Dirty Databases and Heart Attacks

by | Dec 10, 2013

3 Sneaky Ways Your Dirty Database is Like a Future Heart Attack

email marketing heart attackYou wake up one Monday morning in a cold sweat.  Your chest tightens.  Your skin feels clammy.  Your left arm feels numb.  What is happening?

Too often, this is a scenario where 23% of the men who experience it will not survive.  Doctors call it a myocardial infarction. 

Ignoring the need to cleanse and update is not going to kill any people.  But the deliverability of your email marketing campaigns can decline over time or – God forbid – the spam filters will shut your operations down until you clean it all up.  You can get wrapped up in defending your ethical email practices – even when you have done nothing wrong.

If your marketing strategy includes email marketing, it is time for you to learn about the ramifications of bad data clogging your CRM software. 

3 Ways These 2 Scenarios are Similar

  • Symptoms are Silent:

    No matter the size of your database, you have some incomplete, invalid and mistyped email addresses in your CRM.  You probably never notice the changes on your dashboard as the deliverability statistics slip.  Even if you see the symptoms, you are not likely to attribute these changes to bad data.

  • Problems Build over Time:

    Today, any business depends on technology to gather data to be analyzed for business decision optimization.  This important data is a tool for usable, actionable business behaviors that drive success.  Over a period of time, the business intelligence stored in your CRM software becomes corrupted.  With inaccurate metrics in your dashboard, you may make inappropriate decisions about growing your business.

  • If Ignored, it Can be Devastating:

    Creating a system for data quality assurance is similar to taking good care of your heart by eating healthy food, exercise and supplementation.  Just like these health measures give confidence that you are taking good care of your heart – a regularly cleansed list offers a way to manage data to produce accurate, consistent results and avoid the risk posed by spam filters.

Data Hygiene Basics

In Software Magazine, Greg Brown writes, “Your database, like your health, requires constant care and attention.  Just as you wouldn’t go years without a physical or dental check-up your company’s data deserves the same cleaning and upkeep.”

Brown also sites what he calls the “1-10-100 Rule”.  He claims that it cost $1 per contact record to verify the accuracy…$10 to clean it up from your database…and…$100 if you don’t do anything.  He claims that those costs add up in undeliverable shipments, bad levels of customer satisfaction and ineffective CRM (Customer Relationship Management) initiatives.

How Do Spam Filters Mislabel Your Company

With a dirty database, your business is probably sending email to lists with spam seeds, black list seeds and spam BOTS.  If your IP gets blacklisted, your ISP will flag you as a spammer and your business goes into crisis mode.  That kind of hit is time-consuming and frustrating at best and threatening to your entire operation at the worst.

Email Answers offers an email validation program and they claim that some spam filtering and blacklist operators will create email addresses as part of their investigation.  With the huge number of filtering and email filtering companies that might be offering these “special” emails on websites, forums and blog comments, they are trying to catch a company that is harvesting emails from the internet unethically.

While the comparison of a life-threatening heart attack to an un-cleansed database may be a bit of a stretch, you may need to pay attention and take action today.