. Markets are ever changing places, business’ close or are acquired and even email providers close their service[i]. For example, in recent news Orange closed its email service rendering a number of addresses including freeserve.co.uk, orange.net and wanadoo.co.uk redundant (So clean these addresses from your data lists today!).
Data degradation is a real challenge for marketers – people change their role, their employer, even their name and as soon as this happens what was a good email becomes “bad”. This is particularly challenging for B2B marketers, as their data changes much more frequently than in the B2C arena. Even when all your data is good, duplication of contacts can be all too easy with data coming in from a variety of sources.
Maximise the efficiency of your marketing campaigns and improve your deliverability
Cleaning and maintaining your data is not a glamorous job, the benefits can be substantial.
Reduce the risk of getting suspended or block by your ISP or ESP
Increase the number of emails hitting their target
Improve email performance and engagement– display and click through rates
Decrease spam reports
Here are a few thoughts to help get you started, but if you are looking for a complete spring clean talk to our dedicated support team and see how we can help.
5 top tips to help you keep your data clean
1. Make someone responsible for your data quality
By assigning a responsibility, and looking at new data “little and often” the job of data cleansing becomes less cumbersome, reviewing more manageable datasets. Prioritising key fields and ensuring they are maintained you will have a better on-going understanding of your data. It would make checking for duplicates and “junk contacts” more manageable.
2. Use options and drop downs wherever you can
By minimising free text options and providing drop down options you can keep your data consistent so it is easier to filter and work with.
3. Identify duplications
Ideally your marketing automation platform or CRM will have rules to automatically de-dupe your data – which is particularly useful when you are uploading lists. If however you are dealing with historic data, the exercise to merge data to a single record is likely to be your best cleansing technique.
4. Regularly remove inactive contacts
People can unsubscribe if they don’t want to receive future emails, but often they will just hit ‘delete’ instead. Maybe the contact has moved to new pastures and isn’t using the email address anymore, or perhaps they’re just not interested in the content. Whatever their reason, this grey data is affecting your reporting statistics. By removing these contacts, who show their lack of engagement through lack of activity you keep the scope of your audience more focused, which in turn will help maximise your results.
5. Remove “junk contacts”
People looking to remain anonymous may provide fictions email details i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to avoid sharing their real details. It is often obvious when this has been done so if you are frequently manually checking they can be identified before they pollute your list – alternatively if you are running “double opt in” on your emails, they will be filtered out before they ever reach your data list.
[i] On 31st May 2017 Orange closed its free email service. Email addresses affected include:
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