DETOX YOUR DATA

HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU NEED TO DETOX YOUR DATA?

Everyone should detox their data at least once a year. Today, with more marketing channels than ever, “it’s critical to detox.”

Symptom Checker: You probably need to detox your data if you have any of the following symptoms such as:

  • Uncontrollable spam and unsubscribe rates
  • Going postal over unknown mailing address returns
  • Sluggish open rates
  • Feeling unpopular on Facebook
  • Depressed click through rates
  • When asked, “how are sales?” and you respond, “In the toilet.”

HOW DO YOU START A DATA DETOX?

First you must investigate the current situation. Gather up your household files, pour yourself some tea and find a quiet place to review past campaign performance, lists accuracy, open rates. Be positive, remember this is where you are now – not your future state. Keep a journal and share with your team members your goals and vision for a data driven marketing department. Now the hard part, assess where you are today.

  • Your mailing list should be 85-90% correct before mailing. This means deduped and standardized. Ask your printer for the average metrics on your previous mailing lists. If your lists are not hitting this metric, seek the advice of your printer because they have tools to remedy this situation. (NCOA) Your goal is to have the most accurate list of households in your file’s including address, city, state, zip, zip +4, and Delivery Point. (You must have the DP)
  • At least 30% of your email list should have home addresses. If not, and I am not a data scientist, but I would recommend a reverse append to see if your email list has a home address on file. Email lists should be cleaned not only to protect your reputation but before sending out for a reverse append.

At this point you should feel pleased that you have accomplished the foundation necessary to support your data divinity.

As my Italian mother used to say, “A clean home is a happy home.” Now you should have three, clean, crisp lists on hand.

  • List of mailing addresses with email address. (Cleaned)
  • List of mailing addresses with no email address (Cleaned)
  • List of just email addresses (Cleaned)

These lists will provide a baseline for your upcoming campaigns and reconciliation efforts.

DON’T BE IN DE NILE – RECONCILE

Reconciling your conversions back to your list is the most time-consuming, yet necessary step that most marketers loathe to perform, and unfortunately, only a few do.

Back to the cleaners for a detox. Yup, back you go. In order to compare lists and accurately measure results we need all the conversions in the same format as the original lists.  Remember address, city, state, zip, zip four and delivery point barcode.  In theory, if an address appears on both lists, you had a conversion from your initial list.

Easy-Peasy Reconciliation Steps:

  • Upload your first list that had mailing address and email into excel.
  • Exactly cut and paste into the existing columns all your new and happy conversions.
  • Next highlight address, city, state, zip, zip+4 and delivery point
  • Find the excel tab “Data” and click.
  • Click “Remove Duplicates”
  • Next, Excel will count up the duplicates and those are your conversions!

AFTER DETOXING – WHAT TO EXPECT

Detoxing your data may be difficult, but it is a necessary first step on the road to a data driven marketing department. Now that you have recovered your data, next is creating healthy guidelines, lifestyle, practices, and standards to keep your data in its best shape. These could include a calendar on when to refresh your data or basic input guidelines. You are on your way to becoming a data diva.

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