Let’s Talk About Your Data

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There are some things we tell customers all the time about email marketing, because they’re true.

  1. Segmentation is the key to effective email marketing.
  2. You have to start with clean data.

What exactly is clean data? And, why is unclean (dirty) data hurting your email marketing efforts?

Segment Your Way to Success

First, we need to talk about segmentation. According to DMA, segmented and targeted emails generate 58 percent of email revenue. That means segmented emails do the work that brings about real results.

Emails with the highest potential to generate return are highly segmented and targeted. So what does that mean?

Segmented and targeted emails are for a specific group of your contacts. They send only to those contacts who meet that criteria.

For example, let’s say you wanted to market Medicare to your customers. You’d want a segmented email send to go out to people within a specific age group. Those who are both old enough to qualify and not currently covered by your agency.

The message you send out is relevant to the recipients, because they qualify and are not yet covered.

So what happens if you send an email about Medicare plans to a 21-year-old in your contact list by mistake?

  • He/she may unsubscribe (or worse, mark you as spam). In this case, you lose the ability to market to them. Even relevant material.
  • They lose interest in your emails and their open rate drops for future emails.
  • If you’re lucky, they just shrug it off.

What could cause a 21-year-old contact to receive an email designed to go to 65+ contacts?

Your email marketing program is not broken. The answer is dirty data.

Cleaning Up Dirty Data

Manually input data often features errors and omissions that affect your marketing efforts.

Even in the case of integrated products, not having a clear knowledge of how information bridges can be harmful to the data you need to use.

Some solutions for dirty data:

  • Review and Update. Make sure that you make corrections for every error you find!
  • New Policies. If manual input is involved in your data collection, create internal policies that allow for a second set of eyes to review any manually input data to cut down on mistakes. Copy and paste information whenever possible, rather than typing from memory.

Of course, our strongest recommendation is: Start with clean data. Put policies in place to ensure incoming data is correct and reliable. Every contact counts, and capitalizing on every interaction requires you know exactly who you’re marketing to.


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